Sir William Alexander

Song I

 Next Poem          

O would to God a way were found,
That by some secret sympathie vnknowne,
My Faire my fancies depth might sound,
And know my state as clearely as her owne.
Then blest, most blest were I,
No doubt beneath the skie
I were the happiest wight:
For if my state they knew,
It ruthlesse rockes would rue,
And mend me if they might.
But as the babe before the wand,
Whose faultlesse part his parents will not trust,
For very feare doth trembling stand,
And quakes to speake although his cause be iust:
So set before her face,
Though bent to pleade for grace,
I wot not how I faile:
Yet minding to say much,
That string I neuer touch,
But stand dismaid and pale.

The deepest riuers make least din,
The silent soule doth most abound in care:
Then might my brest be read within,
A thousand volumes would be written there.
Might silence shew my mind,
Sighes tell how I were pin'd,
Or lookes my woes relate;
Then any pregnant wit,
That well remarked it,
Would soone discerne my state.
No fauour yet my Faire affoords,
But looking haughtie, though with humble eyes,
Doth quite confound my staggering words;
And as not spying that thing which she spies.
A mirror makes of me,
Where she her selfe may see:
And what she brings to passe,
I trembling too for feare,
Moue neither eye nor eare,
As if I were her glasse.
Whil'st in this manner I remaine,
Like to the statue of some one that's dead,
Strange tyrants in my bosome raigne,
A field of fancies fights within my head:
Yet if the tongue were true,
We boldly might pursue
That Diamantine hart.
But when that it's restrain'd,
As doom'd to be disdain'd,
My sighes shew how I smart.
No wonder then although I wracke,
By them betrayd in whom I did confide,
Since tongue, heart, eyes and all gaue backe,
She iustly may my childishnesse deride.
Yet that which I conceale,
May serue for to reueale
My feruencie in loue.

My passions were too great,
For words t'expresse my state,
As to my paines I proue.
Of those that do deserue disdaine,
For forging fancies get the best reward:
Where I who feele what they do faine,
For too much loue am had in no regard.
Behold by proofe we see
The gallant liuing free,
His fancies doth extend:
Where he that is orecome,
Rain'd with respects stands dumbe,
Still fearing to offend.
My bashfulnesse when she beholds,
Or rather my affection out of bounds,
Although my face my state vnfolds,
And in my hew discouers hidden wounds:
Yet ieasting at my wo,
She doubts if it be so,
As she could not conceiue it.
This grieues me most of all,
She triumphs in my fall,
Not seeming to perceiue it.
Then since in vaine I plaints impart
To scornfull eares, in a contemned scroule;
And since my toung betrayes my hart,
And cannot tell the anguish of my soule:
Hencefoorth I'le hide my losses,
And not recompt the crosses
That do my ioyes orethrow:
At least to senselesse things,
Mounts, vales, woods, flouds, and springs,
I shall them onely show.

Ah vnaffected lines,
True models of my heart,
The world may see, that in you shines
The power of passion more then art.

Next Poem 

 Back to
Sir William Alexander