Thomas Watson (c. 1557-1592)
From The Tears of Fancy (1593)
"I saw the object of my pining thought"
I saw the object of my pining thought
Within a garden of sweet nature's placing,
Wherein an arbor, artificial wrought
By workman's wondrous skill, the garden gracing,
Did boast his glory, glory far renowned,
For in his shady boughs my mistress slept;
And with a garland of his branches crowned,
Her dainty forehead from the sun ykept.
Imperious love upon her eyelids tending,
Playing his wanton sports at every beck
And into every finest limb descending
From eyes to lips, from lips to ivory neck,
And every limb supplied, and t'every part
Had free access, but durst not touch her heart.
"Each tree did boast the wished spring-time's pride"
Each tree did boast the wishèd spring-time's pride
When solitary in the vale of love
I hid myself, so from the world to hide
The uncouth passions which my heart did prove,
No tree whose branches did not bravely spring,
No branch whereon a fine bird did not sit,
No bird but did her shrill notes sweetly sing,
No song but did contain a lovely dit.
Trees, branches, birds, and songs were framèd fair,
Fit to allure frail mind to careless ease;
But careful was my thought, yet in despair
I dwelt, for brittle hope me cannot please.
For when I view my love's fair eyes' reflecting
I entertain despair, vain hope rejecting.
"In clouds she shines, and so obscurely shineth"
In clouds she shines, and so obscurely shineth
That like a mastless ship at seas I wander,
For want of her to guide my heart that pineth,
Yet can I not entreat ne yet command her.
So am I tied in labyrinths of fancy,
In dark and obscure labyrinths of love,
That every one may plain behold that can see
How I am fettered and what pains I prove.
The lamp whose light should lead my ship about
Is placed upon my mistress' heavenly face;
Her hand doth hold the clew must lead me out
And free my heart from thraldom's loathèd place
But clew to lead my out, or lamp to light me,
She scornfully denied--the more to spite me.