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Our own false praises, for your ends:
We have both wits and fancies too,
And, if we must, let's sing of you.

Nor do we doubt but that we can,

If we would search with care and pain, Find some one good in some one man; So going thorough all your strain, We shall, at last, of parcels make One good enough for a song's sake.

And as a cunning painter takes,

In any curious piece you see, More pleasure while the thing he makes, Than when 'tis made. -why so will we. And having pleased our art, we'll try To make a new, and hang that by.



Hang up those dull and envious fools
That talk abroad of woman's change;
We were not bred to sit on stools,
Our proper virtue is to range:

Take that away, you take our lives;
We are no women then, but wives.

Such as in valor would excel,

Do change, though man, and often fight; Which we in love must do as well,

If ever we will love aright:

The frequent varying of the deed,
Is that which doth perfection breed.

Nor is 't inconstancy to change

For what is better, or to make,
By searching, what before was strange,
Familiar, for the use's sake:

The good from bad is not descried,
But as 'tis often vexed and tried.

And this profession of a store

In love, doth not alone help forth Our pleasure; but preserves us more From being forsaken, than doth worth: For were the worthiest woman cursed To love one man, he 'd leave her first.


I love, and he loves me again,
Yet dare I not tell who;

For if the nymphs should know my swain, I fear they 'd love him too;

Yet if it be not known,

The pleasure is as good as none,

For that's a narrow joy is but our own.

I'll tell, that, if they be not glad,

They may yet envy me;

But then if I grow jealous mad,

And of them pitied be,

It were a plague 'bove scorn:

And yet it cannot be forborn,

Unless my heart would, as my thought, be


He is, if they can find him, fair,
And fresh and fragrant too,
As summer's sky, or purged air,

And looks as lilies do

That are this morning blown:

Yet, yet I doubt be is not known,

And fear much more, that more of him be shown.

But he hath eyes so round and bright,
As make away my doubt,

Where Love may all his torches light,
Though hate had put them out:

But then, t' increase my fears,

What nymph soe'er his voice but hears Will be my rival, though she have but ears.

I'll tell no more, and yet I love,
And he loves me; yet no
One unbecoming thought doth move
From either heart, I know;

But so exempt from blame,
As it would be to each a fame,

If love, or fear, would let me tell his name.


Do but consider this small dust

Here running in the glass,

10 A copy of the verses sent by Jonson to Drummond bore the following inscription:

"To the honoring respect,


To the friendship contracted with
The right virtuous and learned
Mr. William Drummond,

And the perpetuating the same by all offices of love

I Benjamin Jonson,

Whom he hath honored with the leave to be called
His, have with mine own hand, to satisfy his
Request, written this imperfect song."

There is another copy of the verses, printed in 1640, called On a Gentle-woman working by an Hour-glass. The three versions differ slightly; but the variations are unimportant. Whalley has pointed out the source from whence the suggestion of the madrigal was derived, in the following Latin lines of the Italian poet Jerome Amaltheus :—

Perspicuo in vitro pulvis qui dividit horas,
Dum vagus angustum sæpe recurrit iter,
Olim erat Alcippus, qui Gallæ ut vidit ocellos,
Arsit, et est cæco factus ab igne cinis.
Irrequiete cinis, miseros testabere amantes
More tuo nullâ posse quiete frui.


Horarum in vitro pulvis nunc mensor, Iolæ
Sunt cineres, urnam condidit acer amor;
Ut, si quæ extincto remanent in amore favillæ,
Nec jam tutus eat, nec requietus amet.

There is a similar conceit in Herrick's lines on an hour-glass filled with water composed of the tears of lovers, which tell, as they drop,

"That lovers' tears in lifetime shed,

Do restless run when they are dead.” — B.

By atoms moved;

Could you believe that this

The body was

Of one that loved?

And in his mistress' flame, playing like a fly,

Turned to cinders by her eye?

Yes; and in death, as life, unblessed,
To have't expressed,

Even ashes of lovers find no rest!


I now think Love is rather deaf than blind,
For else it could not be,

That she,

Whom I adore so much, should so slight me,
And cast my love behind;

I'm sure my language to her was as sweet,

And every close did meet,

In sentence of as subtle feet,
As hath the youngest he
That sits in shadow of Apollo's tree.

Oh! but my conscious fears,

That fly my thoughts between,

Tell me that she hath seen

My hundred of gray hairs,

Told seven and forty years,

Read so much waist, as she cannot embrace My mountain belly, and my rocky face, And all these, through her eyes, have stopped

her ears.

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