TO make the doubt cleare, that no woman's true,
Was it my fate to prove it strong in you?
Thought I, but one had breathed purest aire,
And must she needs be false because she's faire?
Is it your beauties marke, or of your youth,
Or your perfection, not to study truth?
Or thinke you heaven is deafe, or hath no eyes?
Or those it hath, smile at your perjuries?
Are vowes so cheape with women, or the matter
Whereof they are made, that they are writ in water,
And blowne away with winde? Or doth their breath
(Both hot and cold at once) make life and death?
Who could have thought so many accents sweet
Form'd into words, so many sighs should meete
As from our hearts, so many oathes, and teares
Sprinkled among, (all sweeter by our feares
And the divine impression of stolne kisses,
That seal'd the rest) should now prove empty blisses?
Did you draw bonds to forfet? signe to breake?
Or must we reade you quite from what you speake,
And finde the truth out the wrong way? or must
Hee first desire you false, would wish you just?
O I prophane, though most of women be
This kinde of beast, my thought shall except thee;
My dearest love, though froward jealousies
With circumstance might urge thy'inconstancie,
Sooner I'll thinke the Sunne will cease to cheare
The teeming earth, and that forget to beare,
Sooner that rivers will runne back, or Thames
With ribs of Ice in June would bind his streames,
Or Nature, by whose strength the world endures,
Would change her course, before you alter yours.
But 0 that treacherous breast to whom weake you
Did trust our Counsells, and wee both may rue,
Having his falsehood found too late, 'twas hee
That made me cast you guilty, and you me,
Whilst he, black wretch, betray'd each simple word
Wee spake, unto the cunning of a third.
Curst may hee be, that so our love hath slaine,
And wander on the earth, wretched as Cain,
Wretched as hee, and not deserve least pitty;
In plaguing him, let misery be witty;
Let all eyes shunne him, and hee shunne each eye,
Till hee be noysome as his infamie;
May he without remorse deny God thrice,
And not be trusted more on his Soules price;
And after all selfe torment, when hee dyes,
May Wolves teare out his heart, Vultures his eyes,
Swine eate his bowels, and his falser tongue
That utter'd all, be to some Raven flung,
And let his carrion coarse be a longer feast
To the Kings dogges, than any other beast.
Now have I curst, let us our love revive;
In mee the flame was never more alive;
I could beginne againe to court and praise,
And in that pleasure lengthen the short dayes
Of my lifes lease; like Painters that do take
Delight, not in made worke, but whiles they make;
I could renew those times, when first I saw
Love in your eyes, that gave my tongue the law
To like what you lik'd; and at maskes and playes
Commend the self same Actors, the same wayes;
Aske how you did, and often with intent
Of being officious, be impertinent;
All which were such soft pastimes, as in these
Love was as subtilly catch'd, as a disease;
But being got it is a treasure sweet,
Which to defend is harder than to net:
And ought not be prophan'd on either part,
For though'tis got by chance,'tis kept by art.