My Love is lyke to yse, and I to fyre:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolv’d through my so hot desyre,
But harder growes the more I her intreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not delayd* by her hart-frosen cold,
But that I burne much more in boyling sweat,
And feele my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told,
That fire, which all things melts, should harden yse,
And yse, which is congeald with sencelesse cold,
Should kindle fyre by wonderful devyse?
Such is the powre of love in gentle mind,
That it can alter all the course of kynd.
[* Delayd, tempered.]
Ah! why hath Nature to so hard a hart
Given so goodly giftes of beauties grace,
Whose pryde depraves each other better part,
And all those pretious ornaments deface?
Sith to all other beastes of bloody race
A dreadfull countenance she given hath,
That with theyr terrour all the rest may chace,
And warne to shun the daunger of theyr wrath.
But my proud one doth worke the greater scath*,
Through sweet allurement of her lovely hew,
That she the better may in bloody bath
Of such poore thralls her cruell hands embrew.
But did she know how ill these two accord,
Such cruelty she would have soone abhord.
[* Scath, injury.]
The paynefull smith with force of fervent heat
The hardest yron soone doth mollify,
That with his heavy sledge he can it beat,
And fashion to what he it list apply.
Yet cannot all these flames in which I fry
Her hart, more hard then yron, soft a whit,
Ne all the playnts and prayers with which I
Doe beat on th’andvile of her stubberne wit:
But still, the more she fervent sees my fit,
The more she frieseth in her wilfull pryde,
And harder growes, the harder she is smit
With all the playnts which to her be applyde.
What then remaines but I to ashes burne,
And she to stones at length all frosen turne!
Great wrong I doe, I can it not deny,
To that most sacred empresse, my dear dred,
Not finishing her Queene of Faery,
That mote enlarge her living prayses, dead.
But Lodwick*, this of grace to me aread:
Do ye not thinck th’accomplishment of it
Sufficient worke for one mans simple head,
All were it, as the rest, but rudely writ?
How then should I, without another wit,
Thinck ever to endure so tedious toyle,
Sith that this one is tost with troublous fit
Of a proud Love, that doth my spirite spoyle?
Cease, then, till she vouchsafe to grawnt me rest,
Or lend you me another living brest.
[* I.e. Lodowick Bryskett.]