>> / Henry Constable

. Poems of Henry Constable



/ Henry Constable, (15621613) - .


Damelus' Song To Diaphenia

Diaphenia, like the daffadowndilly,
White as the sun, fair as the lily,
Heigh ho, how I do love thee!
I do love thee as my lambs
Are beloved of their dams-
How blest were I if thou wouldst prove me!

Diaphenia, like the spreading roses,
That in thy sweets all sweets incloses,
Fair sweet, how I do love thee!
I do love thee as each flower
Loves the sun's life-giving power,
For, dead, thy breath to life might move me.

Diaphenia, like to all things blessed,
When all thy praises are expressed,
Dear joy, how I do love thee!
As the birds do love the spring,
Or the bees their careful king,-
Then in requite, sweet virgin, love me!


My lady's presence makes the roses red

My lady's presence makes the roses red,
Because to see her lips they blush for shame.
The lily's leaves, for envy, pale became,
And her white hands in them this envy bred.
The marigold the leaves abroad doth spread,
Because the sun's and her power is the same.
The violet of purple colour came.
Dyed in the blood she made my heart to shed.
In brief: all flowers from her their virtue take;
From her sweet breath their sweet smells do proceed;
The living heat which her eyebeams doth make
Warmeth the ground and quickeneth the seed.
The rain, wherewith she watereth the flowers,
Falls from mine eyes, which she dissolves in showers.


On the Death of Sir Philip Sidney

Give pardon, blessed soul, to my bold cries,
If they, importune, interrupt thy song,
Which now with joyful notes thou sing'st among
The angel-quiristers of th' heavenly skies.
Give pardon eke, sweet soul, to my slow eyes,
That since I saw thee now it is so long,
And yet the tears that unto thee belong
To thee as yet they did not sacrifice.
I did not know that thou wert dead before;
I did not feel the grief I did sustain;
The greater stroke astonisheth the more;
Astonishment takes from us sense of pain;
I stood amazed when others' tears begun,
And now begin to weep when they have done.


The Shepherd's Venus And Adonis

Venus fair did ride,
Silver doves they drew her
By the pleasant lawns,
Ere the sun did rise;
Vesta's beauty rich
Opened wide to view her,
Philomel records
Pleasing harmonies;
Every bird of spring
Cheerfuly did sing,
Paphos' goddess they salute.
Now love's queen so fair
Had of mirth no care,
For her son had made her mute.
In her breast so tender
He a shaft did enter,
When her eyes beheld a boy,
Adonis was he named,
By his mother shamed,
Yet he now is Venus' joy.

Him alone she met,
Ready bound for hunting;
Him she kindly greets,
And his journey stays;
Him she seeks to kiss,
No devices wanting,
Him her eyes still woo,
Him her tongue still prays.
He with blushing red
Hangeth down the head,
Not a kiss can he afford;
His face is turned away,
Silence said her nay,
Still she wooed him for a word.
Speak, she said, thou fairest,
Beauty thou impairest;
See me, I am pale and wan;
Lovers all adore me,
I for love implore thee.
Crystal tears with that ran down.

Him herewith she forced
To come sit down by her;
She his neck embraced,
Gazing in his face;
He, like one transformed,
Stirred no look to eye her.
Every herb did woo him,
Growing in that place;
Each bird with a ditty
Prayed him for pity
In behalf of beauty's queen;
Waters' gentle murmur
Craved him to love her,
Yet no liking could be seen,
Boy, she said, look on me,
Still I gaze upon thee,
Speak, I pray thee, my delight.
Coldly he replied,
And, in brief, denied
To bestow on her a sight.

I am now too young
To be won by beauty;
Tender are my years,
I am yet a bud.
Fair thou art, she said,
Then it is thy duty,
Wert thou but a blossom,
To effect my good.
Every beauteous flower
Boasteth of my power,
Birds and beasts my laws effect.
Myrrha, thy fair mother,
Most of any other
Did my lovely hests respect.
Be with me delighted,
Thou shall be requited,
Every nymph on thee shall tend;
All the gods shall love thee,
Man shall not reprove thee,
Love himself shall be thy friend.

Wend thee from me, Venus,
I am not disposed;
Thou wring'st me too hard,
Prithee, let me go;
Fie, what a pain it is
Thus to be enclosed;
If love begin with labor,
It will end in woe.
Kiss me, I will leave.
Here a kiss recieve.
A short kiss I do it find,
Wilt thou leave me so?
Yet thou shalt not go;
Breathe once more thy balmy wind,
It smelleth of the myrrh tree
That to the world did bring thee,
Never was perfume so sweet.
When she had thus spoken,
She gave him a token,
And their naked bosoms met.

Now, he said, let's go,
Hark, the hounds are crying,
Grisly boar is up,
Hunstmen follow fast.
At the name of boar
Venus seemed dying,
Deadly-colored pale,
Roses overcast.
Speak, said she, no more
Of following the boar;
Thou, unfit for such a chase,
Course the fearful hare,
Venison do not spare,
If thou wilt yield Venus grace.
Shun the boar, I pray thee,
Else I still will stay thee,
Herein he vowed to please her mind;
Then her arms enlarged,
Loath she him discharged,
Forth he went as swift as wind.

Thetis Phoebus' steeds
In the west retained;
Hunting sport was past,
Love her love did seek;
Sight of him too soon,
Gentle queen she gained.
On the ground he lay;
Blood had left his cheek,
For an orped swine
Smit him in the groin,
Deadly wound his death did bring.
Which when Venus found,
She fell in a swound,
And awaked, her hands did wring.
Nymphs and satyrs skipping
Came together tripping,
Echo every cry expressed.
Venus by her power Turned him to a flower,
Which she weareth in her crest.


To St. Mary Magdalen

Such as, retired from sight of men, like thee
By penance seek the joys of heaven to win,
In deserts make their paradise begin
And even among wild beasts do angels see,
In such a place my soul doth seem to be,
When in my body she laments her sin
And none but brutal passions finds therein,
Except they be sent down from heaven to me.
Yet if those graces God to me impart
Which he inspired thy blessed breast withal,
I may find haven in my retired heart;
And if thou change the object of my love,
The winged affection which men Cupid call
May get his sight, and like an angel prove.


To The Blessed Sacrament

When thee (O holy sacrificed Lambe)
In severed sygnes I whyte and liquide see,
As on thy body slayne I thynke on thee,
Which pale by sheddyng of thy bloode became.

And when agayne I doe behold the same
Vayled in whyte to be receavd of mee,
Thou seemest in thy syndon wrapt to bee
Lyke to a corse, whose monument I am.

Buryed in me, vnto my sowle appeare,
Prysond in earth, and bannisht from thy syght,
Lyke our forefathers who in lymbo were,
Cleere thou my thoughtes, as thou didst gyve them light,
And as thou others freed from purgyng fyre
Quenche in my hart the flames of badd desyre.



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