Sonnets by William Drummond 1 - 15 & 43-56

Poems by W.D. The first part

In my first Yeeres, and Prime yet not at Hight,

When sweet Conceits my Wits did entertaine,

Ere Beauties Force I knew or false Delight,

Or to what Oare shee did her Captiues chaine;

Led by a sacred Troupe of Phoebus Traine,

I first beganne to reade; then Loue to write,

And so to praise a perfect Red and White,

But (God wot) wist not what was in my Braine:

Loue smylde to see in what an awfull Guise

I turn'd those Antiques of the Age of Gold,

And that I might moe Mysteries behold,

Hee set so faire a Volumne to mine Eyes,

That I [quires clos'd which (dead) dead Sighs but breath]

Ioye on this liuing Booke to reade my Death.



I Know that all beneath the Moone decayes,

And what by Mortalles in this World is brought,

In Times great Periods shall returne to nought,

That fairest States haue fatall Nights and Dayes:

I know how all the Muses heauenly Layes,

With Toyle of Spright which are so dearely bought,

As idle Sounds of few, or none are sought,

And that nought lighter is than airie Praise.

I know fraile Beautie like the purple Flowre,

To which one Morne oft Birth and Death affords,

That Loue a Iarring is of Mindes Accords,

Where Sense and Will inuassall Reasons Power:

Know what I list, this all can not mee moue,

But that (o mee!) I both must write, and loue.



YEe who so curiously doe paint your Thoughts,

Enlightning eu'rie Line in such a Guise,

That they seeme rather to haue fallen from Skies,

Than of a humane Hand bee mortall Draughts;

In one Part Sorrow so tormented lies,

As if his Life at eu'ry Sigh would parte,

Loue here blindfolded stands with Bow and Dart,

There Hope lookes pale, Despaire with rainie Eyes:

Of my rude Pincell looke not for such Arte,

My Wit I finde now lessened to deuise

So high Conceptions to expresse my Smart,

And some thinke Loue but fain'd, if too too wise:

These troubled Words and Lines confus'd you finde,

Are like vnto their Modell my sicke Minde.



FAire is my Yoke, though grieuous bee my Paines,

Sweet are my Wounds, although they deeply smart,

My Bit is Gold, though shortened bee the Raines,

My Bondage braue, though I may not depart:

Although I burne, the Fire which doth impart

Those Flames, so sweet reuiuing Force containes,

That (like Arabias Bird) my wasted Heart

Made quicke by Death, more liuely still remaines.

I joye, though oft my waking Eyes spend Teares,

I neuer want Delight, euen when I grone,

Best companied when most I am alone,

A Heauen of Hopes I haue midst Hells of Feares:

Thus euery Way Contentment strange I finde,

But most in Her rare Beautie, my rare Minde.



HOw that vaste Heauen intitled First is rold,

If any other Worlds beyond it lie,

And People liuing in Eternitie,

Or Essence pure that doth this All vphold:

What Motion haue those fixed Sparkes of Gold,

The wandring Carbuncles which shine from hie,

By Sprights, or Bodies, contrare-Wayes in Skie

If they bee turn'd, and mortall Things behold:

How Sunne postes Heauen about, how Nights pale Queene

With borrowed Beames lookes on this hanging Round,

What Cause faire Iris hath, and Monsters seene

In Aires large Fields of Light, and Seas profound,

Did hold my wandring Thoughts; when thy sweet Eye

Bade mee leaue all, and only thinke on Thee.



VAunt not, faire Heauens, of your two glorious Lights,

Which though most bright, yet see not when they shine,

And shining, cannot shew their Beames diuine

Both in one Place, but parte by Dayes and Nights,

Earth, vaunt not of those Treasures yee enshrine,

Held only deare because hidde from our Sights,

Your pure and burnish'd Gold, your Diamonds fine,

Snow-passing Iourie that the Eye delights:

Nor Seas of those deare Wares are in you found,

Vaunt not, rich Pearle, red Corrall, which doe stirre

A fond Desire in Fooles to plunge your Ground;

Those all (more faire) are to bee had in Her:

Pearle, Iuorie, Corrall, Diamond, Sunnes, Gold,

Teeth, Necke, Lips, Heart, Eyes, Haire, are to behold.



THat learned Groecian (who did so excell

In Knowledge passing Sense, that hee is nam'd

Of all the after-Worlds Diuine) doth tell,

That at the Time when first our Soules are fram'd,

Ere in these Mansions blinde they come to dwell,

They liue bright Rayes of that Eternall Light,

And others see, know, loue, in Heauens great Hight,

Not toylde with ought to Reason doth rebell;

Most true it is, for straight at the first Sight

My Minde mee told, that in some other Place

It elsewhere saw the Idea of that Face,

And lou'd a Loue of heauenly pure Delight.

No Wonder now I feele so faire a Flame,

Sith I Her lou'd ere on this Earth shee came.



NOw while the Night her sable Vaile hath spred,

And silently her restie Coach doth rolle,

Rowsing with Her from TETHIS azure Bed

Those starrie Nymphes which dance about the Pole

While CYNTHIA, in purest Cipres cled,

The Latmian Shepheard in a Trance descries,

And whiles lookes pale from hight of all the Skies,

Whiles dyes her Beauties in a bashfull Red,

While Sleepe (in Triumph) closed hath all Eyes,

And Birds and Beastes a Silence sweet doe keepe,

And PROTEVS monstrous People in the Deepe,

The Winds and Waues (husht vp) to rest entise,

I wake, muse, weepe, and who my Heart hath slaine

See still before me to augment my Paine.



SLeepe, Silence Child, sweet Father of soft Rest,

Prince whose Approach Peace to all Mortalls brings,

Indifferent Host to Shepheards and to Kings,

Sole Comforter of Minds with Griefe opprest.

Loe, by thy charming Rod all breathing things

Lie slumbring, with forgetfulnesse possest,

And yet o're me to spred thy drowsie Wings

Thou spares (alas) who cannot be thy Guest.

Since I am thine, O come, but with that Face

To inward Light which thou art wont to show,

With fained Solace ease a true felt Woe,

Or if deafe God thou doe denie that Grace,

Come as thou wilt, and what thou wilt bequeath,

I long to kisse the Image of my Death.



FAire Moone who with thy Cold and Siluer Shine

Makes sweet the Horrour of the dreadful Night,

Delighting the weake Eye with Smiles diuine,

Which PHEBVS dazells with his too much Light.

Bright Queene of the first Heauen, if in thy Shrine

By turning oft, and Heauens eternall Might,

Thou hast not yet that once sweet Fire of thine

ENDEMION, forgot, and Louers Plight?

If Cause like thine may Pitie breede in thee,

And Pitie somewhat els to it obtaine,

Since thou hast Power of Dreames as well as Hee

Who paints strange Figures in the slumbring Braine:

Now while She sleepes in dolefull Guise her Show

These Teares, and the blacke Mappe of all my Woe.



LAmpe of Heauens Christall Hall that brings the Hours,

Eye-dazaler who makes the vglie Night

At thine Approach flie to her slumbrie Bowrs,

And fills the World with Wonder and Delight:

Life of all Lifes, Death-giuer by thy Flight

To Southerne Pole from these sixe Signes of ours,

Gold-smith of all the Starres, with Siluer bright

Who Moone enamells, Apelles of the Flowrs.

Ah, from those watrie Plaines thy golden Head

Raise vp, and bring the so long lingring Morne,

A Graue, nay Hell, I finde become this Bed,

This Bed so grieuously where I am torne:

But (woe is me) though thou now brought the Day,

Day shall but serue more Sorrowe to display.



AH burning Thoughts now let me take some Rest,

And your tumultuous Broyles a while appease,

Is't not enough, Starres, Fortune, Loue molest

Me all at once, but yee must to displease?

Let Hope (though false) yet lodge within my Brest,

My high Attempt (though dangerous) yet praise,

What though I trace not right Heauens steppie Wayes?

It doth suffice, my Fall shall make me blest.

I doe not doate on Dayes, nor feare not Death,

So that my Life be braue, what though not long?

Let me Renown'd liue from the vulgare Throng,

And when yee list (Heauens) take this borrowed Breath.

Men but like Visions are, Time all doth claime,

He liues, who dies to winne a lasting Name.



O sacred Blush impurpling Cheekes pure Skies,

With crimson Wings which spred thee like the Morne,

O bashfull Looke sent from those shining Eyes,

Which (though cast down on Earth) couldst Heauen adorn!

O tongue in which most lushious Nectar lies,

That can at once both blesse and make forlorne,

Deare Corrall Lip which Beautie beautifies,

That trembling stood ere that her words were borne.

And you her Words, Words no, but Golden Chaines

Which did captiue mine Eares, ensnare my Soule,

Wise image of her Minde, Minde that containes

A Power all Power of Senses to controule:

Yee all from Loue disswade so sweetly mee,

That I loue more, if more my loue could bee.



Nor Arne, nor Minicus, nor stately Tyber,

Sebethus, nor the Floud into whose streames

He fell who burnt the World with borrow'd Beames,

Gold-rolling Tagus, Munda, famous Iber;

Sorgue, Rosne, Loire, Garron, nor prowd-bank'd Seine,

Peneus, Phasis, Xanthus, humble Ladon,

Nor Shee whose Nymphes excell her who lou'd Adon

Faire Tamesis, nor Ister large, nor Rheine,

Euphrates, Tigris, Indus, Hermus, Gange,

Pearlie Hydaspes, Serpent-like Meander,

The Golfe bereft sweet Hero her Leander,

Nile that farre farre his hidden Head doth range,

Haue euer had so rare a Cause of Praise,

As Ora, where this Northerne Phenix stayes.



To heare my Plaints faire Riuer Christalline

Thou in a silent slumber seemes to stay,

Delicious Flowrs, Lillie and Columbine,

Yee bowe your Heades when I my Woes display.

Forrests, in you the Mirtle, Palme, and Bay,

Haue had compassion listning to my Grones,

The winds with Sighes haue solemniz'd my Mones

Mong Leaues, which whisper'd what they could not say.

The Caues, the Rockes, the Hills the Sylvans Thrones

(As if euen Pitie did in them appeare)

Haue at my Sorrowes rent their ruethlesse Stones,

Each thing I finde hath sense except my Deare

Who doth not thinke I loue, or will not know

My griefe, perchance delighting in my Woe.



Deare Wood,and you sweet solitarie Place,

Where from the vulgare I estranged liue,

Contented more with what your Shades mee giue,

Than if I had what Thetis doth embrace:

What snakie Eye growne ielous of my Peace,

Now from your silent Horrours would mee driue?

When Sunne progressing in his glorious Race

Beyond the Twinnes,doth neare our Pole arriue.

What sweet Delight a quiet Life affords,

And what it is to bee of Bondage free,

Farre from the madding Worldlings hoarse Discords,

Sweet flowrie Place I first did learne of thee:

Ah! if I were mine owne, your deare Resorts

I would not change with Princes stately Courts.


Thou Window, once which serued for a Spheare

To that deare Planet of my Heart, whose Light

Made often blush the glorious Queen of Night,

While Shee in thee more beautious did appeare,

What mourning Weedes (alas) now do'st thou weare?

How loathsome to mine Eyes is thy sad Sight?

How poorely look'st thou, with what heauie cheare,

Since that Sunne set, which made thee shine so bright?

Vnhappie now thee close, for as of late

To wondring Eyes thou wast a Paradise,

Bereft of Her who made thee fortunate,

A Gulfe thou art, whence Cloudes of sighes arise:

But vnto none so noysome as to mee,

Who hourly see my murth'red Ioyes in thee.


Are these the flowrie Bankes? is this the Mead

Where Shee was wont to passe the pleasant hours?

Did here her Eyes exhale mine Eyes salt Showrs,

When on her Lap I laid my wearie Head?

Is this the goodly Elme did vs o'respread,

Whose tender Rine cut out in curious Flowrs

By that white Hand, containes those Flames of Ours?

Is this the rusling Spring vs Musicke made?

Deflourish'd Mead where is your heauenly Hue?

Banke, where that Arras did you late adorne,

How looke yee Elme all withered and forlorne?

Onely sweet Spring nought altered seemes in you:

But while here chang'd each other thing appeares,

To sowre your Streames take of mine Eyes these Teares.


Alexis, here shee stay'd among these Pines

(Sweet Hermitesse) shee did alone repaire,

Here did shee spreade the Treasure of her Haire,

More rich than that brought from the Colchian Mines.

Shee set Her by these musket Eglantines,

The happie Place the Print seemes yet to beare,

Her Voyce did sweeten here thy sugred Lines,

To which Winds, Trees, Beasts, Birds did lend their Eare.

Mee here shee first perceiu'd, and here a Morne

Of bright Carnations did o'respreade her Face,

Here did shee sigh, here first my Hopes were borne,

And I first got a Pledge of promis'd Grace:

But (ah) what seru'd it to bee happie so?

Sith passed Pleasures double but new Woe.


O Night, cleare Night, O darke and gloomie Day!

O wofull Waking! O Soule-pleasing Sleepe!

O sweet Conceits which in my Braines did creepe!

Yet sowre Conceits which went so soone away.

A Sleepe I had more than poore Wordes can say,

For clos'd in Armes (mee thought) I did thee keepe,

A sorie Wretch plung'd in Mis-fortunes deepe

Am I not wak'd ? when Light doth Lies bewray.

O that that Night had euer still bene blacke!

O that that Day had neuer yet begunne!

And you mine Eyes would yee no time saw Sunne!

To haue your Sunne in such a Zodiacke:

Loe, what is good of Life is but a Dreame,

When Sorrow is a neuer-ebbing Streame.



Haire, precious Haire which Midas Hand did straine,

Part of the Wreathe of Gold that crownes those Browes

Which Winters whitest White in Whitenesse staine,

And Lillie, by Eridans Banke that growes.

Haire (fatall Present) which first caus'd my Woes,

When loose ye hang like Danaes golden Raine,

Sweet Nettes, which sweetly doe all Hearts enchaine,

Strings, deadly Strings, with which Loue bends his Bowes.

How are yee hither come ? tell me, O Haire,

Deare Armelet, for what thus were yee giuen?

I know a Badge of Bondage I you weare,

Yet Haire for you, o that I were a Heauen!

Like Berenices Locke that yee might shine

(But brighter farre) about this Arme of mine.



With Griefe in Heart, and Teares in sowning Eyes,

When I to Her had giu'n a sad Fare-well,

Close sealed with a Kisse, and Dew which fell

On my else-moystned Face from Beauties Skies.

So strange Amazement did my Minde surprise,

That at each Pace I fainting turn'd againe,

Like One whome a Torpedo stupifies,

Not feeling Honours Bit, nor Reasons Raine.

But when fierce Starres to parte mee did constraine,

With backe-cast Lookes I enui'd both and bless'd

The happie Walles and Place did Her containe,

Till that Sights Shafts their flying Obiect miss'd,

So wailing parted Ganamede the faire,

When Eagles Talents bare him through the Aire.



How many times Nights silent Queene her Face

Hath hid, how oft with Starres in siluer Maske

In Heauens great Hall shee hath begunne her Taske,

And chear'd the waking Eye in lower Place:

How oft the Sunne hath made by Heauens swift Race

The happie Louer to forsake the Brest

Of his deare Ladie, wishing in the West

His golden Coach to runne had larger Space:

I euer count, and number, since alas

I bade Farewell to my Hearts dearest Guest,

The Miles I compasse, and in Minde I chase

The Flouds and Mountains holde mee from my Rest:

But (woe is mee) long count and count may I,

Ere I see Her whose Absence makes mee die.



So grieuous is my Paine, so painefull Life,

That oft I finde mee in the Armes of Death,

But (Breath halfe gone) that Tyrant called Death

Who others killes, restoreth mee to Life:

For while I thinke how Woe shall ende with Life,

And that I quiet Peace shall ioye by Death,

That Thught euen doth o'reowre the Paines of Death,

And call mee home againe to lothed Life:

Thus doth mine euill transcend bothLife and Death,

While no Death is so bad as is my Life,

Nor no Life such which doth not ende by Death,

And Protean Changes turne my Death and Life:

O happie those who in their Birth finde Death,

Sith but to languish Heauen affordeth Life.


Fame, who with golden Pennes abroad dost range

Where Phoebus leaues the Night, and brings the Day,

Fame, in one Place who (restlesse) dost not stay

Till thou hast flowne from Atlas vnto Gange:

Fame, Enemie to Time that still doth change,

And in his changing Course would make decay

What here below he findeth in his Way,

Euen making Vertue to her selfe looke strange.

Daughter of Heuen; Now all thy Trumpets sound,

Raise up thy Head vnto the highest Skie,

With Wonder blaze the Gifts in Her are found,

And when shee from this mortall Globe shall flie,

In thy wide Mouth, keepe long long keepe her Name,

So thou by Her, shee by thee liue shall Fame.



I curse the Night, yet doth from Day mee hide,

The Pandionian Birds I tyre with Mones,

The Ecchoes euen are weari'd with my Grones,

Since Absence did mee from my Blisse diuide.

Each Dreame, each Toy, my Reason doth affright,

And when Remembrance reades the curious Scroule

Of pass'd Contentments caused by her Sight,

Then bitter Anguish doth inuade my Soule.

While thus I liue ecclipsed of her Light

(O mee!) what better an I than the Mole?

Or those whose Zenith is the only Pole,

Whose Hemispheare is hid with so long Night?

Saue that in Earth he rests, they hope for Sunne,

I pine, and finde mine endlesse Night begunne.



Of DEath some tell, some of the cruell Paine

Which that bad Crafts-man in his Worke did trie,

When (a new Monster) Flames once did constraine

A humane Corps to yeeld a brutish Crie.

Some tell of those in burning Beds who lie,

For that they durst in the Phlegroean Plaine

The mightie Rulers of the Skie defie,

And siege those christall Towres which all containe.

An other countes of Phlegethons hote Floods

The Soules which drinke, Ixions endlesse Smart,

And his to whom a Vulture eates the Heart,

One telles of Specters in enchanted Woods:

Of all those Paines he who the worst would proue,

Let him bee absent, and but pine in Loue.



Place mee where angry Titan burnes the More,

And thirstie Africke firie Monsters brings,

Or where the new-borne Phoenix spreades her Wings,

And Troupes of wondring Birds her Flight adore.

Place mee by Gange, or Indes empampred Shore,

Where smyling Heauens on Earth cause double Springs,

Place mee where Neptunes Quire of Syrens sings,

Or where (made hoarse through Cold) hee leues to roare.

Mee place where Fortune doth her Darlings crowne,

A Wonder, or a Sparke in Enuies Eye,

Or late outragiuos Fates vpon mee frowne,

And Pittie wailing see disastred Mee,

Affections Print my Minde so deepe doth proue,

I may forget my Self, but not my Loue.



Of mortall Glorie o soone darkned !

O posting Ioyes of Man! more swift than Winde,

O fond Desires! which wing'd with Fancies straye,

O traitous Hopes! which doe our Iudgements blinde:

Loe, in a Flash that Light is gone away,

Which dazell did each Eye, Delight each Minde,

And with that Sunne (from whence it came) combinde,

Now makes more radiant Heauens eternall Day.

Let Beautie now be blubbred Cheekes with Teares,

Let widow'd Musicke only roare, and plaine,

Poore Vertue get thhe Wings, and mount the Spheares,

And let thine only Name on Earth remaine.

Death hath thy Temple raz'd, Loues Empire foylde,

The World of Honour, Worth, and Sweetnesse spoylde.


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