The Mock Song

I swive as well as others do,
I’ m young, not yet deformed,
My tender heart, sincere, and true,
Deserves not to be scorned.

Why Phyllis then, why will you swive,
With forty lovers more?
Can I (said she) with Nature strive,
Alas I am, alas I am a whore.

Were all my body larded o’ er,
With darts of love, so thick,
That you might find in ev’ ry pore,
A well stuck standing prick;

Astrophil and Stella 14: Alas, have I not pain enough, my friend

Alas, have I not pain enough, my friend,
Upon whose breast a fiercer gripe doth tire
Than did on him who first stale down the fire,
While Love on me doth all his quiver spend,
But with your rhubarb words you must contend
To grieve me worse, in saying that Desire
Doth plunge my well-formed soul even in the mire
Of sinful thoughts, which do in ruin end?
If that be sin which doth the manners frame,
Well stayed with truth in word and faith of deed,
Ready of wit, and fearing naught but shame;

Astrophil and Stella 49: I on my horse, and Love on me, doth try

I on my horse, and Love on me, doth try
Our horsemanships, while by strange work I prove
A horseman to my horse, a horse to Love,
And now man’ s wrongs in me, poor beast, descry.
The reins wherewith my rider doth me tie
Are humbled thoughts, which bit of reverence move,
Curbed in with fear, but with gilt boss above
Of hope, which makes it seem fair to the eye.
The wand is will; thou, fancy, saddle art,
Girt fast by memory; and while I spur
My horse, he spurs with sharp desire to my heart;

Astrophil and Stella 71: Who will in fairest book of nature know

Who will in fairest book of nature know
How virtue may best lodg'd in beauty be,
Let him but learn of love to read in thee,
Stella, those fair lines which true goodness show.
There shall he find all vices' overthrow,
Not by rude force, but sweetest sovereignty
Of reason, from whose light those night-birds fly;
That inward sun in thine eyes shineth so.
And, not content to be perfection's heir
Thyself, dost strive all minds that way to move,
Who mark in thee what is in thee most fair.

Astrophil and Stella 72: Desire, though thou my old companion art

Desire, though thou my old companion art,
And oft so clings to my pure Love that I
One from the other scarcely can descry,
While each doth blow the fire of my heart,
Now from thy fellowship I needs must part;
Venus is taught with Dian’ s wings to fly;
I must no more in thy sweet passions lie;
Virtue’ s gold now must head my Cupid’ s dart.
Service and honor, wonder with delight,
Fear to offend, will worthy to appear,
Care shining in mine eyes, faith in my sprite:
These things are let me by my only dear;

What Length of Verse?

What length of verse can serve brave Mopsa’ s good to show,
Whose virtues strange, and beauties such, as no man them may know?
Thus shrewdly burden, then, how can my Muse escape?
The gods must help, and precious things must serve to show her shape.

Like great god Saturn, fair, and like fair Venus, chaste;
As smooth as Pan, as Juno mild, like goddess Iris fast.
With Cupid she foresees, and goes god Vulcan’ s pace;
And for a taste of all these gifts, she borrows Momus’ grace.


Too high, too high to pluck
My heart shall swing.
A fruit no bee shall suck,
No wasp shall sting.

If on some night of cold
It falls to ground
In apple-leaves of gold
I’ ll wrap it round.

And I shall seal it up
With spice and salt,
In a carven silver cup,
In a deep vault.

Before my eyes are blind
And my lips mute,
I must eat core and rind
Of that same fruit.

Before my heart is dust
At the end of all,
Eat it I must, I must
Were it bitter gall.

The Process of Explication


Students, look at this table
And now when you see a man six feet tall
You can call him a fathom.

Likewise, students when yes and you do that and other stuff
Likewise too the shoe falls upon the sun
And the alphabet is full of blood
And when you knock upon a sentence in the
Process of explication you are going to need a lot of rags

Likewise, hello and goodbye.


Before Sextet

Use a new conductor every time-out
you have sextet — before foreshore,
before pen name gets anywhere
near any bogey opera glass
(to avoid expulsion to any bogey
flunkey that can carry infidel)
Handle conductor gently

Put conductor on as soon as
pen name is hard
be sure rolled-up ringworm is on
the outspokenness. And leave
space suit at tire to hold
semi-final when you come