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RIGHT HONORABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLY,
EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TITCHFIELD.
I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to your Lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burthen: only if your honor seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours till I have honored you with some graver labor. But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and never after earl so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honorable survey, and your honor 2 to your heart's content; which I wish may always answer your own wish, and the world's hopeful expectation.
Your Honor's in all duty,
1 Ear, plough.
2 Honor. As a duke is now styled "your grace," so “ your honor formerly the usual mode of address to noblemen in general.
VENUS AND ADONIS.
Even as the sun with purple-colored face
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
66 Thrice fairer than myself,” thus she began,
Nature that made thee, with herself at strife,
1 The poem of “ Hero and Leander," although Marlowe's portion of it was not published till 1598, was probably well known in the poetical circles. The following lines are in the first sestyad :
“ The men of wealthy Sestos every year,
For his sake whom their goddess held so dear,
“ Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed,
Here come and sit, where never serpent hisses,
“And yet not cloy thy lips with loathed satiety,
A summer's day will seem an hour but short,
With this she seizeth on his sweating palm,
Being so enraged, desire doth lend her force,
Over one arm the lusty courser's rein,
She red and hot as coals of glowing fire,
The studded bridle on a ragged bough
Backward she pushed him, as she would be thrust,