Commanding asker, if it be
Pity that you fain would have,
Then I turn beggar unto thee,
And ask the thing that thou dost crave;
I will suffice thy hungry need
So thou wilt but my fancy feed.
In all ill years, wast ever known
On so much beauty such a dearth,
Which in that thrice-bequeathéd gown
Looks like the sun eclipsed with earth,
Like gold in canvas, or with dirt
Unsoiléd ermines close begirt?
Yet happy he that can but taste
This whiter skin, who thirsty is;
Fools dote on satin motions laced,
The gods go naked in their bliss;
At th' barrel's head there shines the vine,
There only relishes the wine.
There quench my heat, and thou shalt sup,
Worthy the lips that it must touch,
Nectar from out the starry cup;
I beg thy breath not half so much;
So both our wants supplied shall be,
You'll give for love, I, charity.
Cheap, then, are pearl-embroideries
That not adorn but cloud thy waist;
Thou shalt be clothed above all price
If thou wilt promise me embraced;
We'll ransack neither chest nor shelf,
I'll cover thee with mine own self.
But, cruel, if thou dost deny
This necessary alms to me,
What soft-souled man with his eye
And hand will hence be shut to thee?
Since all must judge you more unkind,
I starve your body, you my mind.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on January 16, 1997.