Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live register’d upon our brazen tombs,
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring time,
The endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe’s keen edge,
And make us heirs of all eternity.
Therefore, brave conquerors, —for so you are,
That war against your own affections,
And the huge army of the world’s desires, —
Our late edict shal strongly stand in force:
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world.
Our court shall be a little Academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
The mind shall banquet though the body pine
Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain
Which, with pain purchas’d, doth inherit pain:
As painfully to pore upon a book
To seek the light of truth; while truth the while
Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look:
Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile.
These earthly godfathers of heaven’s lights,
That give a name to every fixed star.
‘Tis won as towns with fire, — so won, so lost.
A man of fire-new words, fashion’s own knight.
For he had wit to make an ill shape good,
And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
The civil war of wits
And, out of question, so it is sometimes —
Glory grows guilty of detested crimes;
When, for fame’s sake, for praise, an outward part
We bend to that the working of the heart
Those thoughts to me were oaks.
Thy eye Jove’s lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful thunder,
Which, not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire.
Celestial as thou art, O pardon, love, this wrong.
That sings heaven’s praise with such an earthly tongue.
Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright
Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light:
Though shin’st in every tear that I do weep;
No drop but as a coach doth carry thee
Through the velvet leaves the wind
All unseen, can passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish’d himself were heaven’s breath.
I am betray’d by keeping company
With moon-like men of strange inconstancy.
As true we are as flesh and blood can be;
The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;
Young blood will not obey an old decree.
Her favour turns the fashion of the days;
For native blood is counted painting now;
And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
Paints itself black, to imitate her brow.
Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths
A time, methinks, too short
To make a world-without-end bargain in.