RENAISSANCE POETRYLECTURE ONEJOHN DOWLAND (1563 – 1626)‘Can she excuse my wrongs…’Can she excuse my wrongs with virtue’s cloak?Shall I call her good when she proves unkind?Are those clear fires which vanish into smoke?Must I praise the leaves where no fruit I find?No, no: where shadows do for bodies stand,Thou may’st be abused if thy sight be dim.Cold love is like to words written on sand,Or to bubbles which on the water swim.Wilt thou be thus abused still,Seeing that she will right thee never?If thou canst not overcome her will,thy love will be thus fruitless ever.Was I so base, that I might not aspireUnto those high joys which she holds from me?As they are high, so high is my desire:If she this deny what can granted be?If she will yield to that which reason is,It is reason’s will that love should be just.Dear make me happy still by granting this,Or cut off delays if that I die must.Better a thousand times to die,Than for to live thus still tormented:Dear but remember it was IWho for thy sake did die contented.WILLIAM SHAKESPEARESonnet 18Shall I compare thee to a summers day?Thou art more lovely and more temperate:Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,And summers lease hath all too short a date:Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,And often is his gold complexion dimmd;And every fair from fair sometime declines,By chance or natures changing course untrimmd;But thy eternal summer shall not fadeNor lose possession of that fair thou owest;Nor shall Death brag thou wanderst in his shade,When in eternal lines to time thou growest:So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,So long lives this and this gives life to thee.LECTURE TWO
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARESonnet 73That time of year thou mayst in me beholdWhen yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hangUpon those boughs which shake against the cold,Bare ruind choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.In me thou seest the twilight of such dayAs after sunset fadeth in the west,Which by and by black night doth take away,Deaths second self, that seals up all in rest.In me thou seest the glowing of such fireThat on the ashes of his youth doth lie,As the death-bed whereon it must expireConsumed with that which it was nourishd by.This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,To love that well which thou must leave ere long.Sonnet 116Let me not to the marriage of true mindsAdmit impediments. Love is not loveWhich alters when it alteration finds,Or bends with the remover to remove:O no! it is an ever-fixed markThat looks on tempests and is never shaken;It is the star to every wandering bark,Whose worths unknown, although his height be taken.Loves not Times fool, though rosy lips and cheeksWithin his bending sickles compass come:Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,But bears it out even to the edge of doom.If this be error and upon me proved,I never writ, nor no man ever loved.Sonnet 130My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun;Coral is far more red than her lips red;If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.I have seen roses damaskd, red and white,But no such roses see I in her cheeks;And in some perfumes is there more delightThan in the breath that from my mistress reeks.I love to hear her speak, yet well I knowThat music hath a far more pleasing sound;I grant I never saw a goddess go;My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rareAs any she belied with false compare.LECTURE THREEGEORGE HERBERT
The PulleyWhen God at first made man,Having a glass of blessings standing by,“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can.Let the world’s riches, which dispersèd lie,Contract into a span.”So strength first made a way;Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, pleasure.When almost all was out, God made a stay,Perceiving that, alone of all his treasure,Rest in the bottom lay.“For if I should,” said he,“Bestow this jewel also on my creature,He would adore my gifts instead of me,And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature;So both should losers be.“Yet let him keep the rest,But keep them with repining restlessness;Let him be rich and weary, that at least,If goodness lead him not, yet wearinessMay toss him to my breast.”The CollarI struck the board, and cried, "No more;I will abroad!What? shall I ever sigh and pine?My lines and life are free, free as the road,Loose as the wind, as large as store.Shall I be still in suit?Have I no harvest but a thornTo let me blood, and not restoreWhat I have lost with cordial fruit?Sure there was wineBefore my sighs did dry it; there was cornBefore my tears did drown it.Is the year only lost to me?Have I no bays to crown it,No flowers, no garlands gay? All blasted?All wasted?Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,And thou hast hands.Recover all thy sigh-blown ageOn double pleasures: leave thy cold disputeOf what is fit and not. Forsake thy cage,Thy rope of sands,Which petty thoughts have made, and made to theeGood cable, to enforce and draw,And be thy law,While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.Away! take heed;I will abroad.Call in thy deaths-head there; tie up thy fears;He that forbears
To suit and serve his needDeserves his load."But as I raved and grew more fierce and wildAt every word,Methought I heard one calling, Child!And I replied My Lord.LECTURE FOURJOHN DONNEA Valediction: Forbidding MourningAs virtuous men pass mildly away,And whisper to their souls to go,Whilst some of their sad friends do sayThe breath goes now, and some say, No:So let us melt, and make no noise,No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;Twere profanation of our joysTo tell the laity our love.Moving of th earth brings harms and fears,Men reckon what it did, and meant;But trepidation of the spheres,Though greater far, is innocent.Dull sublunary lovers love(Whose soul is sense) cannot admitAbsence, because it doth removeThose things which elemented it.But we by a love so much refined,That our selves know not what it is,Inter-assured of the mind,Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.Our two souls therefore, which are one,Though I must go, endure not yetA breach, but an expansion,Like gold to airy thinness beat.If they be two, they are two soAs stiff twin compasses are two;Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no showTo move, but doth, if the other do.And though it in the center sit,Yet when the other far doth roam,It leans and hearkens after it,And grows erect, as that comes home.Such wilt thou be to me, who must,Like th other foot, obliquely run;Thy firmness makes my circle just,And makes me end where I begun.
The FleaMark but this flea, and mark in this,How little that which thou deniest me is;It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;Thou know’st that this cannot be saidA sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead,Yet this enjoys before it woo,And pampered swells with one blood made of two,And this, alas, is more than we would do.Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,Where we almost, nay more than married are.This flea is you and I, and thisOur marriage bed, and marriage temple is;Though parents grudge, and you, ware met,And cloistered in these living walls of jet.Though use make you apt to kill me,Let not to that, self-murder added be,And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.Cruel and sudden, hast thou sincePurpled thy nail, in blood of innocence?Wherein could this flea guilty be,Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?Yet thou triumph’st, and sayst that thouFind’st not thy self, nor me the weaker now;’Tis true; then learn how false, fears be:Just so much honor, when thou yield’st to me,Will waste, as this flea’s death took life from thee.