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Desire nor reason hath, nor rest,
As ships in ports desired are drowned;
And yet some poets fain would prove
35 To like, to love, to choose alike.
Sir Walter Raleigh.
NATURAL COMPARISONS WITH PERFECT LOVE.
The lowest trees have tops ; the ant her gall ;
The fly her spleen; the little sparks their heat : The slender hairs cast shadows, though but small ;
And bees have stings, although they be not great. Seas have their surges, so have shallow springs;
5 And love is love, in beggars as in kings. Where rivers smoothest run, deep are the fords ;
The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move ; The firmest faith is in the fewest words ;
The turtles cannot sing, and yet they love. True hearts have eyes, and ears, no tongues to speak; They hear, and see, and sigh ; and then they break.
The world's a bubble, and the life of man
Less than a span;
So to the tomb;
With cares and fears.
Yet whilst with sorrow here we live opprest,
What life is best?
To dandle fools :
Of savage men :
Domestic cares afflict the husband's bed,
Or pains his head :
Or do things worse:
Or wish them gone :
Our own affections still at home to please
Is a disease :
Peril and toil :
Wars with their noise affright us; when they cease,
30 What then remains, but that we still should cry For being born, or, being born, to die?
Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
Like nothing but commending :
Tell Love it is but lust;
Tell Flesh it is but dust. And wish them not reply, For thou must give the lie. Tell Age it daily wasteth ;
Tell Honour how it alters ;
Tell Favour how it falters.
In tickle points of niceness ;
Herself in over-wiseness.
Tell Skill it is pretension ;
Tell Law it is contention.
Tell Nature of decay ;
Tell Justice of delay.
And if they will reply,
But vary by esteeming;
And stand too much on seeming.
Tell how the country erreth ;
Tell Virtue least preferreth.
Commanded thee, done babbling,
Deserves no less than stabbing,
What is the world? tell, worldling, if thou know it. If it be good, why do all ills o'erflow it?
If it be bad, why dost thou like it so ?
If it be friend, why kills it, as a foe,