Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Sonnets after Astrophel, etc.
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Sonnets after Astrophel, etc.
Megliora spero: Faction that ever dwells in Court where wit excels
Edward Vere, Earl of Oxford (1550–1604)
 
FACTION that ever dwells in Court where wit excels,
          Hath set defiance.
FORTUNE and LOVE have sworn that they were never born
          Of one alliance.
 
CUPID which doth aspire to be god of Desire,        5
          Swears he “gives laws;
That where his arrows hit, some joy, some sorrow it:
          FORTUNE no cause.”
 
FORTUNE swears “weakest hearts,” the books of CUPID’s arts,
          “turned with her wheel,        10
Senseless themselves shall prove. Venture hath place in love.
          Ask them that feel!”
 
This discord it begot atheists, that honour not.
          NATURE thought good
FORTUNE should ever dwell in Court where wits excel;        15
          LOVE keep the wood.
 
So to the wood went I, with LOVE to live and die.
          FORTUNE’s forlorn.
Experience of my youth made me think humble TRUTH
          In deserts born.        20
 
My saint I keep to me, and JOAN herself is free,
          JOAN fair and true!
She that doth only move passions of love with LOVE.
          FORTUNE! adieu!

F I N I S.
E. O. [i.e., EDWARD DE VERE, Earl of OXFORD.]    
 
 
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