Sonnets by Fowler, 41 - 75


I walk within this wood to vent my woes,

Remembring all my greiffs and endles grones,

Whils growing joyes deip sad conceates orgoes,

And loades my hart with love and mynde with mones;

The playsant singing birds my plaints expones;

My teares from springs and wells semes to discend;

Yea, baith the highest hills and hardest stones,

Gif eare they have, a eare to me extend.

Then att the aeks and allers that perpend

My plaints I speire, quhat way will they me feid,

If for to stey with theme I condiscend:

'On grene', say they, 'for grene dois hope ay breid,

Which fedethe wrachles as by proofe they prove,

And brings disparing saules some ease in love.'



O nights, no nights bot ay a daylye payne!

O dayes, no dayes bot cluddie nights obscure!

O lyfe most lothd, transchange in deathe againe!

O doole, no doole bot certen deathe and suire!

O harte, no harte bot rok and marble dure

Quhair wawes of woe with tempests stryketh soare!

O eyes, which ay against my harte conteure!

O teares, no teares bot of salt streames the store!

O heavens, no heavens bot cahos of disglore!

O godds, the guyders of my best hard happ!

O dame, quho dothe depress all reuthe and smore!

O nights, day, lyfe, o doole of deathe the trapp,

O harte, o eyes, o teares, o godds, and dame,

Quhen sal her frosts be warmed be my flame?



If from my love thow partes, I will from thyne;

If thow denyes it, I will it disclayme;

If thow vntuist the cordes, I will vntwyne;

If thow but fyre remane, I sall but flame;

If thow substract thy hart, I will the same;

If thow contemis, I lykyse will disdayne;

If thow refuse, I will no more the blame,

And if thow finds no fault, I will not playne.

Thow reules vnreuld, and so will I agane;

Thow fixed love, I vnprofest sal vowe;

Thow thyne, I myne, thow quyet, I but payne;

Thow scoffs, I scorne, thow drifts, I disallow;

Thow lovsse, I frie, thow mirrye, I will easde,

So in this chainge we thus w(a)yes baith ar pleasde.



Aire be thow ferme, O fyre agane be cold,

Sea stand vnmoved, Earthe rin a restles race;

Deathe become sweit, that kills bothe yong and old;

Heavens chainge your course, your circles, and your place;

Rage, hete, disdaynes, wreathe, rigour, and disgrace,

Trewe lovers hartes content; lat theme for play

There greate contempts, that does there ioyes efface,

Tak in gud pairt, and beare with all deley;

Lat all things chainge and alter without stey;

Imposseble things posseble may be,

Sen these my flams be quenscht which boore the suay,

And to to long of ioyes hes spoyled me:

For now the cordes ar cutt and lousse the chaynes

Of my affectioun and afflicting paynes.



Blist be that houer, and blissed be that day,

That opned vp the wyndowes to disdayne,

Whair through my eyes there blyndness dothe bewraye,

Which, whils they servd, they served but ay in vayne:

My harte now knawes quhat sore perpetuall payne

Adoring yow with zeale it hes susteande,

And quhat conceates to honour yow did frame,

And quhat trewe markes of doole it long reteand:

Now more advyse this muche by greif I gaynde,

That, as I hope, so sall I see your face

With weake encroaching age baith spoyld and staynde,

As pailnes doithe your purpill cheikes deface,

And see the roses faid which they have worne,

And from my harte with theme to feill the thorne.



Full of desyre bot fraught agane with feare,

I burne by hope, and by dispaire dois freise;

With speide I merche, with als muche I reteire,

And bakward the beholds with lotts wyffes eyes;

I seme content, yet nothing can me pleise,

And in this battell beares a naked harte,

And cairles of my lyfe I scoure the sees

Of stormye thoughts and of tempesteous smart;

Baith of my weill and woe I pyle the cairt;

I humblye crave, yet allwayes comes behind;

I mereit muche, but rigour smores desert;

I seik for grace, and dois displeasour fynde:

Thus do I see approache my fatal houers

Quhair lofs and shame is myne and blame al yours.



Quhen that her eyes giues hope of btter happ,

And pittie in bellisas face appeirs,

Then to my playntes I do the passage stapp,

And dois orpass my grones, my greifs, and teares;

Quhils thow, fair saule, incace thow len thy eares

Unto the mornfull accents of my mone,

Hes revisht me above ten heu(n)lye spheres,

Then I conceate I sitt above Ioves throne;

And quhen these hands, which schame the yvore bone,

I softlye touche, though they not gripp agayne,

I feill my former sorroues all ar gone,

As no remembrance of my noyes remayne:

With suche sueit thoughts love dois my thoughs possess,

That hope groues more and I dispair the lefs.



Schip brokken men whome stormye seas sore tosfs

Protests with oaths not to adventur more,

Yet all there perrells, promeses, and losfs

They quyte forgett quhen they come to the schore:

Euen so, fair dame, whils sadlye I deplore

The schipwrak of my witts proceurd by yow,

Your lookes rekendleth love as of before,

And dois reviue which I did disavowe;

So all my former voues I disallowe,

And buryeis in oblivions grave my grones;

Yea, I forgiue herefter euen as now

My feares, my teares, my cares, my sobbs, and mones,

In hope, gif I agane on roks be dreven,

Ye will me thole to ancer in your heaven.



Sueit lovlye kiss and uncontrold disdaynes,

Sueit lovlye frosts, sueit kyndlye loving flams,

Sueit burning fyres, which suetar cold restraynes,

Eyes full of peace and eyes that deathe proclaymes,

Face full of bliss, which nocht bot rigour shames,

Strong rok of faythe and feble reide of love,

Harte soft with hope, harte that al happ disclaymes,

Myndes that with myldnes wyldnes dois approve,

This humeur her, that humeur me doth move,

This is her state, and that is myne agayne,

Now lowting lowe, now monting high above,

So none of vs can tell quho feils more payne;

Bot this I knaw, shee smyles quhen I do dwyne,

So all the dommage and the doole is myne.



O faire whyte hand, who onlye ought to hold

Of cupids chariott the triumphant reanes,

Whils he with conquests chargd of young and old

Will all the warld and heavens did feil his traynes;

O lyvlye snow, lovs sceptar that susteanes,

From whome proceids bothe fyre and golden darte;

Quhyte silk, quhyte Milk, which spredeth in my vaynes,

By heire, by touche, by taist, that kills my harte;

Whyte polisht yvore, wondar of gods arte,

Faire obiec of the heavens eye and beames,

Lovs pryde and pompe of his triumphant cairte,

Yeild grace to me the trophee of extremes,

And panse the wonds of my vnceasant payne,

For as yow hurt so can yow hail agayne.



Love sayes its tyme that I agane returne

To wayle my wonted woes and sad lament,

And to resume the flams by which I burne,

And which hethe bothe my blood and bodye spent.

Thus wayes I feil his bow I euer bent

But intermissioun to petseue my harte,

Who never yet his rigour hethe relent,

Yea, in trewes to play a tratours parte:

For whils that he dothe seme for to convert

Bellisas face from rigour vnto revthe,

And gentlye now and then to spair his darte,

That hes him servd twelf Moones and months with treuthe,

I feill him now agane prepaird the more

To mak freshe wonds of a half heald sore.



Bellisa faire, as I am bound I byde;

Deathe me devyde er I from yow refraine;

No proude disdayne of yours nor spytful pryde,

Quhilk love hathe tyde, dissunder sal in tuayne.

Suppose I payne in this my constant vayne,

Which is bot vayne, though it be constant kythd,

Yet I assyde layes all that ought restrayne

Me to remayne so daft of love denyed.

Yow sene and spyde my faithe lyk to your hyde,

And hathe it tryed trewe gold by rigours stayne;

It brings bot stayne to yow to have defyed

The god, my guyde, who hathe afore yow tayne,

And may agayne yow stay fra wandring wyde,

And say with me, 'as I am bound I byde'.



Muse yow, fair dame, from whense doth flow this vayne

Quhilk dois incense me in your lasting fame?

Whils yow do dryve my thoughts to speachles payne

Which, for your lovve, I to this age proclame:

No Muses help, nor yet Appollos flame

Reclered hathe the cludds of my conceate.

But sence I vewed your beautye but al blame,

Verse flowes but art as skill comes alwayes late:

Your browe, your hair, your compast vaults maist fate,

Tua starns, a mouth with perle and rubyeis dekt,

Whyte hands, which suld weire sceptars of estate,

Whyte breist, quhyte hyde, quhyte alabaster nek,

Grave paece, quik witt and wisdome maist devyne,

Appollo ar to me, and Muses nyne.



O, of my barren Muse the birthfull seed!

O quik reviver of my deid conceates!

O scharpe persewar of my slow retraits,

In whose fair face bothe lyfe and deathe I reid!

O thow my foe in love and freind in feed,

That rayses vp my courage and abaites,

That saves by hope, and by dispair defeats,

That semes to help, and geveth no remeide!

O chanell of my joy, and well of woe!

O tempests of my noyes, and calme of caire,

Who nather halds me stil nor letts me goe!

O heavens bliss, and hell of all dispaire!

O glore of earthe and pryde of euerye place,

Dispachte my lyfe, or ells do grant me grace!



My langour dothe by lingring gretar growe;

My greiffs ar graven baithe in bronse and brass;

My harte first hurt now kendled lyes in lowe;

My miserye her mercye dothe surpass;

My bitter hope, no better then it was,

Whils as it is, sua must it ay remayne,

Which weathers wadther [?] lyke and groues as grass;

As I doe boyle in bayle and pyne in payne,

Bound in loves bands I liue, and fayne do fayne

for to be fried quhair I am fingar fangd,

Exemd, exeimend baith of his trone and trayne:

In vane conceate whils I am wringd and wrangd

I thus wayes crye, "O Ioyles, ielous man,

That feares to loss the lass I never wan!"



In serving yow I see my losse insewe,

And to my ruyne that I rin with speide;

I see that deathe, with terrour to my vewe,

Dothe with her darte vnto my fall proceide;

I see I must dispaire to find remeid,

Quhils pittie hathe no place nor plaints prevayle;

I see yow cruel, cairles of my deide,

And cairfullye your murder I conceale:

Yet thow, curst, blist engendrer of my bayle,

Extend thy grace at last and harte relent,

Perpend my woes in ballances of zeale,

And trye my treuthe and my vnstaynd intent:

Iff they be light, downe wey thame with a kiss,

The gayne wer great, and gever I wald bliss.



Ten thousand tymes from syde to syde I turne,

And restles rowe as on a edge of thorne;

All thir cold nights I gant, I glow, and burne;

I wishe for day, yet languish quhil the morne;

And thinking all that quhyle I here a horne

Annuncing that aurora dois appeire

To glad my harte by langour all forlorne,

And closed darknes of my eyes to cleire,

I mak thir verse, but light and beames perqueire,

Not knawing yet the sequell of the same,

Disturbd with youling hounds that hourlye beare,

And kekling crawes that semes my paynes proclame,

And aye crye off her quhose beutyes works my smart,

Reuthe in thy eyes and rigour in thy harte.



Loue for my loss is changde in fyres and wormes,

Which doith inflam my spreits and hert dois gnawe,

And vowing treuthe all falseoode euen performes,

Pretending reuthe, yet rigour dois bot shawe:

My forces ar bot frayle, yet gainst all lawe

He armed me vnarmed dois invayde;

He sees my teares, he heares the sighs I blawe,

And maks my service thankleslye repayed.

I see him now in ambushe closlye layd

Amangs the roses rid and lillyies quhyte;

I see him now to mak my forces fayde

Be rubyeis which me burne and perles that byte;

And thought I see this loss I can not shun

Quhils naked now into the fyre I run.



I burne by hope, I freise agayne by feare;

I fredome searche, yet spoyles me of the same;

I peace embrace, from rest I doe reteire;

I am In hel, and yet the heavens I clayme;

I see far off, yet vayles to eyes I frame;

As I me yeild, so bakward I withdrawe;

I her extoll quhome I agane doe blame,

And puft with pryde I prostrat me more lawe;

Yea, dombe I crye, and smyling sadnes schawe;

I walk with light, and taks a blynd for guyde;

Yea, not attentiue, I bothe heare and knawe;

The more I crave, the more I am denyde:

Thus love me binds and drawes by double rope,

And maks me fondlye perrish be my hope.



As that poure foolisch fliee, quhase custome is

By flams to fyre her wings and lyfe to lose,

Dothe fondlye flie to her conceated blisss,

And purches deathe in place of her repose,

So in beholding thee, my fragrant rose,

Thy sweit aspect hethe quikned vp desyre,

Which of my ruiyne doth the cause disclose,

And forceth me for to refanne my fyre;

So that in this for quhilk we bothe aspyre,

We equall doole and disadvantage prove;

With lyke effects of our imagind hyre

We lose our lyfe and onlye bot by love.

Disequall yet in this ar thow and I:

Thow quiklyee dees, I deing never die.



This is the actioun I intend to move

And pleye at beautyes barr but all appeale:

Whils your faire eyes wer summonds first of love,

And then my lookes the lybells of lyke zeale,

I doe accuse yow that ye mak me vayle,

And restleslye dryve over my nights and dayes;

By burdings of the greifs quhilk I conceale,

Quhair love dois grow, and lyfe, alas, decayes,

My tymles, aged, silver haire bewrayes

There tymles chainge by rigour and my smart;

And sence my flams with coldnes thow repayes,

Contemming cairleslye all trewe deserte,

Ryve thow the charters of my fainting breathe,

Sen from thy skarlet lipps preceids my deathe.



As one quhome trembling feaver hathe ortayne,

By intermitted tymes bothe hote and cold,

Dothe faintlye on his right and left syde leane,

And finds his bedd more harder than he wold,

Even so in love suche passions I vnfould,

Now frost, now fyre, now waxing reade and paile;

Al night on left and right syde I have rold,

And seaking ease, all ease, alas, doeth faile;

And quhils that hee quhome thrist dois sore assayle,

Remembring drink, recresses mair his drouthe,

So I remembring the rebreids my bayle,

Quho can not sucke these lipps nor kisss that mouthe:

Yet though our doole be lyke and our desyre,

Les painfull feavers ar then lovs his fyre.



Vpon this firthe, as on the sees of love,

My beaten bark, with waltring wawes tost sore,

To the bright fyre her wandring course dothe move,

Imagining I see the on the schore:

Thy words, the Mapp and cairt is, O my glore,

Thy eyes, the ey attractiue calamite,

Thy winks, the tuinkling stars which I adore,

The pointed compass ar thy proper feite,

The rudder is my reason vndiscreit,

The airs my grriffs, the reas my piteous plaint,

The ancar doubt, the suits sowre sueit,

The schip my half deade harte through mad Intent,

The see my teares, my sighs the whirling wynde,

Which maks me seik the heaven I can not fynd.



This lark releiud by yow, greate soverane queene,

Refigurs not my paynes nor yet my plight,

Which in the foulers hand with feare hethe bene,

Conceating causes baith of deathe and flight:

Schee fredoome hes recoverd by your sight,

Fred of the cage whair schee suld bene enclosd,

Miracoulouslye hethe on your neck now light,

And ioying lairgar lyfe hathe there reposd;

Bot I, alas, no lark to deathe exposd,

No Fouler cachting bot a Fouler caught,

Inthralled by the (whose) beautye hathe me glosd,

And sereinlyke hes at my thraldome laught,

Can never fredome to my harte proceure,

Quho might to mercye euen wyld beastes alleure.



Tuix heavenes and her whome onlye I adore

I euerye wheare discerne resemblance greate:

Theme phebus bright and phebe faire decore,

Shee in her breist and hair is lyke perfyte;

Theme bloodie Mars and Mercure dois delyte,

Sueite speache doth her and harte severe maist grace;

They Saturne Sad possess with venus quhyte,

Shee witts maist grace with faire and lovlye face;

In theme great Iove dois thundar furthe a pace,

In her ar lyke effects of calme and storme.

Quha then to see the heunlye Spheres wald prease,

Veue her who to the heavens is most conforme;

And he agane who wold behold my faire,

Convert his eyes to heaven and sie her thaire.



Wurk as thow list my wrak, and frame thy face

To reuthe, to yre, to rancour, and disdayne;

My thoughts vnto suche wrongs gevs no more place

Then does searocks vnto the Occean Mayne;

Be as thow art and as thow wast remayne;

Not as I was I am, for I am frie,

And sore ashaymed so long to serve in vayne,

But any gayne by bontethe or by fee.

I was a catiue slave to love and thee,

And humblye on thy plesour did abyde,

Bot scorns the now as thow haste scoffed me,

And maister of my self doith dant thy pryde:

Yea, lovles now I do my workes disclayme,

Which for thy prayse I spent and to my schame.



Quhat more can I performe or thow exspect

Then consecrat to the my lyfe and harte,

And that sueit fredome which men maist affect

Into a slavishe thraldome to convert?

Quhat more can I, faire dame, to the imparte

Then houers, then oulks, then monthes and yeres to spend,

Devysing how thow may resist deaths darte

Be these my verse whiche for thy prayse I pend?

I fraymd my witts thy vertewe to comend,

I sought by gifts and service the to gayne,

I sought by sights and treuthe thy yres to end,

I sought thy love be my eternal payne;

Yet to thy lasting glorie and my shame,

I gett no guerdon of the, cruell dame.



Not for thy sake, o fair disdanfull dame,

Whome I weill knaw how euil thow thinks of me,

I do my passions and thy prayse proclayme,

Who lenghts my lyfe that I may alwayes dee;

Not for thy sake, that thow suld here or see

The melancolik accents of my mone,

I vent my woes, and sings of love and thee,

And to this age and future theme expone;

Bot that al these with me may sobb and grone,

Who through trewe love hathe chainged bothe hewe & haire,

And folishlye vnto there deaths hes gone,

And not resents the horrours of dispaire,

May now lament there loss, there shame, and smarte,

In geving homage to a rebell harte.



How can I be cald constant in my love

Sen in inconstancyie my dedes consists?

I mount and fall; I baithe stand stil and move;

I feare, I hope; I leave aff yet insists;

My lauliness all proude disdayne resists;

Baith glad and sadd, I frese and I do burn;

And in despyte in patience more persists;

Content, displeased, attones I smyle and murne;

As I wald go, als sone I wald returne;

My plaints sueit musik ar, my confort caire;

i bakward stey with bitt, and fordword spurne;

Thus of inconstant constant am I maire:

And since thow, love, suche contrairs dois agrie,

Ioyne me to her and her agane to me.



Eternal lord, God of immortal glore,

Though I in love my self and sense have lost

By vainlie vowing quhome now I do abhor,

With sighs and teares caused baithe by flams and frost,

Though, soverene prence, I have in playning most

Bewaild my panis bot not bewaild my sinn,

And so maid sad in me thy holie ghost,

Yet drawe my saule from hell that thense doth rin.

This , O Sueit lord, to grant I will begin,

That I have blaikned beutyes lovd and servd,

And hethe adord bot outward bark and skin,

And earthlie things to heunlye hes preferd:

Yet let thy mercie the to mercie move,

And off my mortal mak immortal love.



Lord quha redemes the deid and doth reviue,

And stumbling things preservs fra farder fall,

Quha mercyeis maks the sinfull saul to liue,

And dothe to mynde na mair there guylt recall,

Aboliss, lord, my faults baith great and smal,

And my contempt and my offence efface;

By thy sweit meiknes and thy mercye thral

My stubborne thoughts, proud rebells to thy grace;

In thy sones bloode my sinns, great god, displace,

And giue me words to cal vpon thy name.

Lord in thy wonted kyndnes me embrace,

That to this age I may these words proclame:

"As I IN ONE GOD EUER ay haith trust,

So ar his promeis steadfast, trewe, and Iust."



It is thy plott and [ ], mightie love,

To trayne me to thy girns agane and snair,

And mak my thoughts, fraught now with present caire,

My former wonted woes agane to prove.

Thow Sone quha sees and shynes from heavens above

Did euer thow behald a face more faire,

The wonder of this age and phenix rare,

Quhase grace to honour her my hart dois move?

And thow, faire dame, In quhome the heaven hes steld

Attons al that which soundrie hath in part,

Let me not entrie be expeld

Of this my offered service and my hart:

So sal the prayse be yours and pains be myne,

And with your beautye sal your bontie shyne.



Bellisa pansiue satt, and in her hands,

More whyte then snaw, did hald the holye booke,

And reiding that which shee weill vnderstands

Devoltlye with her eyes did thairin looke,

And quhils her heide was boued her brest shee strooke,

And with a godlye and a gudlye zeale

Pourd furth her sighs of vapours ful and smoke,

And with such incence did her plantis revele

"O god," sayd[?] I, "and[?] dois my day[m]e bewayle

My sore afflicted and distressed state?"

"O god," sayd[?] I, "repents shee of her fayte,

Her wrathe, her rigours, and her m[u]rder[?] greate?

No! No! for this I see and am asseurd,

Her godlines dois mak her mair indurd."



Quhils with more reuthfull and alluiring eyes

Thow wings my hope that I may yet aspyre,

And dois prepair the tymber , colls, and treis,

For to reviue my half exti[n]gisht fyre,

So sone I feel the force of thy desyre

Tak full effect and fuller me enflame;

Yea, never Lunt more Lint mor poulders yre

Inkendled soner then yow me, my dame.

Bot seing the Vntouched[?] with the same,

I twirle[?] a roll of love, and rubb eache part

Of your sueit corse for to enflame the same,

Quhilk sone was quensht by coldnes of thy hart:

So nather booke[?] nor songs contentment brings,

for paper flams not with saddnes sings.



So hard a hart, so could, so frie then myne,

No arrow, flame, nor cord, perst, brunt, nor band;

Bot captiue now I am through these assaults of thyne;

Sore hurt I am, flamd, chainde by feit and hand,

More ferme then stone, more cold then frost or sand;

Frie and exemd fra force of lovs impyre,

I feard no wond, no letts, nor bur[n]ind brand,

By bow, by netts, by sparks of whote desyre;

Bot now by shott I am destroyed in yre,

As never dart, nor fewell, chayne so sore,

A hart more oppned, fastned, or did fyre;

And yet save death I see no help therfor

To staunche, quenshe, lousse, the bloode, the bleise, and knott,

That binds, waists, rinis, which I to stey meanes not.


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