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Sir Edward Dyer

Love-Contradictions

As rare to heare as seldome to be seene,
It cannot be nor never yet hathe bene
That fire should burne with perfecte heate and flame
Without some matter for to yealde the same.


A straunger case yet true by profe I knowe
A man in joy that livethe still in woe:
A harder happ who hathe his love at lyste
Yet lives in love as he all love had miste:


Whoe hathe enougehe, yet thinkes he lives wthout,
Lackinge no love yet still he standes in doubte.
What discontente to live in suche desyre,
To have his will yet ever to requyre.


Mr. Dier.

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The lowest trees have tops

The lowest trees have tops, the ant her gall,
The fly her spleen, the little spark his heat,
And slender hairs cast shadows though but small,
And bees have stings although they be not great.
Seas have their source, and so have shallow springs,
And love is love in beggars and in kings.

Where waters smoothest run, deep are the fords,
The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move:
The firmest faith is in the fewest words,
The turtles cannot sing, and yet they love,
True hearts have eyes and ears no tongues to speak:
They hear, and see, and sigh, and then they break.

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The Shepherd's Conceit of Prometheus

Prometheus when firste frome heaven hye
He broughte downe fyre, 'ere then on earthe not seene,
Fond of Delight, a Satyre standing bye
Gaue it a kyss, as it lyke Sweete had bene.


Feelinge forthewithe the other's burninge powre,
Wood withe the smarte, with shoutes and shreakinge shrill,
He soughte his ease in river, feilde and bowre,
But for the tyme his griefe wente with him still.


So seelye I, with that unwonted syghte
In humane shape, an angell from above,
Feedinge mine eyes, th'impressione there did lyghte,
That since I reste and runn as pleaseth Love.


The difference is, the Satyre's lypps, my harte,--
He for a tyme, I evermore,--have smarte.

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To Phillis the Faire Sheeperdesse

My Phillis hath the morninge Sunne,
at first to looke upon her:
And Phillis hath morne-waking birds,
her risinge still to honour.
My Phillis hath prime-featherd flowres,
that smile when she treads on them:
And Phillis hath a gallant flocke,
that leapes since she dooth owne them.
But Phillis hath too hard a hart,
alas, that she should have it:
It yeelds no mercie to desert,
nor grace to those that crave it.
Sweete Sunne, when thou look'st on,
pray her regard my moane!
Sweete birds, when you sing to her,
to yeeld some pitty, woo her!
Sweet flowers that she treads on,
tell her, her beauty deads one.
And if in life her love she nill agree me,
Pray her before I die, she will come see me.

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The man of Woe

The mann whose thoughtes agaynste him do conspyre,
One whom Mishapp her storye dothe depaynt,
The mann of woe, the matter of desier,
Free of the dead, that lives in endles plaint,
His spirit am I, whiche in this deserte lye,
To rue his case, whose cause I cannot flye.


Despayre my name, whoe never findes releife,
Frended of none, but to my selfe a foe;
An idle care, mayntaynde by firme beleife
That prayse of faythe shall throughe my torments growe,
And counte those hopes, that others hartes do ease,
Butt base conceites the common sense to please.


For sure I am I never shall attayne
The happy good from whence my joys aryse;
Nor haue I powre my sorrows to refrayne
But wayle the wante, when noughte ellse maye suffyse;

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A Lady Forsaken Complayneth

If pleasures be in painfulness, in pleasures doth my body rest,
If joyes accord with carefulness, a joyful hart is in my brest:
If prison strong be liberty, in liberty long have I been,
If joyes accord with misery, who can compare a lyfe to myne:
Who can unbind that is sore bound? who can make free yet is sore thrall,
Or how can any means be found to comfort such a wretch withall?
None can but he yet hath my hart, convert my pains to comfort then,
Yet since his servant I became, most like a bondman have I been:
Since first in bondage I became, my word and deed was ever such,
That never once he could me blame, except for loving him too much.
Which I can judge no just offence, nor cause that I deserved disdayne,
Except he mean through false pretense, through forgèd love to make a trayne.
Nay, nay, alas, my fainèd thoughts my freded and my fainèd ruth,
My pleasures past, my present plaints, shew well I mean but to much truth:
But since I can not him attain, against my will I let him goe,
And lest he glorie at my pain, I wyl attempt to cloke my woe.
Youth learne by me but do not prove, for I have provèd to my pain,
What greeuous greefes do grow by love, and what it is to love in vaine.

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My Mind to me a Kingdom is

My mind to me a kingdom is;
Such perfect joy therein I find
That it excels all other bliss
Which God or nature hath assign'd.
Though much I want that most would have,
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely port, nor wealthy store,
No force to win a victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,
No shape to win a loving eye;
To none of these I yield as thrall,--
For why? my mind despise them all.

I see that plenty surfeit oft,
And hasty climbers soonest fall;
I see that such as are aloft
Mishap doth threaten most of all.
These get with toil and keep with fear;
Such cares my mind can never bear.

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Coridon to his Phillis

Alas my hart, mine eye hath wrongèd thee,
Presumptious eye, to gaze on Phillis face:
Whose heavenly eye no mortall man may see
But he must die, or purchase Phillis grace.
Poor Coridon, the Nimph whose eye doth moove thee,
Dooth love to draw, but is not drawne to love thee.


Her beautie, Nature's pride, and sheepheards praise,
Her eye, the heavenly Planet of my life:
Her matchlesse wit and grace, her fame displaies,
As if that love had made her for his wife.
Onely, her eyes shoote fierie darts to kill,
Yet is her hart as cold as Caucase hill.


My wings too weake to flye against the Sunne,
Mine eyes unable to sustaine her light,
My hart doth yeeld that I am quite undone,
Thus hath faire Phillis slaine me with her sight.

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I would and I would not

I woulde it were not as it is
Or that I cared not yea or no;
I woulde I thoughte it not amiss,
Or that amiss mighte blamles goo;
I woulde I were, yet woulde I not,
I mighte be gladd yet coulde I not.


I coulde desire to know the meane
Or that the meane desyre soughte;
I woulde I coulde my fancye weane
From suche sweet joyes as Love hathe wroughte;
Onlye my wishe is leaste of all
A badge whereby to know a thrall.


O happy man whiche doste aspire
To that whiche semeleye thou dost crave!
Thrise happy man, if thy desyre
Maye winn with hope good happ to have;

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Love-Despondency

Devyde my tymes and rate my wretched howres
From days to months, fro months to many yeers,
And than compare my sweetest to my sowres then
And see wich more in equall vewe appeares;
And judge that from my dayes and yeers of care
I have but howrs of comforte to compare.


Just and not muche it were, in thes extreams
To have a touche and torment of ye thought:
For any myghte that any ryght esteems
To yealde so small delyght so deerly bought;
But he that lyues unto his owne despyghte
Is not to fynde his fortune by his ryghte.


The lyfe that styll runs forth his weary wayes
With sowre to sawce the dayntyes of delyght,
And care to choak the pleasures of his dayes
And not regarde the many wronges to quyte;

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