And each returns unto his love at night!
O thou that art so courteous else to all,
Why shouldst thou, Night, abuse me only thus,
That every creature to his kind dost call,
And yet ’tis thou dost only sever us?
Well could I wish it would be ever day,
If when night comes, you bid me go away.
Sitting alone, love bids me
go and write;
Reason plucks back, commanding me to stay,
Boasting that she doth still direct the way,
Or else love were unable to indite.
Love growing angry, vexed at the spleen,
And scorning reason’s maimed argument,
Straight taxeth reason, wanting to invent
Where she with love conversing hath not been.
Reason reproached with this coy disdain,
Despiteth love, and laugheth at her folly;
And love contemning reason’s reason wholly,
Thought it in weight too light by many a grain.
Reason put back doth out of sight remove,
And love alone picks reason out of love.
Some, when in rhyme they of
their loves do tell,
With flames and lightnings their exordiums paint.
Some call on heaven, some invocate on hell,
And Fates and Furies, with their woes acquaint.
Elizium is too high a seat for me,
I will not come in Styx or Phlegethon,
The thrice-three Muses but too wanton be,
Like they that lust, I care not, I will none.
Spiteful Erinnys frights me with her looks,
My manhood dares not with foul Ate mell,
I quake to look on Hecate’s charming books,
I still fear bugbears in Apollo’s cell.
I pass not for Minerva, nor Astrea,
Only I call on my divine Idea!
My heart the anvil where my
thoughts do beat,
My words the hammers fashioning my desire,
My breast the forge including all the heat,
Love is the fuel which maintains the fire;
My sighs the bellows which the flame increaseth,
Filling mine ears with noise and nightly groaning;
Toiling with pain, my labour never ceaseth,
In grievous passions my woes still bemoaning;
My eyes with tears against the fire striving,
Whose scorching gleed my heart to cinders turneth;
But with those drops the flame again reviving,
Still more and more it to my torment burneth,
With Sisyphus thus do I roll the stone,
And turn the wheel with damned Ixion.