by Thomas Watson
Sonnets 61- 80
T H E
P A S S I O N A T E
Transcribed by Barboura Flues. Web version created by Robert Brazil.
copyright © 2002
Some, but not all, footnotes are derived from the original publication.
Notes that derive from Graves' The Greek Myths are marked (Graves).
Notes from the transcriber are marked (BF).
Words/phrases described in the glossary are underlined.
H e k a t o m p a t h i a
Sonnets 61- 80
The invention of this Passion is borrowed, for the most part from Seraphine Son. 125. Which beginneth,
S'el gran tormento i fier fulmini accesi
Perduti havessi, e li fuoi strali Amore,
In'ho tanti trassitti in meggio el core,
Che fel da me li potriano esser resi;
E se de gli ampli mari in terra stefi
Fusse privo Neptuno, io spando fore
Lagryme tante, che con piu liquore
Potrebbe nuoui mari haver ripresi; etc.If Love had lost his shafts, and Jove down threw
His thund'ring bolts and spent his forked fire,
They only might recov'red be anew
From out my Heart cross-wounded with desire;
Or if Debate by Mars were lost a space,
It might be found within the self-same place;
If Neptune's waves were all dried up and gone,
My weeping eyes so many tears distill,
That greater Seas might grow by them alone;
Or if no flame were yet remaining still
In Vulcan's forge, he might from out my breast
Make choice of such as should befit him best.
If Aeole were depriv'd of all his charge, 
Yet soon could I restore his winds again,
By sobbing sighs, which forth I blow at large,
To move her mind that pleasures in my pain;
What man but I could thus incline his will
To live in Love, which hath no end of ill?1. (Graves) Eldest son of Hellen (ancestor of the Greeks), who became guardian of the winds.
That the vulgar sort may the better understand this Passion, I will briefly touch those whom the Author nameth herein, being all damned souls (as the Poets feign) and destinate unto sundry punishments. Tantalus having his lips still at the brink of the river Eridanus, yet dieth for thirst. Ixion is tied unto a wheel; which turneth incessantly. A vulture feedeth upon the bowels of Tityus, which grow up again ever as they are devoured. Sisyphus rolleth a great round stone up a steep hill, which being once at the top presently falleth down amain. Belides are fifty sisters whose continual task is to fill a bottomless tub full of water, by lading in their pitchers full at once.(1)In that I thirst for such a Goddess' grace
As wants remorse, like Tantalus I die;
My state is equal to Ixion's case,
Whose rented limbs are turn'd eternally,
In that my tossing toils can have no end,
Nor time, nor place, nor chance will stand my friend.
In that my heart consuming never dies,
I feel with Tityus an equal pain,
On whom an ever-feeding Vulture lies;
In that I rise through hope, and fall again 
By fear, like Sisyphus I labor still
To turle a rolling stone against the hill,
In that I make my vows to her alone,
Whose ears are deaf and will retain no sound,
With Belides my state is all but one,
Which fill a tub whose bottom is not sound.
A wondrous thing, that Love should make the wound,
Wherein a second Hell may thus be found.1. (Graves) The 50 daughters of Danaus were forced to marry the sons of their father's Danaus' enemy, his twin brother Agenor. 49 of the Danaids murdered their new husbands and were condemned to the endless task of carrying water in jars perforated like sieves.
2. (BF) These lines may have inspired those of Sonnet 151: No want of conscience hold it that I call / Her 'love' for whose dear love I rise and fall.
LXIII.Love hath two arrows, as Conradus Celtis witnesseth in these two verses:
Per matris aftrum, et per fera specula, Odarum. lib. I
Quae bina sert saeuus Cupido, etc.
The one is made of lead, the other of gold, and either of them different in quality from the other. The Author therefore feigneth in this Passion, that when Cupid had stroken him with that of lead, soon after pitying his painful estate, he thought good to strike his beloved with the other. But her breast was so hard that the shaft rebounding back again, wounded Love himself at unawares. Wherehence fell out these three inconveniences; first, that Love himself became her thrall, whom he should have conquered; then, that she became proud, where she should have been friendly; and lastly, that the Author by this means despaireth to have any recure of his unquiet life, and therefore desireth a speedy death, as alluding to those sententious verses of Sophocles' Electra (verse in Greek) which may be thus Englished paraphrastically,
What can it him avail to live a while,
Whom, of all others, evils are betide?
Love hath two shafts, the one of beaten gold,
By stroke whereof a sweet effect is wrought:
The other is of lumpish leaden mold,
And worketh none effect, but what is nought:
Within my breast the latter of the twain
Breeds fear, fear thought, and thought a lasting pain.
One day amongst the rest sweet Love began
To pity mine estate, and thought it best
To pierce my Dear with gold, that she might scan
My case aright, and turn my toils to rest:
But from her breast more hard than hardest flint
His shaft flew back, and in himself made print.
And this is cause that Love doth stoop her lure,
Whose heart he thought to conquer for my sake;
That she is proud; and I without recure:
Which triple hurt doth cause my hope to quake:
Hope lost breeds grief, grief pain, and pain disease,
Disease brings death, which death will only please.
This Passion is of like frame and fashion with that which was before under the number of XLI, whetherto I refer the Reader. But touching the sense or substance of this Passion, it is evident that herein the Author, by laying open the long continued grievesomness of his misery in Love, seeketh to move his Mistress to some compassion.
My humble suit hath set my mind on pride,
Which pride is cause thou hast me in disdain.
By which disdain my wounds are made so wide,
That wideness of my wounds augments my pain,
Which Pain is cause, by force of secret jars,
That I sustain a brunt of private Wars.
But cease, dear Dame, to kindle further strife,
Let Strifes have end, and Peace enjoy their place;
If Peace take place, Pity may save my life,
For Pity should be shown to such as trace
Most dang'rous ways, and tread their steps awry,
Or live my woes: and such a one am I.
Therefore, My Dear Delight, regard my Love,
Whom Love doth force to follow Fond Desire,
Which Fond Desire no counsel can remove;
For what can counsel do to quench the fire
That fires my heart through fancy's wanton will?
Fancy by kind with Reason striveth still.
In the first and second part of this passion, the Author proveth by examples, or rather by manner of argument, A maiori ad minus, that he may with good reason yield himself to the empire of Love, whom the gods themselves obey; as Jupiter in heaven, Neptune in the seas, and Pluto in hell. In the last staff he imitateth certain Italian verses of M. Girolamo Parabosco; which are as followeth.
Occhi tuoi, anzi stelle alme, et fatali, Selva Seconda.
Oue ha prescritto il ciel mio mal, mio been:
Mie lagrime, e sospir, mio riso. e canto;
Mia spene, mio timor; mio feco e giaccio;
Mia noia, mio piacer; mia vito e morte.
Who knoweth not how often Venus' son
Hath forced Jupiter to leave his seat?
Or else, how often Neptune he hath won
From seas to sands, to play some wanton feat?
Or how he hath constrain'd the Lord of Styx
To come on earth, to practice loving tricks?
If heav'n, if seas, if hell must needs obey,
And all therein be subject unto Love,
What shall it then avail if I gainsay
And to my double hurt his pow'r do prove?
No, no, I yield myself, as is but meet:
For hitherto with sour he yields me sweet.
From out my Mistress eyes, two lightsome stars,
He destinates estate of double kind,
My tears, my smiling cheer, my peace, my wars;
My sighs, my songs; my fear, my hoping mind;
My fire, my frost; my joy, my sorrow's gall;
My curse, my praise; my death, but life with all.
LXVI.This Latin passion is borrowed from Petrarch Sonetto 133. which beginneth.
Hor, ch'l ciel, e la terra e'l vento tace,
E le fere, e gli angelli il fonno affrena,
Notte 'l carro stellato in giro mena,
E nel suo letto il mar fenz'onda giace; etc.
Wherein he imitated Virgil, speaking of Dido, thus.
Nox erat, et tacitum carpebant fesa soporem Corpora etc.
And this Author presumeth, upon the pains he hath taken, in faithfully translating it, to place it amongst these his own passions, for a sign of his great sufferance in love.
(Latin Poem # 5)
A man singular for his learning, and magistrate of no small accompt, upon slight survey of this book of passions, either for the liking he had to the Author, or for his own private pleasure, or for some good he conceived of the work, vouchsafed with his own hand to set down certain poesies concerning the same: amongst which this was one, Love hath no leaden heels. Whereat the Author glanceth throughout all this Sonnet; which he purposely compiled at the press, in remembrance of his worshipful friend, and in honor of his golden poesy.When Cupid is content to keep the skies,
He never takes delight in standing still,
But to and fro, and ev'rywhere he flies,
And ev'ry God subdueth at his will.
As if his bow were like to Fortune's wheel,
Himself like her, having no leaden heel.
When other whiles he passeth Lemnos Ile,
Unhappy boy he gibes the Clubfoot Smith, 
Who threatens him, and bids him stay a while,
But laughing out he leaves him he forthwith,
And makes himself companion with the Wind
To show his heels are of no leaden kind.
But in myself I have too true a proof:
For when he first espied my ranging Heart,
He Falcon-like came sousing from aloof
His swiftly falling stroke encreas'd my smart:
As yet my Heart the violence it feels,
Which makes me say, Love hath no leaden heels.1. Vulcan.
The Author hath wrought this passion out of certain verses of Stephanus Forcatulus, which are these.
Cor mihi punxit amor, sed punxit praepete telo;
figitur hoc tum plus, cum magis excutio, etc.
Carpere dictamum Cretaea nil iuvet Ida;
quo vellunt cerui spicula fixa leves.
Telephus haec eadem fatalia vulnera sensit,
fanare ut tantum, qui facit illa, queat.
And thereas the Author in the end of this passion, alludeth to the wounds of Telephus, he is to be understood of that Telephus, the Son of Hercules, of whose wound, being made and healed by Achilles only, Ovid writeth thus.
Vulnus Achillaeo quod quondam fecerat hosti, De remed.
Vulneris auxilium Pelias hasta tulit lib. 1.
And Propertius in like manner lib. 2.
Mysus et Haemonia iuuenis qui cuspide vulnus
Senserat, hac ipsa cuspide sensit opem.
Suidas mentioneth another Telephus, an excellent Grammarian of Pergamus.In secret seat and center of my heart,
Unwares to me, not once suspecting ill,
Blind Cupid's hand hath fix'd a deadly dart,
Whereat how ere I pluck, it sticketh still,
And works effect like those of Arab soil,
Whose heads are dipp'd in poison stead of oil.
If't were like those, wherewith in Ida plain
The Cretan hunter wounds the chased deer,
I could with Dictame draw it out again,
And cure me so, that scar should scarce appear.
Or if Aldices shaft did make me bleed, 
Machaon's art would stand me in some stead.
But being as it is, I must compare
With fatal wounds of Telephus alone,
And say that he, whose hand hath wrought my care,
Must either cure my fatal wound, or none:
Help therefore, gentle Love, to ease my heart,
Whose pains increase, till thou withdraw thy dart.
1. He alludeth to the wound of Philoctetes. (Graves) Machaon, a son of Asclepius, tended the wounded during the siege of Troy Philoctetus had been bitten by a poisonous snake during the gathering of the Greeks, or hit by one of Hercules poisoned arrows. His painful and noxious wound was long-lasting but not fatal.
In the first staff of this Passion, The Author, as one more than half drooping with despair, sorrowfully recounteth some particular causes of his unhappiness in Love. In the residue he entreateth a better aspect of the Planets, to the end that either his life may be inclined to a more happy course, or his death be hastened, to end all his misery at once.
My joys are done, my comfort quite dismay'd,
My weary wits bewitch'd with wanton will,
My will by Fancy's heedless fault betray'd,
Whose eyes on Beauty's face are fixed still,
And whose conceit Folly hath clouded so,
That Love concludes, my heart must live in woe.
But change aspect, ye angry stars above,
And pow'rs divine restore my liberty,
Or grant that soon I may enjoy my Love,
Before my life incur more misery:
For now so hot is each assault I feel
As would dissolve a heart more hard than steel.
Or if you needs must work my deadly smart,
Perform your charge by hasting on my death
In sight of her, whose eyes enthrall my heart:
Both life and death to her I do bequeath,
In hope at last, she will vouchsafe to say,
I rue his death, whose life I made away.
In this passion the Author somewhat afar off imitateth an Ode in Gervasius Sepinus written to Cupid, where he beginneth thus:
Quid tenelle puer, Pharetra ubinam est? Erotopaegnicon.
Ubi arcus referens acuta Lunoe lib. I.
Bina cornua? vbi flagrans Ameris
fax? ubi igneus ille arcus, in quo
De ipsis Caelicolis, virisque victis
Vinctisque ante ingum aurcus triumphas?
Haud posent tua summa numina unam,
Vnam vincere Virginem tenellam?
Qui fortes animos pudica Elisoe
Fortioribus irrigans venenis
Vicisti: etc.Cupid, where is thy golden quiver now?
Where is thy sturdy Bow? And where the fire
Which made ere this the Gods themselves to bow?
Shall she alone, which forceth my Desire,
Report or think thy Godhead is so small,
That she through pride can scape from being thrall?
Whilom thou overcam'st the stately mind
Of chaste Eusa queen of Carthage land, 
And did'st constrain Pasiphae gainst her kind,
And broughtest Europa fair to Creta sand,
Quite through the swelling Seas, to pleasure Jove,
Whose heav'nly heart was touch'd with mortal love.
Thus wert thou wont to show thy force and flight,
By conq'ring those that were of highest race,
Where now it seems thou changest thy delight.
Permitting still, to thy no small disgrace,
A virgin to despise thyself, and me,
Whose heart is hers, wheree'er my body be.
1. Possibly the Queen of Elphame, whose rites were related to those of the lotus-eaters (see Graves).
The Author writeth this Sonnet unto his very friend, in excuse of his late change of study, manners, and delights, all happening through the default of Love. And here by examples he proveth unto him (calling him by the name of Titus, as if himself were Gusippus) (1) that Love not only worketh alteration in the minds of men, but also in the very Gods themselves; and that so far forth, as first to draw from their Celestial seats and functions, and then to ensnare them with the unseemly desire of mortal creatures, a Passion ill-befitting the majesty of their Godheads.Alas, dear Titus mine, my ancient friend,
What makes thee muse at this my present plight,
To see my wonted joys enjoy their end
And how my Muse hath lost her old delight?
This is the least effect of Cupid's dart,
To change the mind by wounding of the heart.
Alcides fell in love as I have done,
And laid aside both club and Lion's skin;
Achilles too when he fair Brises won,
To fall from wars to wooing did begin.
Nay, if thou list, survey the heav'ns above,
And see how Gods themselves are chang'd by Love.
Jove steals from skies to lie by Leda's side;
Arcas descends for fair Aglaurus' sake,
And Sol, so soon as Daphne is espied,
To follow her his Chariot doth forsake:
No marvel then, although I change my mind,
Which am in love with one of heav'nly kind.
1. (per BF) Eva Turner Clarke noted a Feuillerat Document establishing that the play, The historye of Titus and Gisippus, was shown at Whitehall on February 19, 1576-77, by the Children of Pauls. Ms. Clarke believed this play title to be a corruption of Titus Andronicus, but it has been established that Titus and Gisippus was a "friendship" story originally found in Boccaccio's Decameron, and an early prototype of Two Gentlemen of Verona.
In this Sonnet The Author seemeth to specify that his Beloved maketh her abode in this our beautiful and fair City of London; situate upon the side of the Thames, called in Latin Thamesis. And therefore, whil'st he feigneth that Thamesis is honorably to be conveyed hence by all the Gods towards the Palace of old Nereus, he seemeth to grow into some jealousy of his mistress, whose beauty if it were as well known to them as it is to him, it would (as he sayeth) both deserve more to be honored by them, and please Triton much better, than Thamesis, although she be the fairest daughter of old Oceanus.
Oceanus not long ago decreed
To wed his dearest daughter Thamesis
To Triton, Neptune's son, and that with speed:
When Neptune saw the match was not amiss,
He prayed the Gods from highest to the least,
With him to celebrate the Nuptial feast.
Love did descend with all his heav'nly train,
And came for Thamesis to London side,
In whose conduct each one employ'd his pain
To reverence the state of such a Bride:
But whil'st I saw her led to Nereus' Hall,
My jealous heart began to throb withal.
I doubted aye, lest any of that crew,
In fetching Thamesis, should see my Love,
Whose ticing face is of more lively hue,
Than any Saint's in earth or heav'n above:
Besides, I fear'd that Triton would desire
My Love, and let his Thamesis retire.
Here the Author, by feigning a quarrel betwixt Love and his Heart, under a shadow expresseth the tyranny of the one and the misery of the other: to stir up a just hatred of the one's injustice, and cause the due compassion of the other's unhappiness. But as he accuseth Love for his readiness to hurt where he may; so he not excuseth his Heart for desiring a fair imprisonment when he needed not: thereby specifying in Love a willful malice, in his Heart a heedless folly.
I Rue to think upon the dismal day
When Cupid first proclaimed open war
Against my Heart; which fled without delay,
But when he thought from Love to be most far,
The winged boy prevented him by flight,
And led him captive-like from all delight.
The time of triumph being overpast,
He scarcely knew where to bestow the spoil,
Till through my heedless Heart's desire, at last,
He lock'd him up in Tower of endless toil.
Within her breast, whose hardened will doth vex
Her silly guest softer than liquid wax.
This prison at the first did please him well,
And seem'd to be some earthly Paradise,
Where now (alas) Experience doth tell,
That Beauty's bates can make the simple wise,
And bids him blame the bird, that willingly
Chooseth a golden cage for liberty.
The Author in this passion, upon a reason secret unto himself, extolleth his Mistress under the name of a Spring. First he preferreth the same before the sacred fount of Diana, which (as Ovid witnesseth 3. Metam) was in the valley Gargaphy adjoining to Thebes: then, before Tagus the famous river in Spain, whose sands are intermixed with store of gold, as may be gathered by those two verses in Martial lib. 8.
Non illi fatis est turbato fordidus auro
Hermus, et Hesperio qui fonat orbe Tagus.
And lastly, before Hippocrene, a fountain of Boetia, now called the well of the Muses, and feigned by the Poets to have had his source or beginning from the heel of Pegasus the winged horse.
Although the drops which chang'd Acteon's shape,
Were half divine, and from a sacred fount;
Though after Tagus' sands the world do gape;
And Hippocrene stand in high account:
Yet there's a Spring whose virtue doth excel
Diana's fount, Tagus, and Pegas' well.
That happy hour wherein I found it first,
And sat me down adjoining to the brink,
My foe itself, surpris'd with unknow'n thirst,
Did wish it lawful were thereof to drink;
But all in vain: for Love did will me stay
And wait a while in hope of such a prey.
This is that Spring quoth he, where Nectar flows,
Whose liquor is of price in heav'ns above;
This is the Spring wherein sweet Venus shows,
By secret bait how Beauty forceth Love.
Why then, quoth I, dear Love how shall I mend,
Or quench my thirst unless thou stand my friend?
In this passion the Author borroweth from certain Latin verses of his own, made long ago upon the love abuses of Jupiter in a certain piece of work written in the commendation of womenkind; which he hath not yet wholly perfected to the print. Some of the verses may be thus cited to the explaining of this passion, although but lamely.
Accipe ut ignaram candentis imagine Tauri
Luserit Europam ficta etc.
Quam nimio Semelen fuerit complexus amore, etc.
Qualis et Asterien aquilinis pressrit alis:
Quoque dolo Laedam sicto sub olore fefellit.
Adde quod Antiopam Satyri sub imagine etc.
Et suit Amphytrio, cum te Tirynthia etc.
Parrhasiam fictae pharetra Vultuque Dianae,
Mnemosynen pastor; serpens Deoida lusit, etc.
Ovid writeth somewhat in like manner. Metam. lib. 6.
Not she, whom Jove transported into Crete;
Nor Semele, to whom he vow'd in haste;
Nor she whose flanks he fill'd with feigned heat;
Nor whom with Eagles' wings he oft embrac'd;
Nor Danae, beguil'd by golden rape;
Nor she for whom he took Diana's shape;
Nor fair Antiopa, whose fruitful love
He gained Satyr-like; nor she whose Son
To wanton Hebe was conjoin'd above;
Nor sweet Mnemosyne, whose love he won
In shepherd's weed; no such are like the Saint
Whose eyes enforce my feeble heart to faint.
And Jove himself may storm, if so he please,
To hear me thus compare my Love with his:
No forked fire, nor thunder can disease
This heart of mine, where stronger torment is:
But O how this surpasseth all the rest,
That she, which hurts me most, I love her best.
In this Sonnet the Author being, as it were, in half a madding mood, faileth at variance with Love himself, and blasphemeth his godhead, as one that can make a greater wound than afterwards he himself can recure. And the chief cause that he setteth down why he is no longer to hope for help at Loves hand, is this, because he himself could not remedy the hurt which he sustained by the love of fair Psyches. Thou foolish God the Author of my grief,
If Psyche's beams could set thy heart on fire,
How can I hope, of thee to have relief,
Whose mind with mine doth suffer like desire?
Henceforth my heart shall sacrifice elsewhere
To such a Saint as higher port doth bear.
And such a Saint is she whom I adore,
As foils thy force and makes thee stand aloof;
None else but she can salve my festered sore;
And she alone will serve in my behoof:
Then blinded boy, go pack thee hence away,
And thou Sweet Soul, give ear to what I say.
And yet what shall I say? Strange is my case,
In mid'st of frost to burn, and freeze in flame:
Would Gods I never had beheld thy face,
Or else, that once I might possess the same:
Or else that chance would make me free again,
Whose hand help'd Love to bring me to this pain.
1. Vide Apul.
The chief contents of the Passion are taken out of Seraphine Sonnet, 132.
Col tempo passa gli anni, i mefi, e l'hore,
Col tempo le richeze, imperio, e regno,
Col tempo fama, honor, fortezza, e ingegno,
Col tempo giouentu con belta more etc.
But this Author inverteth the order which Seraphine useth, sometimes for his rhyme's sake, but for the most part upon some other more allowable consideration.
TIme wasteth years, and month's, and hours:
Time doth consume fame, honor, wit and strength:
Time kills the greenest Herbs and sweetest flowers:
Time wears out youth and beauty's looks at length:
Time doth convey to ground both foe and friend,
And each thing else but Love, which hath no end.
Time maketh ev'ry tree to die and rot:
Time turneth oft our pleasures into pain:
Time causeth wars and wrongs to be forgot:
Time clears the sky, which first hung full of rain:
Time makes an end of all human desire,
But only this, which sets my heart on fire.
Time turneth into naught each Princely state:
Time brings a flood from new-resolved snow:
Time calms the Sea where tempest was of late:
Time eats what ere the Moon can see below:
And yet no time prevails in my behove,
Nor any time can make me cease to love.
This Passion concerneth the low'ring of his Mistress and herein for the most part the Author imitateth Agnola firenzuola; who upon the like subject writeth as followeth,
O belle done, prendam pietade
Di me pur hor'in talpa trafformato
D'huom, che pur dianza ordiua mirar fiso
Come Aquila il sol chiar in paradiso.
Cosi va'l mondo, e cosi spesso accade
A chi si fida inamoroso stato, etc.
What scowling clouds have overcast the sky,
That these mine eyes cannot, as wont they were,
Behold their second Sun intentively?
Some strange Eclipse is happ'ned as I fear,
Whereby my Sun is either barr'd of light,
Or I myself have lost my seeing quite.
Most likely so, since Love himself is blind,
And Venus too (perhaps) will have it so,
That Lovers wanting sight shall follow kind.
O then, fair Dames, bewail my present woe,
Which thus am made a mole, and blindfold run
Where Eagle-like I late beheld the Sun.
But out, alas, such guerdon is assign'd
To all that love and follow Cupid's car:
He tires their limbs and doth bewitch their mind,
And makes within themselves a lasting war.
Reason with much ado doth teach me this,
Though yet I cannot mend what is amiss.
The Author in this Passion seemeth upon mislike of his wearisome estate in love to enter into a deep discourse with himself touching the particular miseries which befall him that loveth. And for his sense in this place, he is very like unto himself, where in a Theme deducted out of the bowels of Antigone in Sophocles (which he lately translated into Latin and published in print) he writeth in very like manner as followeth.
Mali quando Cupidinis
Venas aestus edax occupat intimas,
Aretes ingenium labitur in malas;
Iactatur varie, nec Cereris fubit
Nec Bacchi udium; pervigiles trahit
Noctes; cura animum follicita atterit, etc.
And it may appear by the tenor of this Passion that the Author prepareth himself to fall from Love and all his laws, as will well appear by the sequel of his other Passions that follow, which are all made upon this Poesy, My Love is past.Where heat of love doth once possess the heart, ,,
There cares oppress the mind with wondrous ill, ,,
Wit runs awry, not fearing future smart, ,,
And fond desire doth over-master will: ,,
The belly neither cares for meat nor drink, ,,
Nor over-watched eyes desire to wink: ,,
Footsteps are false, and wav'ring to and fro; ,,
The brightsome flow'r of beauty fades away: ,,
Reason retires, and pleasure brings in woe: ,,
And wisdom yieldeth place to black decay: ,,
Counsel, and fame, and friendship are contemn'd: ,,
And bashful shame, and Gods themselves condemn'd. ,,
Watchful suspect is linked with despair: ,,
Inconstant hope is often drown'd in fears: ,,
What folly hurts, not fortune can repair; ,,
And misery doth swim in Seas of tears: ,,
Long use of life is but a ling'ring foe, ,,
And gentle death is only end of woe. ,,
M Y L O V E I S P A S T .All such as are but of indifferent capacity, and have some skill in Arithmetic, by viewing this Sonnet following compiled by rule and number, into the form of a pillar, may soon judge how much art and study the Author hath bestowed in the same. Wherein as there are placed many pretty observations, so these which I will set down, may be marked for the principal, if any man have such idle leisure to look it over, as the Author had, when he framed it. First therefore it is to be noted that the whole pillar (except the basis or foot thereof) is by relation of either half to the other Antithetical or Antisyllabical. Secondly, how this poesy (Amare est infanire) runneth twice throughout ye Column, if ye gather but the first letter of every whole verse orderly (excepting the two last) and then in like manner take but the last letter of every one of the said 3 verses, as they stand. Thirdly is to be observed that every verse, but the two last, doth end with the same letter it beginneth, and yet throughout the whole a true time is perfectly observed, although not after our accustomed manner. Fourthly, that the foot of the pillar is Orchematicall that is to say, founded by transilition or over-skipping of number by rule and order, as from 1 to 3, 5, 7, and 9; the secret virtue whereof may be learned in Trithemius,(1) as namely by tables of transilition to decipher anything that is written by secret transposition of letters, be it never so cunningly conveyed. And lastly, this observation is not to be neglected, that when all the foresaid particulars as performed, the whole pillar is but just 18 verses, as will appear in the page following it, Per modum expansionis.
1. Polygraphiae suae, lib. 5.