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Ah me, and I am now the man whose Muse
In happier times was wont to laugh at Love,
And those who suffer'd that blind boy's abuse,
The noble gifts were given them from above.
What metamarphose strange is this I prove?
Myself now scarce I find myself to be,
And think no fable Circe's tyranny,
And all the tales are told of changed Jove ;
Virtue hath taught with her philosophy
My mind unto a better course to move:
Reason may chide her full, and oft reprove
Affection's power; but what is that to me,
Who ever think, and never think on aught
But that bright cherubin which thralls my thought ?
Fair is my yoke, though grievous be my pains,
Sweet are my wounds, although they deeply smart,
My bit is gold, though shorten'd be the reins,
My bondage brave, though I may not depart ;
Although I burn, the fire which doth impart
Those flames, so sweet reviving force contains,
That, like Arabia's bird, my wasted heart,
Made quick by death, more lively still remains.
I joy, though oft my waking eyes spend tears,
I never want delight, even when I groan,
Best ’companied when most I am alone,
A Heaven of hopes I have midst Hells of fears:
Thus every way contentment strange I find,
But most in her rare beauty, my rare mind.
SONNET. Now while the Night her sable veil hath spread, And silently her resty coach doth roll, Rousing with her from Thetis' azure bed, Those starry nymphs which dance about the pole, While Cynthia, in purest cypress clad, The Latmian shepherd in a trance descries, And looking pale from height of all the skies, She dyes her beauties in a blushing red; While sleep, in triumph, closed hath all eyes, And birds and beasts a silence sweet do keep, And Porteus' monstrous people in the deep, The winds and waves, hush'd up, to rest entice; I wake, I turn, I weep, oppress'd with pain, Perplex'd in the meanders of my brain.
If crost with all mishaps be my poor life,
If one short day I never spent in mirth,
If my spirit with itself holds lasting strife,
If sorrows death is but new sorrows birth;
If this vain world be but a mournful stage,
Where slave-born man plays to the laughing stars,
If youth be toss'd with love, with weakness age,
If knowledge serves to hold our thoughts in wars,
If time can close the hundred mouths of Fame,
And make what's long since past, like that's to be,
If virtue only be an idle name,
If being born I was but born to die;
Why seek I to prolong these loathsome days?
The fairest rose in shortest time decays.
SEXTAIN. The Heaven doth not contain so many stars, Nor levelld lie so many leaves in woods, When Autumn and cold Boreas sound their wars; So many waves have not the ocean floods, As my torn mind hath torments all the night, And heart spends sighs, when Phæbus brings the
Why was I made a partner of the light,
Who, crost in birth, by bad aspect of stars,
Have never since had happy day or night?
Why was not I a liver in the woods,
Or citizen of Thetis' crystal floods,
But fram'd a man for love and fortune's wars?
I look each day when death should end the wars,
Uncivil wars 'twixt sense and reason's light;
My pains I count to mountains, meads and floods,
And of my sorrow partners make the stars;
All desolate I haunt the fearful woods,
When I should give myself to rest at night.
With watchful eyes I ne'er behold the night,
Mother of peace, (but ah to me of wars)
And Cynthia queen-like shining through the woods,
But straight those lamps come in my thought, whose
light My judgment dazzled, passing brightest stars, And then my eyes in-isle themselves with floods.
Turn to the springs again first shall the floods,
Clear shall the Sun the sad and gloomy night,
To dance about the pole cease shall the stars,
The elements renew their ancient wars
Shall first, and be depriv’d of place and light,
Ere I find rest in city, fields, or woods.
End these my days, ye inmates of the woods,
Take this my life, ye deep and raging floods ;
Sun, never rise to clear me with thy light,
Horrour and darkness, keep a lasting night,
Consume me, care, with thy intestine wars,
And stay your influence o'er me, ye bright stars.
In vain the stars, th' inhabitants o'th' woods,
Care, horrour, wars I call, and raging foods,
For all have sworn to-night shall dim my sight.
In mind's pure glass when I myself behold,
And lively see how my best days are spent,
What clouds of care above my head are rollid,
What coming ill, which I cannot prevent;
My course begun I wearied do repent,
And would embrace what reason oft hath told,
But scarce thus think I, when love hath controlld
All the best reasons reason could invent.
Though sure I know my labour's end is grief,
The more I strive that I the more shall pine,
That only death shall be my last relief:
Yet when I think upon that face divine,
Like one with arrow shot, in laughter's place,
Maugre my heart, I joy in my disgrace.
Tue Sun is fair when he with crimson crown,
And flaming rubies, leaves his eastern bed;
Fair is Thaumantias in her crystal gown,
When clouds engemm’d show azure, green, and
To western worlds when wearied day goes down,
And from Heaven's windows each star shows her
Earth's silent daughter, Night, is fair though brown;
Fair is the Moon, though in Love's livery clad.
The spring is fair when it doth paint April,
Fair are the meads, the woods, the floods are fair;
Fair looketh Ceres with her yellow hair,
And apple's-queen when rose-cheek'd she doth
That Heaven, and earth, and seas are fair, is true,
Yet true, that all not please so much as you.