Richard Barnfield (1574-1627)
To His Friend, Master R.L., in Praise of Music and Poetry
If music and sweet poetry agree,
As they must needs (the sister and the brother),
Then must the love be great 'twixt thee and me,
Because thou lov'st the one, and I the other.
Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch
Upon the lute doth ravish human sense;
Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such
As, passing all conceit, needs no defence.
Thou lov'st to hear the sweet melodious sound
That Phœbus' lute (the queen of music makes;
And I in deep delight am chiefly drowned
Whenas himself to singing he betakes.
One god is god of both (as poets feign),
One knight loves both, and both in thee remain.
Against the Dispraisers of Poetry
Chaucer is dead; and Gower lies in grave;
The Earl of Surrey long ago is gone;
Sir Philip Sidney's soul the heavens have;
George Gascoigne him before was tombed in stone.
Yet, though their bodies lie full low in ground,
As every thing must die that erst was born,
Their living fame no fortune can confound,
Nor ever shall their labors be forlorn.
And you, that discommend sweet poetry,
(So that the subject of the same be good)
Here may you see your fond simplicity,
Sith kings have favored it, of royal blood.
The King of Scots (now living) is a poet,
As his Lepanto and his Furies show it.
"Sighing, and sadly sitting by my love"
Sighing, and sadly sitting by my love,
He asked the cause of my heart's sorrowing,
Conjuring me by heaven's eternal King
To tell the cause which me so much did move.
Compelled (quoth I), to thee will I confess,
Love is the cause, and only love it is
That doth deprive me of my heavenly bliss.
Love is the pain that doth my heart oppress.
And what is she (quoth he) whom thou dost love?
Look in this glass (quoth I), there shalt thou see
The perfect form of my felicity.
When, thinking that it would strange magic prove,
He opened it, and taking off the cover,
He straight perceived himself to be my lover.
Cherry-lipped Adonis in his snowy shape,
Might not compare with his pure ivory white,
On whose fair front a poet's pen might write,
Whose rosiate red excels the crimson grape.
His love-enticing delicate soft limbs,
Are rarely framed t' intrap poor gazing eyes;
His cheeks, the lily and carnation dyes,
With lovely tincture which Apollo's dims.
His lips ripe strawberries in nectar wet,
His mouth a hive, his tongue a honeycomb,
Where muses (like bees) make their mansion.
His teeth pure pearl in blushing coral set.
Oh how can such a body sin-procuring,
Be slow to love, and quick to hate, enduring?