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Though never after; whiles it gaynes the voyce
Almost you have, or may have, when you will?
That had no Muse to make their fame abide.
Than which, a nobler Heaven it selfe knowes not.
Then all, that have but done my Muse least grace,
[The rest is lost.]
EPISTLE TO KATHERINE, LADY AUBIGNY. 'TIS growne almost a danger to speake true Of any good minde, now: there are so few. The bad, by number, are so fortified, As what they 've lost t' expect, they dare deride. So both the prais'd, and praisers suffer: yet, For others' ill, ought none their good forget. I, therefore, who professe my selfe in love With every vertue, wheresoere it move, And howsoever; as I am at fewd With sinne and vice, though with a throne endew'd; And, in this name, am given out dangerous By arts, and practise of the vicious, Such as suspect themselves, and think it fit For their owne cap'tall crimes, t' indite my wit; I, that have suffer'd this; and, though forsooke Of Fortune, have not alter'd yet my looke, Or so my selfe abandon'd, as because Men are not just, or keepe no holy lawes Of nature, and societie, I should faint; Or feare to draw true lines, 'cause others paint: I, madame, am become your praiser. Where, If it may stand with your soft blush to heare, Your selfe but told unto your selfe, and see, In my character, what your features bee, You will not from the paper slightly passe: No lady, but at sometime loves her glasse. And this shall be no false one, but as much Remov'd, as you from need to have it such. Looke then, and see your selfe. I will not say Your beautie; for you see that every day: And so doe many more. All which can call It perfect, proper, pure, and naturall, Not taken up o' th' doctors, but as well As I, can say and see it doth excell. That askes but to be censur'd by the eyes: And, in those outward formes, all fooles are wise. Nor that your beautie wanted not a dower, Doe I reflect. Some alderman has power, Or cos'ning farmer of the customes so, T" advance his doubtfull issue, and ore-flow A prince's fortune: these are gifts of chance, And raise not vertue; they may vice enhance. My mirror is more subtill, cleare, refin'd, And takes, and gives the beauties of the mind. Though it reject not those of Fortune: such As blood and match. Wherein, how more than much
Are you engaged to your happie fate, For such a lot! that mixt you with a state Of so great title, birth, but vertue most, Without which, all the rest were sounds, or lost. 'Tis onely that can time and chance defeat: For he, that once is good, is ever great. Wherewith, then, madame, can you better pay This blessing of your starres, than by that way Of vertue, which you tread? what if alone, Without companions? "T is safe to have none. In single paths, dangers with ease are watch'd: Contagion in the prease is soonest catch'd. This makes, that wisely you decline your life Farre from the maze of custome, errour, strife, And keepe an even, and unalter'd gaite; Not looking by, or back, (like those, that waite Times, and occasions, to start forth, and seeme) Which though the turning world may dis-esteeme, Because that studies spectacles, and showes, And after varied, as fresh objects, goes, Giddie with change, and therefore cannot see Right, the right way: yet must your comfort be Your conscience, and not wonder, if none askes For truth's complexion, where they all weare maskes. Let who will follow fashions, and attyres, Maintaine their liegers forth, for forrain wyres, Melt downe their husband's land, to powre away On the close groome, and page, on new-yeare's day, And almost all dayes after, while they live; (They finde it both so wittie, and safe to give) Let 'hem on powders, oyles, and paintings, spend, Till that no usurer, nor his bawds dare lend Them, or their officers: and no man know, Whether it be a face they weare, or no. Let 'hem waste body aud state; and after all, When their owne parasites laugh at their fall, May they have nothing left, whereof they can Boast, but how oft they have done wrong to man: And call it their brave sinne. For such their be That doe sinne onely for the infamie : And never think how vice doth every houre, Eat on her clients, and some one devoure. You,madam, yong have learn'd to shun these shelves, Whereon the most of mankind wracke themselves, And keeping a just course, have early put Into your harbour, and all passage shut [peace; 'Gainst stormes, or pyrats, that might charge your For which you worthy are the glad increase Of your blest wombe, made fruitfull from above To pay your lord the pledges of chaste love: And raise a noble stemme, to give the fame To Clifton's blood, that is deny'd their name. Grow, grow, faire tree, and as thy branches shoote, Heare what the Muses sing above thy root, By me, their priest, (if they can ought divine) Before the moones have fill'd their tripple trine, To crowne the burthen which you go withall, It shall a ripe and timely issue fall, T'expect the honours of great 'Aubigny : And greater rites, yet writ in mystery, But which the Fates forbid me to reveale. Only thus much out of a ravish'd zeale, Unto your name and goodnesse of your life They speake; since you are truly that rare wife, Other great wives may blush at, when they see What your try'd manners are, what theirs should be; How you love one, and him you should; how still You are depending on his word and will; Not fashion'd for the court or strangers' eyes; But to please him, who is the dearer prise
GOOD and great God, can I not think of thee,
That, laden with my sinnes, I seeke for ease?
I know my state, both full of shame and scorne,
I feele my griefes too, and there scarce is ground,
O, THAT joy so soone should waste!
Might not for ever last!
So sugred, so melting, so soft, so delicious,
O, rather than I would it smother,
THOU more than most sweet glove
You that would last long, list to my song,
COME, my Celia, let us prove,
To be taken, to be seene,
FROM THE MASQUES AND ENTERTAINMENTS.
SEE, see, ô see who here is come a Maying!
Why left we our playing?