TO THE VESTALS
Those priests which first
the vestal fire begun,
Which might be borrowed from no earthly flame,
Devised a vessel to receive the sun,
Being stedfastly opposed to the same;
Where with sweet wood laid curiously by art,
On which the sun might by reflection beat,
Receiving strength for every secret part,
The fuel kindled with celestial heat.
Thy blessed eyes, the sun which lights this fire,
My holy thoughts, they be the vestal flame,
Thy precious odours be my chaste desires,
My breast’s the vessel which includes the same;
Thou art my Vesta, thou my goddess art,
Thy hallowed temple only is my heart.
TO THE CRITICS
Methinks I see some crooked
And tax my Muse with this fantastic grace;
Turning my papers asks, “What have we here?”
Making withal some filthy antic face.
I fear no censure nor what thou canst say,
Nor shall my spirit one jot of vigour lose.
Think’st thou, my wit shall keep the packhorse way,
That every dudgeon low invention goes?
Since sonnets thus in bundles are imprest,
And every drudge doth dull our satiate ear,
Think’st thou my love shall in those rags be drest
That every dowdy, every trull doth wear?
Up to my pitch no common judgment flies;
I scorn all earthly dung-bred scarabies.
TO THE RIVER ANKOR
Our floods’ queen, Thames,
for ships and swans is crowned,
And stately Severn for her shore is praised;
The crystal Trent for fords and fish renowned,
And Avon’s fame to Albion’s cliff is raised.
Carlegion Chester vaunts her holy Dee;
York many wonders of her Ouse can tell;
The Peak, her Dove, whose banks so fertile be;
And Kent will say her Medway doth excel.
Cotswold commends her Isis to the Thame;
Our northern borders boast of Tweed’s fair flood;
Our western parts extol their Wilis’ fame;
And the old Lea brags of the Danish blood.
Arden’s sweet Ankor, let thy glory be,
That fair Idea only lives by thee!
Whilst yet mine eyes do surfeit
My woful heart imprisoned in my breast,
Wisheth to be transformed to my sight,
That it like those by looking might be blest.
But whilst mine eyes thus greedily do gaze,
Finding their objects over-soon depart,
These now the other’s happiness do praise,
Wishing themselves that they had been my heart,
That eyes were heart, or that the heart were eyes,
As covetous the other’s