William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585-1649)
William Drummond of Hawthornden had a large library from which his sonnets borrowed freely. Poems (1616) is divided into two parts, following the lead of Petrarch--the first part addressed to his mistress in life and the second in death. I have omitted the many other poems, madrigals, and songs that were originally interspersed among the sonnets; numbers are provided only to indicate the sonnets' order in the work--this is not a continuous sequence. Modernizations and footnotes are from Ward unless otherwise noted. Some original versions can be found at the University of Glascow.
The First Part
- I. "In my first years, and prime yet not at height"
- II. "I know that all beneath the moon decays"
- III. "Ye who so curiously do paint your thoughts"
- IV. "Fair is my yoke, though grievous be my pains"
- V. "How that vast heaven intitled First is roll'd"
- VI. "Vaunt not, fair heavens, of your two glorious lights"
- VII. "That learned Grecian, who did so excel"
- VIII. "Now while the night her sable veil hath spread"
- IX. "Sleep, Silence' child, sweet father of soft rest"
- X. "Fair Moon, who with thy cold and silver shine"
- XI. "Lamp of heaven's crystal hall that brings the hours"
- XII. "Ah! burning thoughts, now let me take some rest"
- XIII. "O sacred blush, impurpling cheeks' pure skies"
- XIV. "Nor Arne, nor Mincius, nor stately Tiber"
- XV. "To hear my plaints, fair river crystalline"
- XVI. "Sweet brook, in whose clear crystal I mine eyes"
- XVII. "With flaming horns the Bull now brings the year"
- XVIII. "When Nature now had wonderfully wrought"
- XIX. "In vain I haunt the cold and silver springs"
- XX. "All other beauties, howsoe'er they shine"
- XXI. "My tears may well Numidian lions tame"
- XXII. "Nymphs, sister nymphs, which haunt this crystal brook"
- XXIII. "Then is she gone? O fool and coward I!"
- XXIV. "In mind's pure glass when I myself behold"
- XXV. "Dear quirister, who from those shadows sends"
- XXVI. "Trust not, sweet soul, those curled waves of gold"
- XXVII. "That I so slenderly set forth my mind"
- XXVIII. "Sound hoarse, sad lute, true witness of my woe"
- XXIX. "You restless seas, appease your roaring waves"
- XXX. "What cruel star into this world me brought"
- XXXI. "Dear eye, which deign'st on this sad monument"
- XXXII. "If crost with all mishaps be my poor life"
- XXXIII. "Let fortune triumph now, and Iö sing"
- XXXIV. "O cruel beauty, meekness inhumane"
- XXXV. "The Hyperborean hills, Ceraunus' snow"
- XXXVI. "Who hath not seen into her saffron bed"
- XXXVII. "Of Cytherea's birds, that milk-white pair"
- XXXVIII. "The sun is fair when he with crimson crown"
- XXXIX. "Slide soft, fair Forth, and make a crystal plain"
- XL. "Ah! who can see those fruits of Paradise"
- XLI. "Is't not enough, ay me! me thus to see"
Poems: The First Part
In my first years, and prime yet not at height,
When sweet conceits my wits did entertain,
Ere beauty's force I knew, or false delight,
Or to what oar she did her captives chain,
Led by a sacred troop of Phoebus' train,
I first began to read, then lov'd to write,
And so to praise a perfect red and white,
But, God wot, wist not what was in my brain:
Love smil'd to see in what an awful guise
I turn'd those antiques of the age of gold,
And, that I might more mysteries behold,
He set so fair a volume to mine eyes,
That I (quires clos'd which, dead, dead sighs but breathe)
Joy on this living book to read my death.
I know that all beneath the moon decays
And what by mortals in this world is brought,
In Time's great periods shall return to nought;
That fairest states have fatal nights and days;
I know how all the Muse's heavenly lays,
With toil of spright which are so dearly bought,
As idle sounds, of few or none are sought,
And that nought lighter is than airy praise;
I know frail beauty like the purple flower,
To which one morn oft birth and death affords;
That love a jarring is of minds' accords,
Where sense and will invassal reason's power:
Know what I list, this all can not me move,
But that, O me! I both must write and love.
Ye who so curiously do paint your thoughts,
Enlight'ning ev'ry line in such a guise,
That they seem rather to have fall'n from skies,
Than of a human hand be mortal draughts;
In one part Sorrow so tormented lies,
As if his life at ev'ry sigh would part;
Love here blindfolded stands with bow and dart,
There Hope looks pale, Despair with rainy eyes:
Of my rude pencil look not for such art,
My wit I find now lessened to devise
So high conceptions to express my smart,
And some think love but feign'd, if too too wise.
These troubled words and lines confus'd you find,
Are like unto their model, my sick mind.
Fair is my yoke, though grievous be my pains,
Sweet are my wounds, although they deeply smart,
My bit is gold, though shortened be the reins,
My bondage brave, though I may not depart:
Although I burn, the fire which doth impart
Those flames, so sweet reviving force contains,
That, like Arabia's bird, my wasted heart,
Made quick by death, more lively still remains.
I joy, though oft my waking eyes spend tears,
I never want delight, even when I groan,
Best companied when most I am alone;
A heaven of hopes I have midst hells of fears.
Thus every way contentment strange I find,
But most in her rare beauty, my rare mind.
How that vast heaven intitled First is roll'd,
If any other worlds beyond it lie,
And people living in eternity,
Or essence pure that doth this All uphold;
What motion have those fixed sparks of gold,
The wand'ring carbuncles which shine from high,
By sprights, or bodies, contrare-ways in sky
If they be turn'd, and mortal things behold;
How sun posts heaven about, how night's pale queen
With borrowed beams looks on this hanging round,
What cause fair Iris hath, and monsters seen
In air's large fields of light, and seas profound,
Did hold my wand'ring thoughts, when thy sweet eye
Bade me leave all, and only think on thee.
Vaunt not, fair heavens, of your two glorious lights
Which, though most bright, yet see not when they shine,
And shining, cannot show their beams divine
Both in one place, but part by days and nights;
Earth, vaunt not of those treasures ye enshrine,
Held only dear because hid from our sights,
Your pure and burnish'd gold, your diamonds fine,
Snow-passing ivory that the eye delights;
Nor, seas, of those dear wares are in you found,
Vaunt not, rich pearl, red coral, which do stir
A fond desire in fools to plunge your ground;
Those all, more fair, are to be had in her;
Pearl, ivory, coral, diamond, suns, gold,
Teeth, neck, lips, heart, eyes, hair, are to behold.
That learned Grecian, who did so excel
In knowledge passing sense, that he is nam'd
Of all the after-worlds divine, doth tell,
That at the time when first our souls are fram'd,
Ere in these mansions blind they come to dwell,
They live bright rays of that eternal light,
And others see, know, love, in heaven's great height,
Not toil'd with aught to reason doth rebel.
Most true it is, for straight at the first sight
My mind me told, that in some other place
It elsewhere saw the idea of that face,
And lov'd a love of heavenly pure delight;
No wonder now I feel so fair a flame,
Sith I her lov'd ere on this earth she came.
Now while the night her sable veil hath spread,
And silently her resty coach doth roll,
Rousing with her from Tethys' azure bed
Those starry nymphs which dance about the pole;
While Cynthia, in purest cypress clad,
The Latmian shepherd in a trance descries,
And whiles looks pale from height of all the skies,
Whiles dyes her beauties in a bashful red;
While sleep, in triumph, closed hath all eyes,
And birds and beasts a silence sweet do keep,
And Proteus' monstrous people in the deep,
The winds and waves, husht up, to rest entice;
I wake, muse, weep, and who my heart hath slain
See still before me to augment my pain.
Sleep, Silence' child, sweet father of soft rest,
Prince, whose approach peace to all mortals brings,
Indifferent host to shepherds and to kings,
Sole comforter of minds with grief opprest;
Lo, by thy charming rod all breathing things
Lie slumb'ring, with forgetfulness possest,
And yet o'er me to spread thy drowsy wings
Thou spares, alas! who cannot be thy guest.
Since I am thine, O come, but with that face
To inward light which thou art wont to show,
With feigned solace ease a true-felt woe;
Or if, deaf god, thou do deny that grace,
Come as thou wilt, and what thou wilt bequeath,
I long to kiss the image of my death.
Fair Moon, who with thy cold and silver shine
Makes sweet the horror of the dreadful night,
Delighting the weak eye with smiles divine,
Which Phoebus dazzles with his too much light;
Bright Queen of the first Heaven, if in thy shrine,
By turning oft, and Heaven's eternal might,
Thou hast not yet that once sweet fire of thine,
Endymion, forgot, and lover's plight;
If cause like thine may pity breed in thee,
And pity somewhat else to it obtain,
Since thou hast power of dreams, as well as he
Who paints strange figures in the slumb'ring brain,
Now while she sleeps, in doleful guise her show
These tears, and the black map of all my woe.
Lamp of heaven's crystal hall that brings the hours,
Eye-dazzler, who makes the ugly night
At thine approach fly to her slumb'ry bow'rs,
And fills the world with wonder and delight;
Life of all lives, death-giver by thy flight
To southern pole from these six signs of ours,
Goldsmith of all the stars, with silver bright
Who moon enamels, Apelles of the flow'rs;
Ah! from those watery plains thy golden head
Raise up, and bring the so long lingering morn;
A grave, nay, hell, I find become this bed,
This bed so grievously where I am torn;
But, woe is me! though thou now brought the day,
Day shall but serve more sorrow to display.
Ah! burning thoughts, now let me take some rest,
And your tumultuous broils a while appease;
Is 't not enough, stars, fortune, love molest
Me all at once, but ye must too displease?
Let hope, though false, yet lodge within my breast,
My high attempt, though dangerous, yet praise.
What though I trace not right heaven's steepy ways?
It doth suffice, my fall shall make me blest.
I do not doat on days, nor fear not death;
So that my life be brave, what though not long?
Let me renown'd live from the vulgar throng,
And when ye list, heavens! take this borrowed breath.
Men but like visions are, time all doth claim;
He lives, who dies to win a lasting name.
O sacred blush, impurpling cheeks' pure skies
With crimson wings which spread thee like the morn;
O bashful look, sent from those shining eyes,
Which, though cast down on earth, couldst heaven adorn;
O tongue, in which most luscious nectar lies,
That can at once both bless and make forlorn;
Dear coral lip, which beauty beautifies,
That trembling stood ere that her words were born;
And you her words, words, no, but golden chains,
Which did captive mine ears, ensnare my soul,
Wise image of her mind, mind that contains
A power, all power of senses to control;
Ye all from love dissuade so sweetly me,
That I love more, if more my love could be.
Nor Arne, nor Mincius, nor stately Tiber,
Sebethus, nor the flood into whose streams
He fell who burnt the world with borrow'd beams,
Gold-rolling Tagus, Munda, famous Iber,
Sorgue, Rhone, Loire, Garron, nor proud-banked Seine,
Peneus, Phasis, Xanthus, humble Ladon,
Nor she whose nymphs excel her who lov'd Adon,
Fair Tamesis, nor Ister large, nor Rhine,
Euphrates, Tigris, Indus, Hermus, Gange,
Pearly Hydaspes, serpent-like Meander,
The gulf bereft sweet Hero her Leander,
Nile, that far his hidden head doth range,
Have ever had so rare a cause of praise,
As Ora, where this northern Phoenix stays.
To hear my plaints, fair river crystalline,
Thou in a silent slumber seems to stay;
Delicious flow'rs, lily and columbine,
Ye bow your heads when I my woes display;
Forests, in you the myrtle, palm, and bay,
Have had compassion list'ning to my groans;
The winds with sighs have solemniz'd my moans
'Mong leaves, which whispered what they could not say;
The caves, the rocks, the hills, the Sylvans' thrones,
(As if even pity did in them appear)
Have at my sorrows rent their ruthless stones;
Each thing I find hath sense except my dear,
Who doth not think I love, or will not know
My grief, perchance delighting in my woe.
Sweet brook, in whose clear crystal I mine eyes
Have oft seen great in labour of their tears;
Enamell'd bank, whose shining gravel bears
These sad characters of my miseries;
High woods, whose mounting tops menace the spheres;
Wild citizens, Amphions of the trees,
You gloomy groves at hottest noons which freeze,
Elysian shades, which Phoebus never clears;
Vast solitary mountains, pleasant plains,
Embroid'red meads that ocean-ways you reach;
Hills, dales, springs, all that my sad cry constrains
To take part of my plaints, and learn woe's speech,
Will that remorseless fair e'er pity show?
Of grace now answer if ye ought know. No.
With flaming horns the Bull now brings the year,
Melt do the horrid mountains' helms of snow,
The silver floods in pearly channels flow,
The late-bare woods green anadems do wear;
The nightingale, forgetting winter's woe,
Calls up the lazy morn her notes to hear;
Those flow'rs are spread which names of princes bear,
Some red, some azure, white and golden grow;
Here lows a heifer, there bea-wailing strays
A harmless lamb, not far a stag rebounds;
The shepherds sing to grazing flocks sweet lays,
And all about the echoing air resounds.
Hills, dales, woods, floods, and everything doth change,
But she in rigour, I in love am strange.
When Nature now had wonderfully wrought
All Auristella's parts, except her eyes,
To make those twins two lamps in beauty's skies,
She counsel of her starry senate sought.
Mars and Apollo first did her advise
In colour black to wrap those comets bright,
That Love him so might soberly disguise,
And unperceived, wound at every sight.
Chaste Phoebe spake for purest azure dyes,
But Jove and Venus green about the light
To frame thought best, as brigging most delight,
That to pin'd hearts. hope might for aye arise:
Nature, all said, a paradise of green
There plac'd, to make all love which have them seen.
In vain I haunt the cold and silver springs,
To quench the fever burning in my veins;