from THE MUSES' ELYSIUM
How in my thoughts shall I contrive
The image I am framing,
Which is so far superlative,
As 't is beyond all naming?
I would Jove of my counsel make,
And have his judgment in it,
But that I doubt he would mistake
How rightly to begin it.
It must be builded in the air,
And 't is my thoughts must do it,
And only they must be the stair
From earth to mount me to it.
For of my sex I frame my lay,
Each hour ourselves forsaking,
How should I then find out the way,
To this my undertaking,
When our weak fancies working still,
Yet changing every minute,
Will show that it requires some skill,
Such difficulties in it?
We would things, yet know not what,
And let our will be granted,
Yet instantly we find in that
Something unthought of wanted.
Our joys and hopes such shadows are
As with our motions vary,
Which when we oft have fetched from far,
With us they never tarry.
Some worldly cross doth still attend
What long we have been spinning,
And ere we fully get the end,
We lose of our beginning.
Our policies so peevish are
That with themselves they wrangle,
And many times become the snare
That soonest us entangle ;
For that the love we bear our friends,
Though ne'er so strongly grounded,
Hath in it certain oblique ends,
If to the bottom sounded ;
Our own well wishing making it
A pardonable treason,
For that it is derived from wit,
And underpropped with reason.
For our dear selves' beloved sake,
Even in the depth of passion,
Our centre though ourselves we make
Yet is not that our station ;
For whilst our brows ambitious be,
And youth at hand awaits us,
It is a pretty thing to see
How finely beauty cheats us ;
And whilst with time we trifling stand
To practise antique graces,
Age with a pale and withered hand
Draws furrows in our faces.
A Sixteenth Century Anthology. Arthur Symons,
London: Blackie & Son, Ltd., 1905. 267-269.
||to Works of Michael Drayton
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