by Lady Mary Wroth
|Dear Love, alas, how have I 1
That ceaselessly thou still dost follow me?
My heart of diamond, clear and hard, I find
May yet be pierced with one of the same kind
Which hath in it engraven a love more pure
Than spotless white, and deep still to endure,
Wrought in with tears of never resting pain,
Carved with the sharpest point of cursed
Rain oft doth was away a slender mark,
Tears make mine firmer, and, as one small
In straw may make a fire, so sparks of love
Kindles incessantly in me to move,
While cruellest you do only pleasure take
To make me faster tied to scorn's sharp stake.
'Tis harder, and more strength must usèd be,
To shake a tree than boughs we bending see:
So to move me it was alone your power,
None else could e'er have found a yielding
Cursed be subjection, yet blessè in this sort,
That 'gainst all but one choice, my heart
Hath ever lasted: though besieged, not moved.
But by their miss my strength the stronger
Resisting with that constant might, that win
They scarce could could parley,2
much less get foes in.
Yet worse than foes your slightings prove to be,
When careless you no pity take on me.
Make good my dreams, wherein you kind appear,
Be to mine eyes, as to my soul, most dear.
From your accustomed strangeness at last turn;
An ancient house once fired will quickly burn
And waste unhelped; my long love claims a time
To have aid granted, to this height I climb.
A diamond pure and hard, an unshaked tree,
A burning house find, help, and prize in me.
1. Composed by Pamphilia
during a solitary early morning
walk in the forest (i.121).
2. win ... parley] They could scarcely negotiate
Wroth, Lady Mary. Poems. R. E. Pritchard, Ed.
Staffordshire, England: Keele University Press, 1996. 137.
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