Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke (1554-1628)



More than most fair, full of that heavenly fire,
Kindled above to show the Maker's glory;
Beauty's first-born, in whom all powers conspire
To write the Graces' life, and Muses' story:
	If in my heart all saints else be defaced,
	Honour the shrine, where you alone are placed.

Thou window of the sky, and pride of spirits,
True character of Honour in perfection;
Thou heavenly creature, judge of earthly merits,
And glorious prison of man's pure affection;
	If in my heart all nymphs else be defaced,
	Honour the shrine, where you alone are placed.


You little stars that live in skies,
And glory in Apollo's glory;
In whose aspects conjoinèd lies,
The heaven's will and Nature's story,
Joy to be likened to those eyes:
Which eyes make all eyes glad or sorry;
	For when you force thoughts from above,
	These over-rule your force by love.

And thou, O Love, which in these eyes
Hast married Reason with Affection,
And made them saints of Beauty's skies,
Where joys are shadows of perfection;
Lend me thy wings that I may rise
Up not by worth but thy election ;
	For I have vowed in strangest fashion,
	To love, and never seek compassion.


The world, that all contains, is ever moving;
The stars within their spheres for ever turned;
Nature, the queen of change, to change is loving,
And form to matter new is still adjourned.

Fortune, our fancy-god, to vary liketh;
Place is not bound to things within it placed;
The present time upon time passëd striketh;
With Phoebus' wand'ring course the earth is graced.

The air still moves, and by its moving cleareth;
The fire up ascends and planets feedeth;
The water passeth on and all lets weareth;
The earth stands still, yet change of changes breedeth.

Her plants, which summer ripes, in winter fade;
Each creature in unconstant mother lieth;
Man made of earth, and for whom earth is made,
Still dying lives and living ever dieth;
	Only, like fate, sweet Myra never varies,
	Yet in her eyes the doom of all change carries.


Cupid, thou naughty boy, when thou wert loathed,
Naked and blind, for vagabonding noted,
Thy nakedness I in my reason clothed,
Mine eyes I gave thee, so was I devoted.

Fie, wanton, fie! who would show children kindness?
No sooner he into mine eyes was gotten
But straight he clouds them with a seeing blindness,
Makes reason wish that reason were forgotten.

From thence to Myra's eyes the wanton strayeth,
Where while I charge him with ungrateful measure,
So with fair wonders he mine eyes betrayeth,
That my wounds and his wrongs become my pleasure;
Till for more spite to Myra's heart he flyeth,
Where living to the world, to me he dieth.


Fie, foolish earth, think you the heaven wants glory
Because your shadows do yourself benight?
All's dark unto the blind, let them be sorry;
But love still in herself finds her delight.

Fie, fond desire, think you that love wants glory
Because your shadows do yourself benight?
The hopes and fears of lust may make men sorry,
The heavens in themselves are ever bright.

Then earth, stand fast, the sky that you benight
Will turn again and so restore your glory;
Desire, be steady, hope is your delight,
An orb wherein no creature can be sorry,
Love being placed above these middle regions
Where every passion wars itself with legions.


Cynthia, whose glories are at full forever,
Whose beauties draw forth tears, and kindle fires,
Fires, which kindled once are quenchèd never:
So beyond hope your worth bears up desires.
Why cast you clouds on your sweet-looking eyes?
Are you afraid, they show me too much pleasure?
Strong Nature decks the grave wherein it lies,
Excellence can never be expressed in measure.
Are you afraid because my heart adores you,
The world will think I hold Endymion's place?
Hippolytus, sweet Cynthia, kneeled before you;
Yet did you not come down to kiss his face.
Angels enjoy the Heaven's inward choirs:
Star-gazers only multiply desires.


I, with whose colours Myra dressed her head,
I, that ware posies of her own hand-making,
I, that mine own name in the chimneys read
By Myra finely wrought ere I was waking :
Must I look on, in hope time coming may
With change bring back my turn again to play?

I, that on Sunday at the church-stile found
A garland sweet with true-love knots in flowers,
Which I to wear about mine arms was bound,
That each of us might know that all was ours :
Must I lead now an idle life in wishes,
And follow Cupid for his loaves and fishes?

I, that did wear the ring her mother left,
I, for whose love she gloried to be blamed,
I, with whose eyes her eyes committed theft,
I, who did make her blush when I was named:
Must I lose ring, flowers, blush, theft, and go naked,
Watching with sighs till dead love be awakèd?

I, that when drowsy Argus fell asleep,
Like Jealousy o'erwatchèd with Desire,
Was ever warnèd modesty to keep
While her breath speaking kindled Nature's fire:
Must I look on a-cold while others warm them?
Do Vulcan's brothers in such fine nets arm them?

Was it for this that I might Myra see
Washing the water with her beauties white?
Yet would she never write her love to me:
Thinks wit of change when thoughts are in delight?
Mad girls may safely love as they may leave:
No man can print a kiss; lines may deceive.


Merlin, they say, an English Prophet borne,
When he was yong and govern'd by his Mother,
Took great delight to laugh such fooles to scorne,
As thought, by Nature we might know a Brother.

His Mother chid him oft, till on a day,
They stood, and saw a Coarse to buriall carried,
The Father teares his beard, doth weepe and pray;
The Mother was the woman he had married.

Merlin laughs out aloud in stead of crying;
His Mother chides him for that childish fashion;
Sayes, Men must mourne the dead, themselues are dying,
Good manners doth make answer unto passion.

The Child (for children see what should be hidden)
Replies unto his Mother by and by,
"Mother, if you did know, and were forbidden,
Yet you would laugh as heartily, as I.

This Man no part hath in the child he sorrowes,
His Father was the Monke that sings before him:
See then how Nature of Adoption borrowes,
Truth covets in me, that I should restore him.
	 True fathers singing, supposed fathers crying,
	 I thinke make women laugh, that lye a-dying."


Cupid, my pretty boy, leave off thy crying,
Thou shalt have bells or apples, be not peevish;
Kiss me, sweet lad ; beshrew her for denying;
Such rude denials do make children thievish.

Did Reason say that boys must be restrain'd?
What was it, tell ; hath cruel Honour chidden?
Or would they have thee from sweet Myra wean'd?
Are her fair breasts made dainty to be hidden?

Tell me–sweet boy–doth Myra's beauty threaten?
Must you say grace when you would be a-playing?
Doth she cause thee make faults, to make thee beaten?

Is Beauty's pride in innocent's betraying?
	Give me a bow, let me thy quiver borrow,
	And she shall play the child with Love or Sorrow.


Cælica, I overnight was finely used,
Lodged in the midst of paradise, your heart;
Kind thoughts had charge I might not be refused,
Of every fruit and flower I had part.

But curious knowledge, blown with busy flame,
The sweetest fruits had in down shadows hidden,
And for it found mine eyes had seen the same,
I from my paradise was straight forbidden.

Where that cur, rumor, runs in every place,
Barking with care, begotten out of fear;
And glassy honor, tender of disgrace,
Stand seraphim to see I come not there;
While that fine soil which all these joys did yield,
By broken fence is proved a common field.


The nurse-life Wheat within his greene huske growing,
Flatters our hope and tickles our desire,
Natures true riches in sweet beauties shewing,
Which set all hearts, with labours love, on fire.
No lesse faire is the Wheat when golden eare
Showes unto hope the joyes of neare enjoying:
Faire and sweet is the bud, more sweet and faire
The Rose, which proves that time is not destroying.
Caelica, your youth, the morning of delight,
Enamel'd o're with beauties white and red,
All sense and thoughts did to beleefe invite,
That Love and Glorie there are brought to bed;
And your ripe yeeres love-noone (he goes no higher)
Turnes all the spirits of Man into desire. 


Cælica, when you look down into your heart,
And see what wrongs my faith endureth there,
Hearing the groans of true love, loath to part,
You think they witness of your changes bear.

And as the man that by ill neighbors dwells,
Whose curious eyes discern those works of shame,
Which busy rumor to these people tells,
Suffers for seeing those dark springs of fame.

So I, because I cannot choose but know
How constantly you have forgotten me,
Because my faith doth like the sea-marks show,
And tell the strangers where the dangers be,
	I, like the child, whom nurse hath overthrown,
	Not crying, yet am whipped, if you be known.


Absence, the noble truce
Of Cupid's war,
Where though desires want use,
They honor'd are,
Thou art the just protection
Of prodigal affection;
Have thou the praise.
When bankrupt Cupid braveth
Thy mines, his credit saveth
With sweet delays.

Of wounds which presence makes
With beauty's shot,
Absence the anguish slakes,
But healeth not;
Absence records the stories
Wherein desire glories;
Although she burn,
She cherisheth the spirits
Where constancy inherits
And passions mourn.

Absence, like dainty clouds
On glorious-bright,]
Nature's weak senses shrouds
From harming light.
Absence maintains the treasure
Of pleasure unto pleasure,
Sparing with praise;
Absence doth nurse the fir
Which starves and feeds desire
With sweet delays.

Presence to every part
Of beauty ties;
Where wonder rules the heart
There pleasure dies.
Presence plagues the mind and senses
With modesty's defenses;
Absence is free.
Thoughts do in absence venter
On Cupid's shadow'd center;
They wink and see.

But thoughts be not so brave
With absent joy;
For you, with that you have,
Your self destroy.
The absence which you glory
Is that which makes you sorry
And burn in vain,
For thought is not the weapon,
Wherewith thoughts'-ease men cheapen;
Absence is pain.


Away with these self-loving lads,
Whom Cupid's arrow never glads.
Away, poor souls that sigh and weep,
In love of them that lie and sleep;
	For Cupid is a meadow god,
	And forceth none to kiss the rod.

God Cupid's shaft, like destiny,
Doth either good or ill decree.
Desert is born out of his bow,
Reward upon his feet doth go.
	What fools are they that have not known
	That Love likes no laws but his own?

My songs they be of Cynthia's praise,
I wear her rings on holy-days,
On every tree I write her name,
And every day I read the same.
	Where Honor, Cupid's rival, is,
	There miracles are seen of his.

If Cynthia crave her ring of me,
I blot her name out of the tree.
If doubt do darken things held dear,
Then welfare nothing once a year.
	For many run, but one must win;
	Fools only hedge the cuckoo in.

The worth that worthiness should move
Is love, which is the due of love,
And love as well the shepherd can,
As can the mighty nobleman.
	Sweet nymph, 'tis true you worthy be,
	Yet without love, nought worth to me.


To Cynthia

Cynthia, because your horns look diverse ways,
Now darkened to the east, now to the west,
Then at full glory once in thirty days,
Sense doth believe that change is nature's rest.
Poor earth, that dare presume to judge the sky :
Cynthia is ever round, and never varies ;
Shadows and distance do abuse the eye,
And in abusèd sense truth oft miscarries :
Yet who this language to the people speaks,
Opinion's empire sense's idol breaks.


Farewell, sweet boy, complain not of my truth;
Thy mother loved thee not with more devotion;
For to thy boy's play I gave all my youth:
Young Master, I did hope for your promotion.

While some sought honours, princes' thoughts observing;
Many woo'd Fame, the child of pain and anguish,
Others judged inward good a chief deserving;
I in thy wanton visions joyed to languish.

I bowed not to the image for succession,
Nor bound thy bow to shoot reformèd kindness;
Thy plays of hope and fear were my confession,
The spectacles to my life was thy blindness:
But Cupid now farewell, I will go play me,
With thoughts that please me less, and less betray me.


Love is the Peace, whereto all thoughts doe strive,
Done and begun with all our powers in one:
The first and last in us that is alive,
End of the good, and therewith pleas'd alone.
Perfections spirit, Goddesse of the Minde,
Passed through hope, desire, griefe and feare,
A simple Goodnesse in the flesh refin'd,
Which of the joyes to come doth witnesse beare.
Constant, because it sees no cause to varie,
A Quintessence of Passions overthrowne,
Rais'd above all that change of objects carry,
A Nature by no other nature knowne:
For Glorie's of eternitie a frame,
That by all bodies else obscures her name.


Forsake Thyself, To Heaven Turn Thee

The earth, with thunder torn, with fire blasted,
With waters drowned, with windy palsy shaken,
Cannot for this with heaven be distasted,
Since thunder, rain, and winds from earth are taken.
Man, torn with love, with inward furies blasted,
Drowned with despair, with fleshly lustings shaken,
Cannot for this with heaven be distasted :
Love, fury, lustings out of man are taken.
Then man, endure thyself, those clouds will vanish.
Life is a top which whipping Sorrow driveth,
Wisdom must bear what our flesh cannot banish,
The humble lead, the stubborn bootless striveth :
Or, man, forsake thyself, to heaven turn thee,
Her flames enlighten nature, never burn thee.


A Contrast

Wheneas man's life, the light of human lust,
In socket of his earthly lanthorn burns,
That all his glory unto ashes must,
And generations to corruption turns,
Then fond desires that only fear their end,
Do vainly wish for life, but to amend.
But when this life is from the body fled,
To see itself in that eternal glass,
Where time doth end, and thoughts accuse the dead,
Where all to come is one with all that was ;
Then living men ask how he left his breath,
That while he livèd never thought of death.


The Manicheans did no idols make
Without themselves, nor worship gods of wood,
Yet idols did in their Ideas take,
And figured Christ as on the cross he stood.
Thus did they when they earnestly did pray,
Till clearer Faith this idol took away.

We seem more inwardly to know the Son,
And see our own salvation in his blood.
When this is said, we think the work is done,
And with the Father hold our portion good,
As if true life within these words were laid
For him that in life never words obeyed.

If this be safe, it is a pleasant way,
The Cross of Christ is very easily borne;
But six days' labour makes the sabbath day,
The flesh is dead before grace can be born.
The heart must first bear witness with the book,
The earth must burn, ere we for Christ can look.


Rewards of earth, Nobility and Fame,
To senses glory and to conscience woe,
How little be you for so great a name?
Yet less is he with men what thinks you so.
For earthly power, that stands by fleshly wit,
Hath banished that truth which should govern it.

Nobility, power's golden fetter is,
Wherewith wise kings subjection do adorn,
To make man think her heavy yoke a bliss
Because it makes him more than he was born.
Yet still a slave, dimm'd by mists of a crown,
Let he should see what riseth, what pulls down.

Fame, that is but good words of evil deeds,
Begotten by the harm we have, or do,
Greatest far off, least ever where it breeds,
We both with dangers and disquiet woo;
And in our flesh, the vanities' false glass,
We thus deceiv'd adore these calves of brass.


Eternal Truth, almighty, infinite,
Only exilèd from man's fleshly heart;
Where Ignorance and Disobedience fight,
In hell and sin, which shall have greatest part:
When Thy sweet mercy opens forth the light
Of grace, which giveth eyes unto the blind;
And with the Lord even plowest up our sprite,
To faith, wherein flesh may salvation find.
Thou bid'st us pray, and we do pray to Thee:
But as to power and God without us plac'd:
Thinking a wish may wear our vanity,
Or habits be by miracles defac'd;
One thought to God we give, the rest to sin;
Quickly unbent is all desire of good;
True words pass out, but have no being within;
We pray to Christ, yet help to shed His blood:
For while we say 'belive,' and feel it not,
Promise amends, and yet despair in it;
Hear Sodom judged, and go not out with Lot:
Make Law and Gospel riddles of the wit:
We with the Jews even Christ still crucify,
As not yet come to our impiety.


In night when colours all to black are cast,
Distinction lost, or gone down with the light;
The eye a watch to inward senses plac'd,
Not seeing, yet still having power of sight,
Gives vain alarums to the inward sense,
Where fear stirr'd up with witty tyranny,
Confounds all powers, and thorough self-offence
Doth forge and raise impossibility;
Such as in thick-depriving darkness
Proper reflections of the error be;
And images of self-confusedness,
Which hurt imaginations only see,
And from this nothing seen, tells news of devils;
Which but expressions be of inward evils.


O false and treacherous Probability,
Enemy of truth, and friend to wickednesse;
With whose bleare eyes opinion learnes to see
Truths feeble party here, and barrennesse.
When thou hast thus misled Humanity,
And lost obedience in the pride of wit,
With reason dar'st thou judge the Deity,
And in thy flesh make bold to fashion it.
Vaine thoght, the word of Power a riddle is,
And till the vayles be rent, the flesh newborne,
Reveales no wonders of that inward blisse,
Which but where faith is, every where findes scorne;
Who therfore censures God with fleshly sp'rit,
As well in time may wrap up infinite.

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