Verse > Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey > Poetical Works
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Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–47).  The Poetical Works.  1880.
 
Songs and Sonnets
Description of the fickle Affections, Pangs, and Slights of Love
 
SUCH wayward ways hath Love, that most part in discord
Our wills do stand, whereby our hearts but seldom do accord.
Deceit is his delight, and to beguile and mock
The simple hearts, which he doth strike with froward, diverse stroke.
He causeth the one to rage with golden burning dart;        5
And doth allay with leaden cold again the other’s heart.
Hot gleams of burning fire, and easy sparks of flame,
In balance of unequal weight he pondereth by aim.
From easy ford, where I might wade and pass full well,
He me withdraws, and doth me drive into a deep dark hell;        10
And me withholds where I am call’d and offer’d place,
And wills me that my mortal foe I do beseech of grace;
He lets me to pursue a conquest well near won,
To follow where my pains were lost, ere that my suit begun.
So by these means I know how soon a heart may turn        15
From war to peace, from truce to strife, and so again return.
I know how to content myself in others lust;
Of little stuff unto myself to weave a web of trust;
And how to hide my harms with soft dissembling chere,
When in my face the painted thoughts would outwardly appear.        20
I know how that the blood forsakes the face for dread;
And how by shame it stains again the cheeks with flaming red.
I know under the green, the serpent how he lurks;
The hammer of the restless forge I wot eke how it works.
I know, and can by rote the tale that I would tell;        25
But oft the words come forth awry of him that loveth well.
I know in heat and cold the lover how he shakes;
In singing how he doth complain; in sleeping how he wakes.
To languish without ach, sickless for to consume,
A thousand things for to devise, resolving all in fume.        30
And though he list to see his lady’s grace full sore;
Such pleasures as delights his eye, do not his health restore.
I know to seek the track of my desired foe,
And fear to find that I do seek. But chiefly this I know,
That lovers must transform into the thing beloved,        35
And live, (alas! who could believe?) with sprite from life removed.
I know in hearty sighs, and laughters of the spleen,
At once to change my state, my will, and eke my colour clean.
I know how to deceive myself with others help;
And how the lion chastised is, by beating of the whelp.        40
In standing near the fire, I know how that I freeze;
Far off I burn; in both I waste, and so my life I lese.
I know how love doth rage upon a yielding mind;
How small a net may take, and meash a heart of gentle kind:
Or else with seldom sweet to season heaps of gall;        45
Revived with a glimpse of grace, old sorrows to let fall.
The hidden trains I know, and secret snare of love;
How soon a look will print a thought, that never may remove.
The slipper state I know, the sudden turns from wealth;
The doubtful hope, the certain woe, and sure despair of health.        50
 
 
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