Sonnets by Fowler, 1 - 40

The Tarantula of Love

O yow who heres the accents of my smart

Diffusd in ryme and sad discorded verse,

Gif euer flams of love hathe touchte your hart,

I trust with sobbs and teares the same to perse;

Yea, euen in these ruid rigours I reherse,

Which I depaint with blodie bloodles wou[n]ds,

I think dispared saules there plaints sal sperse,

And mak the haggard rocks resound sad sounds.

Yet whils as ye the causes reids and grounds

Off her immortal beautye and my payne,

Though which greit greiffs and grace in bothe abounds,

With huimble speache speake this to her agayne:

"O of this stayles thought the stayed sing

Breide him not deathe that glore to the dois bring."



The fyres, the cordes, the girns, the snairs, and darts,

Quhairwith blind love hes me enflamd and wound,

The maist fair face, and the maist cruell hart,

I weiping wryte, and sighing dois resound;

And therwithall the beautyes that rebound

From her quha is of dames maist chaist and fair,

Quha is the obiect, subiect, and the ground

Of my lothd love, and vndeservd dispaire,

The sweit soure Jarres, the ioyes, the noyes, and caire,

My perjurd othes, and my denyed vowes,

Her eyes, her hands, her hyde, her hewe, and haire,

Hir lipps, her cheikes, hir hals, and her brent broues,

And things yet hidd, and to the world vnseene,

To wryte with teares, and paint with plaints, I meane.



Sence spreits, thoughts, harts, you haue frome me, faire, taine,

Then these lamenting and complayning lynes

May justlye to your mereits appertaine,

And dois belang to yow as dewe propynes;

Bot sen my style and muse not weill defynes,

Bot rather darks your prayse then right descryve,

Your just disdaynes of reasoun now enclynes

To cast my songs asyde and thame to ryve,

Whiche now half deade I have reviud alyfe,

And as the laymed birthe of my blunt brayne,

Whils your despyte dois theme of spreits depryve,

I send thame to your plesant hands agayne,

To die by thame, to perrishe in there yre,

To burne by flams as they wer borne by fyre



Pryde of my spreits and brightnes of my eyes,

Lamp of my lyfe and onlye hartes delyte,

Hope of my paynes, sueit causer of my cryes,

Cheife worke of heaven, and naturs mould perfyte,

Glass of al bontye and of beautye quhyte,

Deare sant on earthe, and yet of heuinlye race,

Blist bright suborner of these theames I wryte,

Cleire schyning Sun which darknes dois displace,

Strong centryeis and wyde storehouss of al grace,

Scharpe quik reviuer of my slow ingyne,

Wha bothe my wills and witts reulis by thy face,

Receave these verse which humblie I propyne,

And in thame reid that which thy beutye bred,

Whose wondars hathe me in my folyeis fedd.



Iff great desyre the move to see my harte,

Mak in my breist a bore by knyfe or blaid,

And there yow sal your beautyes al advert

To have theme Maistres of my fredome maid;

There sal yow see how fayntinglye I faide,

And how my lighs, lyke bellowes full of wynd,

Dois blaw furthe deadlye sighs for laike of aide,

And draw deip grones out of a mornfull mynde.

Bot, dea[r]e Bellisa, cruell and vnkynde,

Desist for deathe dois suche effects efface:

Behold my verse, and in theme ye sal fynd

My hart, my love, your favours, and your face,

My plantes, my paynes, my longours, and vnrest,

Your high disdaynes to my disgrace exprest.



O most vnhappie and accursed wight

Tqo prayse her most who doith me most disgrace,

Or her extoll that by her pryde and slight

Dois circumvene me by a snaring face !

And yet in all my greiffs and cairfull cace,

Plundged in the poole of payne and wheil of woe,

By loving and by lothed verse I prease

To eternise her prayse who paynes me soe

Shee, obiect, maks me obiects all forgoe

Which may displace or yet resent disdaynes;

Shee, subiect, subiect not, as wyld as roe

Or any hynde that in the woddes remaynes,

Dothe mak me of my self with shame reherse

That I am first in love as last in verse.



With vncouthe flams lyke never felt afore

I feile the pouars of my lyfe decay,

and passions strainge more strongar worke the more

I spye of deathe bot yet of lyfe no way.

O fatal starrs, fearse destins of that day,

quhilk gaue me light and lyfe to love and see

and prayse the face that dothe al prayse despley,

quhilk gendrethe love, and maketh lust to flie!

yet in this curse quhat hap sal happen me

whiche may requyte my love or quenshe my flame,

to the belangs, Sweit Sante, (as lyes in the

to haile and hurt) for to reveale the same:

for looke in me and yow sall see appeare

great fyres of hope bot gretar frosts of feare.



Through feare and hope, through fervent flams and frost,

Through certen dreid, and maist vncerten caire,

I have the flouer of age and youthe so lost

As now my heade beginns to chainge his haire;

Nor yet do I forsee how tyme may paire,

Or yet the heavens deminish may my griefe;

Nor can I see how to avoyde the snaire

Quhairin I rin with ioy to my misheife;

Nor spye I yet quhat confort or relief

Can I pretend, or yet will shee extend,

Sen shee vnto my doole is dombe and deif,

And dois my plaints disdainfullye perpend,

And with her eyes,which sprinkleth frostes and fyre,

Maks reasoun, saule, and sence attones exspyre.



Perhapps yow think with your disdainfull words,

With ruid repulse, with noyes reherst in yre,

With threatning eyes, mair offensiue then suords,

And silent pryde, to baise my high desyre.

Reclame these though[t]s which dois yow so inspyre:

Love fearles is of deathe or yet disgrace,

And how les happ he hopeth for his hyre,

So muche the more his baldnes dois encrease.

Your beautye was the first that wan the place

And skaild the walls of my vndantond harte,

Which captiue now pynes in a catiue cace,

Vnkyndlye mett with rigour for desert;

Yet, nochttheles, your servant sal abyde,

In spyte of ruid repulse or silent pryde.



Gif mortal prayers move immortal pouers,

Gif pittie (love) may once with the prevayle,

Empaire my paines reviving att all houres,

Or mak thy flams vs equallyie assayle.

No glorious triumphe nor trophe be my baile

Can come to the of my orconqueist corse,

Who never in my faithe did fant or fayle,

Nor rebell lyke resisted ones thy force:

Adres thy chariot and thy suift quhyte horse

Gainst her who vants hes murdred men by love;

Despley thy flags, subvert her but remorse,

That doth a mairmayde and Medusa prove.

Spaire me, vnarmd, quho at the first did yeild,

And conquer her quho last yet keips the feild.



+O wakned thoughts of my incensed mynde,

Eternall noyes of vnconseumd desyres;

O endles plaintes dispersed in the wynde;

O sobbs, o sighs, my smokyie vapourd fyres;

O eyes sent dovne from heaunlye thrones and fures,

The movers first of my mad mour[n]ful Muse;

O vncontrolled love, quho never tyres

To sakk the humbled hartes, and theme abuse;

O trustles hope, deceaving with excuse,

Who maks the feblest harts exempt of feares;

O vndecaying doole through ruid refuse;

O fontaynes tuo of euerflowing teares,

O vndermyning will which works my noy:

Possess her hart that hathe displaist my joy!



But spurr to prick, but brydle for to turne

To quintescence great joyes of gretest greif,

To fyre a harte and not the hyde to burne,

To steile a saule but takeris of a theif,

To kill and save, to giue and stey releife,

Frie wiulls but cords to captiuat and bind;

But blaid to drawe my bloode from senews cheife,

And to enflame a breist but fyre or wynde;

In closest stokkes to hold an oppen mynde;

But entrye in the feght to win the feild,

And to surpas all wemen of her kynde;

Mak wyntar flouers and sommer yce to yeild;

To hayle to Heaven through joy and noy to Hell:

The wondars ar quhairin thow doist excell.



Enflamed by hope, by frost attones I feare,

And quhils my eyes do gase vpon my dame

and to her face dois glewe thair gasings neire,

I grone and joy whils toung no speache can fram[e];

Thus hardned by the yce and melt by flame,

I leiue yet deid; seik sore, I find me sound;

I fal and ryse, I stakkring stand for schame;

I skayle the skyes, yet groveleth on the ground;

Proud in my self, an abiect I am found,

Commixting hope with doubt, I die disgraist;

Paine, joyes, mirthe, mone dois fra my breist reboun[d],

Greif and annoyes my reason hes displaist;

So that my saul displesantlye doth prove,

Euen at one tyme, a Heaven and Hell in love.



Besyde these sorroues I sustened long,

Quhairwith my spreits did faynte and senses fade,

Besydes your cruell though[t]s, ay working wrong

Vpon my huimbled harte, but feare or dreide;

Besyd the floods of woe quhairin I wayde;

Besyde the burdens of my heavye cairs;

Besyde these wonds which store of beutye maid,

Which skant of bontye mair and mair prepairs;

Besyde my great disgraces and dispairs;

Besyde your coy contempt and high disdaynes,

I see new glewe, new girns, newe netts, new snairs,

Adrest to trapp me faster in your traynes,

And mak me crye, as feiling I do prove,

'I did afore bot looke, bot now dois love'.



Bellisa keips vnder her calmye grace

A thick tempestowous clud of blak disdayne,

Cold snowe in harte and kendled flams in face,

Reuthe in her broues bot rigour in her brayne;

Through her faire eyes and myne my hartis tayne,

And pouring poysoun sprinkleth, oh! all quhaire,

Quhilk harte dois sulk as therbye I lye slayne,

And cruell shee taks of my deathe no caire.

Her fretts the brightnes of her browes empaire;

Her frosts dothe pittie from her harte remove;

Her blushing yet decores her beautye maire;

Her hardned harte is rebell vnto love;

Yet howe muche more in her doit[h] hardnes growe,

So love in me more high, and I more lowe.



Ten thousand wayes love hes enflamd my harte,

And nature greivd me with far moe agayne;

Yea, fortoun in my losses playes her parte,

And with dissembled shawes protracts my payne.

Love doth in hardest knotts my harte enchayne,

And nature discords in my senses place,

And fortoun crosses just deserts agayne,

And maks me cludds of toyes for joyes embrace.

So live I plundge, yea, drovned in disgrace,

And triple foes doth mak me perrish thryse:

I see my wrak, and authours I embrace;

Vnlovd, I love theme that my deathe devyse.

Thus wemen tuoe and a child forlorne

Conspyrs all thrie in killing me to scorne.



Suld I not heate these harmefull hands and blame

Which shott the shafts of love streight in that part

That by the bloode that yssewd of the same

Is paynte her fatal name with in my harte?

Yet ar the wonds so sueit of that sueit darte

That seing thame the more I theme adore,

And fayne wald kiss thame though they cause my smart,

That the revenge might equal loss and sore.

Faire hurting hand, hyde not your hewe no more,

Whase quhytnes graces and dothe glad my vewe,

And quhils in wonding me I tak for glore

To perrish and to perrell by your hewe;

How far suld then my joyes and glaidnes growe,

Gif pittie anes culd from your fairnes flowe?



Vnto the Sunn her eyes I do compaire,

Which dothe resemble in euerye pointe the same:

The Sunn his course hes in a spheire maist faire,

Her eyes with in my harte dois roll the same;

Quhils he dois schyne the daye he doith proclame,

Her eyes my suns the dayes ar of my light;

Quhils he declynes, obsceureth is this frame,

Quhils shee is gone, I nought dois see bot night;

The sun the starrs surmont, and is more bright,

My dame in beautye doth all dames surpass;

Thought theirin lyke, yet differs here there might:

He, schyning, lyfe gives to this worldlye mass,

Bot yet her eyes, the fairer they dothe schyne,

They drawe my deathe more nerr to their declyne.



There never ran more fearse and ouglyie beare

Nor cruell beaste in vnmaneured land,

Who, gif the Echoes of my playnts culd heare,

Wald not have steyd for woe, and taymed stand;

There never lyon was in Lybia sand,

Nor hill so high bot might bene lowe and playne,

Nor bird nor fishe subdewed by lyme or wand

Bot wald have wayld with me my endles payne.

Yet onlie shee frome pittie dois refrayne,

And, voyde of grace, shee laughs to see me loure;

The humbler I, shee prouder growes agayne,

And never will one dropp of pittie pouer.

Why hest thowe, nature, then thy worke invert,

That framd her not a face lyke to her harte?



I fallowe her that fleithe far from me,

And flie from her that wald me maist content;

I leave the land to sayle on sands and see;

I lothe the fruit, and feids vpon the sent;

I thrystie am, yet from the wells I went;

I may reape joy, yet do I sorrow seike;

I suit for grace, and will na w[a]yes relent;

I mercyie move, and yet I am not meike;

I speache requyre, and yet I will not speike;

In flamms consumd, I am bothe frost and yce;

I wishe my woes empaird, I others eike,

And profferd love I had of litill pryce;

I seike redress, and will not giue releife;

Gaynde love I lothe, vngaynd I seik with greife.



O quhat great power lurketh in these eyes

Which brings me deathe quhen I there beames behald!

O how bothe sueit and soure ar these bright rayes

Which att one instant maks me whote and cold!

Proud eyes, meik eyes, which maks in doubts me bold,

And dimmis my sight, and dois subdewe my harte,

Fair eyes which bothe dois plagues and peace vnfold,

And by sueit discord dois my saule subvert.

Stey! stey! my faire, and do not theme devert

Which beares the message of my future payne;

Go! go! my dame, and theme no more convert

To summond me vnto your love agayne;

Stey! stey! go! go! I wott not quhat I wishe,

Bot this I knaw, they bring me bayle and bliss.



The day is done, the Sunn dothe ells declyne,

Night now appr[o]aches, and the Moone appeares,

The tuinkling starrs in firmament dois schyne,

Decoring with the poolles there circled spheres;

The birds to nests, wyld beasts to denns reteirs,

The moving leafes vnmoved now repose,

Dewe dropps dois fall, the portraicts of my teares,

The wawes within the seas theme calmlye close:

To all things nature ordour dois Impose,

Bot not to love that proudlye dothe me thrall,

Quha all the dayes and night, but chainge or choyse,

Steirs vp the coales of fyre vnto my fall,

And sawes his breirs and thornes within my hart,

The fruits quhairoff ar doole, greiff, grones, and smart.



Is this lovs toure, is this this forett brent,

That calmes and stormes my discontented mynde?

Is this the Muskett mouthe of maist sueit sent,

That lyfe reviud theirbye in me I find?

Ar these the eyes quhase brightnes maks me blynde,

In depest of my harte ay kendling fyre?

Is this the breist quhair chastetie is schrynde?

Ar these the hands proud rebells to desyre?

Now in my armes I hald my hoped hyre,

Now in my armes I glaspe my gratious dame:

Contenewe, love, my conqueist I requyre.

So in my sleip and dreames these words I frayme:

Bot oh! quhils wakned I behalds the day,

My pleasurs past all with my dreames away.



I hope, sueit saule, to see at my returne

The heunlye couleur of your angell face,

Which is the fyre and flamme quhairby I burne,

And never is empaird by tyme nor place;

Quhair ye sall als behold in me this space

No other chainge bot that of haire and hewe;

As for my harte, which livs in payne but peace,

Euen as it was, so sal yow find it trewe:

Bot quhat sal I agayne in youe revewe

Bot rigours, frosts, denyells, and disdaynes,

And in that face (from which doth ay ensewe

The streaming course of my vnceasant paynes)

A farder fairnes with a farder pryde,

Which dothe my senses from my saul devyde.



Newe wondar of the world, one mo then seaven,

Whose presence was my pryde and absence payne,

Whils this vyld pest in distance heth vs driven,

I equal absence loss with deaths agayne:

For quhen by her we mortallye lye slayne,

To the immortall thrones our soule dois flie,

Euen so my harte in this impatient payne

Abondons this my corss and fleyes to thee.

Deathe maks vs leave the derest things we see,

This pest depryvs me of your heunlye face;

Deathe cruell is, so absence is to me;

Deathe full of frayes, all ioyes doth absence chase:

Yet death putts end to all our noysome caire,

Bot in this absence myne revius the maire.



I tred the futstepps of a thorted gate,

Quhaire love me leades and doole doth me convoy

In couleurs cledd conforme to my estate,

With eyes In teares, and hart surcharged with noy.

My second sunn, quhose presence is my ioy,

By absence now maks darke my way and pathe;

Yea, senses all my reasoun dois destroy,

And all is fallen that I buildt by faithe.

Quho then sall drye my teares quhairin I bathe?

Quho sall my harte deburden of his greif,

And tak from senses the empyre they hathe?

Quho to my schaking feares sal giue releife?

Quho, quho bot shee, to whome the gods hes geven

To be the pryde of earthe as pompe of heaven.



Although this poysning pest, blak, rid, and paile,

Disperseth some and others als infect,

And boith the cyteis and the land assayle,

And terrefyeis with dangers and suspect,

Yet vnaffrayed these terrours I neglect.

I have no feare of a pestiferous breathe,

Sen of lovs force I feil the full effect,

Whoe in my breist his poyson sparpled hathe.

Thus wayes prepaird I walk a cairles pathe,

And baldned so I feare no pest nor boache,

Which by my senses may proceure my deathe:

For so lovs venim dois on me encroache

As no infectioun can infect my corse:

For quhaire that pest is poyson tynes her force.



Far from these eyes, and sondred from that face

Which with alluring lookes hethe me ortayne,

I move vnmoved, I chainge vnchaingde each place,

And therbye thinks to mitigat my payne.

And quhils I thus wayes fra your sight remayne,

Remembring all the moments that ar past,

Yea, euerye houer that I have spent in vayne

In follouing yow quhair ye have fled als fast,

Vnto this dyell horologe att last

I me compaire, quhaire love the neidile is,

My hart the glass which shawes al grace is past,

The threid my thoughts, the schaddow a reft kiss:

See me quho then wald morning knaw by noone,

I am the dyell, sirs, and shee the sune.



Though now no more I see for which I sight,

Nor yet behold the temple of my voues,

I have not yet preaste to escape by flight

Furth of your yok, which nek and fredome boues:

For ay my thoughts which chainging disavoues,

Trewe secretars of my affections all,

And high extollers of your lovlyie browes,

Presents your absent schape more me to thrall,

And in this distance dothe to mynde recall

Your rare perfections and theme right recyte,

Which maks all men in madness for to fall,

And die for love as wemen for despyte:

So present, absent, I my noyes renewe,

And Fouler rins not Foule to girnis and glewe.



If never for to joy nor yet enioy

Ane spark of plesour in my fervent love,

If vaynlye paines and pen and spreits employ

The hardness of her harte to mercye move,

Or yet by absence seike for to remove

My hope that by dispair dois more encrease,

If euerye houer a hell of paynes to prove,

And see for service trewe assynde disgrace,

Iff all these things may yet my flams efface,

And quensche the fyres that burne within my brest,

Iff these things may devert or yet displace

My thoughts from loving her hathe me distrest,

Then am I frie; bot this agayne sayes reason,

He goes not quhair he wald who is in preason.



Vnto the humeur of Bellisas harte

I see the season of thir dayes applye

Freshe in there hewe, yet cold in euerye pairt,

Obscuring by the cludds the clerest skye;

Wynds, tempests, haile, vpon the earthe dois lye,

And vncouth stormes expells his wonted hate;

As euerye man amased dois espye

Some strainge exchainge and rare in there conceate,

So my bellisa, on qhome steyes my state,

By her soure lookes and by her high disdayne

The calmness of my Ioyes doth far abate,

Not caring how shee doith proceur my payne:

Shee maks my eyes to hayle and breist to thunder,

Shee loths my love, and dois my lyfe dissunder.



Euen as the painfull pylot day and night,

In surging seas with tempests overtost,

Depryvd of Sun, of Moone, and starrye light,

Perplexedlye drawes narr and shunns the cost,

Euen so my tossed saule through fyres and frost,

Conseumd with feares, confunded with dispaire,

Desyrous of the eyes quhase sight shee lost,

Doeth covet more the causer of her caire:

Alyke far aff, nar hand, now heire, now there,

Succumbing in lovs seas I faynte and tyre;

Far aff, your face enflams me mair and maire,

Nar hand, your eyes dothe burne me in ther fyre:

Alas! quhat paynes and plagues ar these I prove,

To purches death for lyfe in this my love.



Ar these thy weres O brave bellisa now

Quhaire thow vnto my wrak by theme aspyres?

Ar these the harralds which thow will avowe

For to denunce the message of thy yres,

To cast thy eyes that may subdewe impyres

Vpon that face which thow dois maist disdayne,

And sighing sobb for to rekendle his fyres,

Quhome thow hes wrapt in euerlasting payne?

Will thow with me be trapped in lyke trayne?

Will thow with me this mater now compone,

Yield love for love, giue lyfe by love againe?

We sal agrie if thow amend my mone:

Bot this thow sayes, and brings for thy excuse,

Love is the swetar seasound with refuse.



The raerding thoundars highest triees abate,

And staitlye touers dothe with there fal ding dovne,

Yet they not ay contenewe in that state,

Nor yet they alweys furiouslye dois frovne;

Bot thy fearse yre is euer bent and browne

With sad effects my gladnes to efface,

And maks me scheaver trimblinglye and swowne,

And by disdayne prolongs my deip disgrace.

The godds there Iust conceaved wreathe release,

And ar appaysed by a humble harte;

Yea, plagues deservd by fervent prayers cease:

Bot thow thy thoughts form pittie dois avert,

As nather may my treuthe nor traynes availe

The rampiers of thy rigour for to skayle.



Although the earthe dois bound the occeane sees,

And boreas blasts disturbs with stormes the same,

Thoughe strands and floodes the tribut of theer sees

Dois dewlye pay to theme that theme doth clayme,

Yet for all this they dothe not proudlye frame

There stormye face in euerye streaming tyde

At euerye houer, bot quyet, calme, and tame,

Dothe thole the fleiting schipps on teme to slyde:

Bot thow, fearse damme, of fairnes ful and pryde,

Yea, beautyes sea to quhome the tribut dewe

Of teares, and sighs, of prayers oft denyed,

I have deburdened from a harte maist trewe,

Dois rease thy stormes, and maks thy wynds more blaw(e),

To drone me in lovs sees and overthrawe.



Sad and displesed, my sorroues I lament,

And venteth furthe the accents of my bayle,

And with salt teares I bitterlye repent

That euer thow or love did me assayle,

And since no plaints nor prayers can prevayle

The rampiers of your rigour to subvert,

I will my langour and my losses vayle,

And pass my dayes but ather hope or harte.

Loue maks me de, and deathe dothe spair her darte,

Bot in this sparing thousand deaths dois bring,

For whils I so do liue I do advert

Newe subjects of moe deaths from yow to spring:

Thus lyfe lenghts love, and deaths draws on the more,

That thow dois me disdayne quhome I adore.



O might it plese the high supernall pouers

For to redres my sore afflicted state,

Or short my lothed lyfe and happles houers,

Which confort dois abase and joyes abate!

From day to day my dollours grow so greate

As love insists to wound me more and more;

I rin so far I can not mak retrait;

Ther is no herbe may cuir or salve my sore.

And quhils, faire dame, I do deaths help implore,

I call to mynde that deathe will then deny;

I pen your prayse quhome I with zeale adore;

Yea, gif I die, we bothe sal loss heirbye,

For yow sal tyne the object of your yre,

And I the subject of my high desyre.



O cruell love, why dothe thow sore assayle

My humbled harte with torments overtorne?

Quhat triumphs dost thow mereit of avayle

In thralling me, who is so far forlorne?

And to quhat end is shee as yet forborne

Who, cairles of thy flams, thy bowe and darte,

In her great pryde doeth all thy pouer scorne,

And dois remark my flams with frosen harte?

Now through my loss I am maid more experet,

And now dois see to be bot taels and dremes

That thow hes Mars and Jove him self subvert,

With Phebus bright in his resplendant beames,

Sen that my dame, the glorye of myne eyes,

Dispyseth the, and dois disdayne my cryes.



Within this mortal vayle I coverd beare

A solid doubt of ane vnsolid stey,

With fearfull baldnes and a hardie feare,

Which doeth vncertane joyes and noy bewray;

Anonder pittyeis schade schee dois desplay

The fulnes of her rigour and her pryde,

Quhilk to beate downe by service I assey,

And trewe deserts which maks me more confyde.

Grace bids me hope, dispair agane defyde,

Hence courage comes, and thence dois feare encres,

The ane alreddie quenschte and spent vntryed,

The other growing on groues never les:

Thus whils suche contrairs dothe my lyfe subvert,

I might sone perrish if I had a harte.


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