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Francis Beaumont

The Glance

Cold Virtue guard me, or I shall endure
From the next glance a double calenture
Of fire and lust! Two flames, two Semeles,
Dwell in those eyes, whose looser glowing rays
Would thaw the frozen Russian into lust,
And parch tile negro's hotter blood to dust.
Dart not your bllls of wild-fire here; go throw
Those flakes upon the eunuch's colder snow,
Till he in active blood do boil as high
As he that made him so in jealousy.
When that loose queen of love did dress her eyes
In the most taking flame to the prize
At Ida; that faint glare to this desire
Burnt like a taper to the zone of fire:
And could she then the lustful youth have crowned
With thee his Helen, Troy had never found
Her fate in Sinon's fire; thy hotter eyes
Had made it burn a quicker sacrifice
To lust, whilst every glance in subtle wiles
Had shot itself like lightning through the piles.

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The Examination of His Mistress's Perfections

Stand still my happiness, and swelling heart
No more, till I consider what thou art.
Desire of knowledge was man's fatal vice,
For when our parents were in paradise,
Though they themselves, and all they saw was good,
They thought it nothing if not understood;
And I (part of their seed struck with their sin)
Though by their bounteous favour I be in
A paradise where I may freely taste
Of all the virtuous pleasures which thou hast,
Wanting that knowledge, must in all my bliss
Err with my parents, and ask what it is.
My faith saith 'tis not Heaven, and I dare swear
If it be Hell no sense of pain is there;
Sure 'tis some pleasant place where I may stay,
As I to Heaven go in the middle way.
Wert thou but fair and no whit virtuous,
Thou wert no more to me but a fair house
Haunted with spirits, from which men do them bless,
And no man will half furnish to possess:

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To my Friend Mr. John Fletcher, upon his Faithful Sheperdess

I know too well, that, no more than the man,
That travels through the burning desarts, can,
When he is beaten with the raging sun,
Half-smother'd with the dust, have power to run
From a cool river, which himself doth find,
Ere he be slaked; no more can he, whose mind
Joys in the Muses hold from that delight,
When Nature and his full thoughts bid him write.
Yet wish I those, whom I for friends have known,
To sing their thoughts to no ears but their own.
Why should the man, whose wit ne'er had a stain,
Upon the public stage present his vein,
And make a thousand men in judgment sit,
To call in question his undoubted wit,
Scarce two of which can understand the laws
Which they should judge by, nor the, party's cause?
Among the rout, there is not one that hath
In his own censure an explicit faith;
One company, knowing they judgment lack,
Ground their belief onthe next man in black;

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A Funeral Elegy on the Death of The Lady Penelope Clifton

Since thou art dead, Clifton, the world may see
A certain end of flesh and blood in thee;
Till then a way was left for man to cry,
Flesh may be made so pure it cannot die;
But now thy unexpected death doth strike
With grief the better and the worse alike;
The good are sad they are not with thee there,
The bad have found they must not tarry here.
Death, I confess, 'tis just in thee to try
Thy pow'r on us, for thou thyself must die;
Thou pay'st but wages, Death, yet I would know
What strange delight thou tak'st to pay them so;
When thou com'st face to face thou strik'st us mute
And all our liberty is to dispute
With thee behind thy back, which I will use:
If thou hadst bravery in thee, thou wouldst choose
(Since thou art absolute, and canst controul
All things beneath a reasonable soul)
Some looked for way of killing; if her day
Had ended in a fire, a sword, or sea,

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Ad Comitissam Rutlandiæ

Madam, so may my verses pleasing be,
So may you laugh at them and not at me,
'Tis something to you gladly I would say;
But how to do't I cannot find the way.
I would avoid the common beaten ways
To women used, which are love or praise:
As for the first, the little wit I have
Is not yet grown so near unto the grave,
But that I can, by that dim fading light,
Perceive of what, or unto whom I write.
Let such as in a hopeless, witless rage,
Can sigh a quire, and read it to a page;
Such is do backs of books and windows fill,
With their too furious diamond or quill;
Such as were well resolved to end their days
With a loud laughter blown beyond the seas;
Who are so mortified that they can live
Contemned of all the world, and yet forgive,
Write love to you: I would not willingly
Be pointed at in every company;

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An Elegy on the Lady Markham

As unthrifts groan in straw for their pawn'd beds,
As women weep for their lost maidenheads,
When both are without hope or remedy,
Such an untimely grief I have for thee.
I never saw thy face, nor did my heart
Urge forth mine eyes unto it whilst thou wert;
But being lifted hence, that, which to thee
Was death's sad dart, proved Cupid's shaft to me.
Whoever thinks me foolish that the force
Of a report can make me love a corse,
Know he that when with this I do compare
The love I do a living woman bear,
I find myself most happy: now I know
Where I can find my mistress, and can go
Unto her trimm'd bed, and can lift away
Her grass-green mantle, and her sheet display;
And touch her naked; and though th' envious mold
In which she lies uncover'd, moist, and cold,
Strive to corrupt her, she will not abide
With any art her blemishes to hide,

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Mr. Francis Beaumont's Letter to Ben Jonson

The sun, which doth the greatest comfort bring
To absent friends (because the self-same thing
They know they see, however absent), is
Here our best hay-maker (forgive me this,
It is our country style); in this warm shine
I lie, and dream of your full Mermaid wine.
Oh, we have water mixed with claret-lees,
Drink apt to bring in drier heresies
Than beer, good only for the sonnet strain,
With fustian metaphors to stuff the brain;
So mixed that given to the thirstiest one
'Twill not prove alms unless he have the stone.
I think with one draught man's invention fades,
Two cups had quite marred Homer's Iliads ;
'Tis liquor that will find out Sutcliffe's wit,
Lie where it will, and make him write worse yet.
Filled with such moisture, in a grievous qualm,
Did Robert Wisdom write his singing psalm ;
And so must I do this, and yet I think
It is a potion sent us down to drink

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An Elegy on the Death of the Virtuous Lady Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland

I may forget to drink, to eat, to sleep,
Remembering thee: but when I do, to weep
In well-weighed lines, that men shall at thy hearse
Envy the sorrow which brought forth my verse;
May my dull understanding have the might
Only to know her last was yesternight!
Rutland, the fair, is dead! and if to hear
The name of Sidney will more force a tear,
'Tis she that is so dead! and yet there be
Some more alive profess not poetry;
The statesmen and the lawyers of our time
Have business still, yet do it not in rhyme.
Can she be dead, and can there be of those
That are so dull to say their prayers in prose?
It is three days since she did feel Death's hand;
And yet this isle not feel the poet's land?
Hath this no new ones made? and are the old
At such a needful time as this grown cold?
They all say they would fain; but yet they plead
They cannot write, because their muse is dead.

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The Remedy of Love

When Cupid read this title, straight he said,
'Wars, I perceive, against me will be made.'
But spare, oh Love! to tax thy poet so,
Who oft bath borne thy ensign 'gainst thy foe;
I am not he by whom thy mother bled,
When she to heaven on Mars his horses fled.
I oft, like other youths, thy flame did prove,
And if thou ask, what I do still? I love.
Nay, I have taught by art to keep Love's course,
And made that reason which before was force.
I seek not to betray thee, pretty boy,
Nor what I once have written to destroy.
If any love, and find his mistress kind,
Let him go on, and sail with his own wind;
But he that by his love is discontented,
To save his life my verses were invented.
Why should a lover kill himself? or why
Should any, with his own grief wounded, die?
Thou art a boy, to play becomes thee still,
Thy reign is soft; play then, and do not kill;

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Salmacis and Hermaphroditus.

MY wanton lines doe treate of amorous loue,
Such as would bow the hearts of gods aboue:
Then Venus, thou great Citherean Queene,
That hourely tript on the Idalian greene,
Thou laughing Erycina, daygne to see
The verses wholly consecrate to thee;
Temper them so within thy Paphian shrine,
That euery Louers eye may melt a line;
Commaund the god of Loue that little King,
To giue each verse a sleight touch with his wing,
That as I write, one line may draw the tother,
And euery word skip nimbly o're another.
There was a louely boy the Nymphs had kept,
That on the Idane mountains oft had slept,
Begot and borne by powers that dwelt aboue,
By learned Mercury of the Queene of loue:
A face he had that shew'd his parents fame,
And from them both conioynd, he drew his name:
So wondrous fayre he was that (as they say)
Diana being hunting on a day,

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