Love, that long since hast to thy mighty powre
Perforce subdude my poor captived hart,
And raging now therein with restlesse stowre*,
Doest tyrannize in everie weaker part,
Faine would I seeke to ease my bitter smart 5
By any service I might do to thee,
Or ought that else might to thee pleasing bee.
[* Stowre, commotion.]
And now t’asswage the force of this new flame,
And make thee more propitious in my need,
I meane to sing the praises of thy name, 10
And thy victorious conquests to areed*,
By which thou madest many harts to bleed
Of mighty victors, with wide wounds embrewed,
And by thy cruell darts to thee subdewed.
[* Areed, set forth.]
Onely I fear my wits, enfeebled late 15
Through the sharp sorrowes which thou hast me bred,
Should faint, and words should faile me to relate
The wondrous triumphs of thy great god-hed:
But, if thou wouldst vouchsafe to overspred
Me with the shadow of thy gentle wing, 20
I should enabled be thy actes to sing.
Come, then, O come, thou mightie God of Love!
Out of thy silver bowres and secret blisse,
Where thou dost sit in Venus lap above,
Bathing thy wings in her ambrosial kisse, 25
That sweeter farre than any nectar is,
Come softly, and my feeble breast inspire
With gentle furie, kindled of thy fire.
And ye, sweet Muses! which have often proved
The piercing points of his avengefull darts, 30
And ye, fair Nimphs! which oftentimes have loved
The cruel worker of your kindly smarts,
Prepare yourselves, and open wide your harts
For to receive the triumph of your glorie,
That made you merie oft when ye were sorrie. 35
And ye, faire blossoms of youths wanton breed!
Which in the conquests of your beautie bost,
Wherewith your lovers feeble eyes you feed,
But sterve their harts, that needeth nourture most,
Prepare your selves to march amongst his host, 40
And all the way this sacred hymne do sing,
Made in the honor of your soveraigne king.
Great God of Might, that reignest in the mynd,
And all the bodie to thy hest doest frame,
Victor of gods, subduer of mankynd, 45
That doest the lions and fell tigers tame,
Making their cruell rage thy scornfull game,
And in their roring taking great delight,
Who can expresse the glorie of thy might?
Or who alive can perfectly declare 50
The wondrous cradle of thine infancie,
When thy great mother Venus first thee bare,
Begot of Plenty and of Penurie,
Though elder then thine own nativitie,
And yet a chyld, renewing still thy yeares, 55
And yet the eldest of the heavenly peares?