Well, This Puts Not Too


Well, This Puts Not Too Fine a Point On It

LOVE'S SERVILE LOT St. Robert Southwell S. J.

LOVE, mistress is of many minds,
    Yet few know whom they serve ;
They reckon least how little Love
    Their service doth deserve.

The will she robbeth from the wit,
    The sense from reason's lore ;
She is delightful in the rind,
    Corrupted in the core.

She shroudeth vice in virtue's veil,
    Pretending good in ill ;
She offereth joy, affordeth grief,
    A kiss where she doth kill.

A honey-shower rains from her lips,
    Sweet lights shine in her face ;
She hath the blush of virgin mind,
    The mind of viper's race.

She makes thee seek, yet fear to find
    To find, but not enjoy :
In many frowns some gliding smiles
    She yields to more annoy.

She woos thee to come near her fire,
    Yet doth she draw it from thee ;
Far off she makes thy heart to fry,
    And yet to freeze within thee.

She letteth fall some luring baits
    For fools to gather up ;
Too sweet, too sour, to every taste
    She tempereth her cup.

Soft souls she binds in tender twist,
    Small flies in spinner's web ;
She sets afloat some luring streams,
    But makes them soon to ebb.

Her watery eyes have burning force ;
    Her floods and flames conspire :
Tears kindle sparks, sobs fuel are,
    And sighs do blow her fire.

May never was the month of love,
    For May is full of flowers ;
But rather April, wet by kind,
    For love is full of showers.

Like tyrant, cruel wounds she gives,
    Like surgeon, salve she lends ;
But salve and sore have equal force,
    For death is both their ends.

With soothing words enthralled souls
    She chains in servile bands ;
Her eye in silence hath a speech
    Which eye best understands.

Her little sweet hath many sours,
    Short hap immortal harms ;
Her loving looks are murd'ring darts,
    Her song bewitching charms.

Like winter rose and summer ice,
    Her joys are still untimely ;
Before her Hope, behind Remorse :
    Fair first, in fine unseemly.

Moods, passions, fancy's jealous fits
    Attend upon her train :
She yieldeth rest without repose,
    And heaven in hellish pain.

Her house is Sloth, her door Deceit,
    And slippery Hope her stairs ;
Unbashful Boldness bids her guests,
    And every vice repairs.

Her diet is of such delights
    As please till they be past ;
But then the poison kills the heart
    That did entice the taste.

Her sleep in sin doth end in wrath,
    Remorse rings her awake ;
Death calls her up, Shame drives her out,
    Despairs her upshot make.

Plough not the seas, sow not the sands,
    Leave off your idle pain ;
Seek other mistress for your minds,
    Love's service is in vain.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on March 3, 2003 7:28 AM.

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