William Percy (1575-1648)

From Coelia (1594)commentary

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"Judged by my goddess' doom to endless pain"

Judged by my goddess' doom to endless pain,
Lo, here I ope my sorrow's passion,
That every silly eye may view most plain
A sentence given on no occasion.
If that by chance they fall (most fortunate)
Within those cruel hands that did enact it,
Say but, Alas, he was too passionate,
My doom is passed, nor can be now unactit.
So mayst thou see I was a spotless lover,
And grieve withal that e'er thou dealt so sore;
Unto remorse who goes about to move her
Pursues the wingéd winds, and tills the shore.
Lovely is her semblance, hard is her heart,
Wavering is her mind, sure is her dart.

"Relent, my dear yet unkind Coelia"

Relent, my dear yet unkind Coelia,
At length relent, and give my sorrows end.
So shall I keep my long-wished holiday,
And set a trophy on a froward friend.
Nor tributes, nor imposts, nor other duties
Demand I will, as lawful conqueror;
Duties, tributes, imposts unto thy beauties
Myself will pay as yielded servitor.
Then quick relent, thyself surrender us.
Brave sir, and why (quoth she) must I relent?
Relent (cried I), thyself doth conquer us.
When eftsoons with my proper instrument
She cut me off, ay me, and answeréd,
You cannot conquer, and be conqueréd.

"It shall be said I died for Coelia"

It shall be said I died for Coelia;
Then quick, thou grisly man of Erebus,
Transport me hence unto Proserpina,
To be adjudged as--wilful amorous;
To be hung up within the liquid air,
For all the sighs which I in vain have wasted;
To be through Lethe's waters cleanséd fair,
For those dark clouds which have my looks o'ercasted;
To be condemned to everlasting fire,
Because at Cupid's fire I wilful brent me;
And to be clad for deadly dumps in mire.
Among so many plagues which shall torment me
One solace I shall find, when I am over,--
It will be known I died a constant lover.