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That they may both, ere day,
Rise perfect every way.

And Venus, thou, with timely seed,
Which may their after-comforts breed,

Inform the gentle womb;
Nor let it prove a tomb,
But, ere ten moons be wasted,
The birth by Cynthia hasted,
So may they both, ere day,
Rise perfect every way.

And when the babe to light is shown,
Let it be like each parent known;

Much of the father's face,
More of the mother's grace ;
And either grandsire's spirit
And fame let it inherit.
That men may bless th' embraces
That joined two such races.

Cease, youths and virgins, you have done;
Shut fast the door, and as they soon

To their perfection haste,
So may their ardors last.
So either's strength outlive
All loss that age can give;
And though full years be told,
Their forms grow slowly old.

48

48 Essex was in his fifteenth and Larly Frances in her foui: teenth year.

VENUS' RUNAWAY.49
Beauties, have ye seen this toy

Called love, a little boy,
Almost naked, wanton, blind,
Cruel now, and then as kind ?
If he be amongst ye, say ;
He is Venus' runaway.

She that will but now discover

Where the winged wag doth hover
Shall to-night receive a kiss
How or where herself would wish ;
But who brings him to his mother
Shall have that kiss and another.

H' hath of marks about him plenty ;

You shall know him among twenty.
All his body is a fire,
And his breath a flame entire,
That being shot like lightning in,
Wounds the heart but not the skin.

At his sight the sun hath turned,

Neptune in the waters burned,
Hell hath felt a greater heat,

49 These verses, which are sometimes headed as above, occur in The Description of the Masque with the Nuptial Sings at the Lord l'iscount lladdington's Marriage at Court, on the Shrore Tuesday at night, 1608. Gifford, avoiding the circumlocutory title, has given it the happy one of The Hue and Cry after Cupid. The "Epws Aparétns of Moschus is said to have furnished Jonson with the suggestion.

Jove himself forsook his seat.
From the centre to the sky
Are his trophies reared high.

Wings he hath, which though ye clip,

He will leap from lip to lip,
Over liver, lights and heart,
But not stay in any part ;
And if, chance, his arrow misses,
He will shoot himself, in kisses.

He doth bear a golden bow

And a quiver hanging low,
Full of arrows that outbrave
Dian's shafts; where, if he have
Any head more sharp than other,
With that first he strikes his mother.

Still the fairest are his fuel ;

When his days are to be cruel,
Lovers' hearts are all his food,
And his baths their warmest blood ;
Naught but wounds his hand doth season,
And he hates none like to Reason.

Trust him not; his words though sweet

Seldom with his heart do meet;
All his practice is deceit.
Every gift it is a bait;
Not a kiss but poison bears ;
And most treason in his tears.

Idle minutes are his reign;

Then the straggler makes his gain,
By presenting maids with toys,
And would have ye think 'em joys.
'Tis the ambition of the elf
T have all childish as himself.

If by these ye please to know him,

Beauties, be not nice but show him.
Though ye had a will to hide him
Now, we hope ye'll not abide him.
Since ye hear his falser play,
And that he is Venus' Run-away.

EPITHALAMION.50
Up, youths and virgins, up and praise
The god, whose nights outshine his days:

Hymen, whose hallowed rites
Could never boast of brighter lights;

Whose bands pass liberty.
Two of your troop that with the morn were free
Are now waged to his war.

And what they are,
If you'll perfection see,

Yourselves must be.
Shine, Hesperus, shine forth, thou wished star.

What joy or honors can compare

With holy nuptials when they are

50 From the same masque as the last.

Made out of equal parts
Of years, of states, of hands, of hearts?

When, in the happy choice,
The

spouse and spousèd have the foremost voice.
Such, glad of Hymen's war,

Live what they are,
And long perfection see,

And such ours be.
Shine, Hesperus, shine forth thou wished star.

The solemn state of this one night
Were fit to last an age's light;

But there are rites behind
Have less of state but more of kind :

Love's wealthy crop of kisses,
And fruitful harvest of his mother's blisses.
Sound then to Hymen's war,

That what these are,
Who will perfection see

May haste to be.
Shine, Hesperus, shine forth thou wished star.

Love's commonwealth consists of toys;
His council are those antique boys,

Games, laughter, sports, delights,
That triumph with him on these nights;

To whom we must give way,
For now their reign begins and lasts till day.
They sweeten Hymen's war,

And in that jar,

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