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A LOVER'S COMPLAINT.

A LOVER'S COMPLAINT.

[This beautiful poem was first printed in 1609, with our author's name, at the end of the quarto edition of his

Sonnets.]

FROM off a hill, whose concave womb reworded
A plaintful story from a sistering vale,
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded,
And down I lay to list the sad-tuned tale :
Ere long espied a fickle maid full pale,
Tearing of papers, breaking rings atwain,
Storming her world with sorrow's wind and rain.

Upon her head a platted hive of straw,
Which fortified her visage from the sun,
Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
The carcase of a beauty spent and done.
Time had not scythed all that youth begun,

Nor youth all quit; but, spite of heaven's fell rage,
Some beauty peep'd through lattice of sear'd age.

Oft did she heave her napkin to her eyne,
Which on it had conceited characters,1

Fanciful images.

Laundering the silken figures in the brine
That season'd woe had pelleted 2 in tears,
And often reading what contents it bears;
As often shrieking undistinguish'd woe,
In clamors of all size, both high and low.

Sometimes her levell'd eyes their carriage ride, 3
As they did battery to the spheres intend;
Sometime diverted their poor balls are tied
To the orb'd earth: sometimes they do extend
Their view right on; anon their gazes lend
To every place at once, and no where fix'd,
The mind and sight distractedly commix'd.

Her hair, nor loose, nor tied in formal plat,
Proclaim'd in her a careless hand of pride;
For some, untuck'd, descended her sheaved a hat,
Hanging her pale and pined cheek beside:
Some in her threaden fillet still did bide;

And, true to bondage, would not break from thence,
Though slackly braided in loose negligence.

A thousand favors from a maund 5 she drew,
Of amber, crystal, and of bedded jet,
Which one by one she in a river threw,
Upon whose weeping margent she was set,
Like usury, applying wet to wet ;

1 Moistening.

2 i. e. formed into pellets or balls. • Straw.

In allusion to a piece of ordnance.
Hand basket.

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