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The passion of a Lover

I smyle sometimes although my griefe be great,
To heare and see these lovers paint their paine,
And how they can in pleasaunt rimes repeate,
The passing pangs, which they in fancies faine.
But if I had such skyll to frame a verse,
I could more paine than all their panges rehearse.
Some saye they finde nor peace, nor power to fight,
Which seemeth strange: but stranger is my state:
I dwell in dole, yet sojorne with delight,
Reposde in rest, yet weryed with debate.
For flatte repulse, might well appease my wyll,
But fancie fightes, to trye my fortune styll.

Some other saye they hope, yet live in dread,
They friese, they flame, they flie aloft, they fall,
But I nor hope with happe to rayse my head,
Nor feare to stoupe, for why my gate is small.
Nor can I friese, with cold to kyll my heart,
Nor yet so flame, as might consume my smart.

How live I then, which thus drawe foorth my dayes?
Or tell me howe, I found this fever first?
What fits I feele? what distance? what delayes?
What griefe? what ease? what lyke I best? what worst?
These thinges they tell, which seeke redresse of paine,
And so wyll I, although I coumpt it vaine.

I live in love, even so I love to live,
(Oh happie state, twise happie he that findes it)
But love to life this cognisance doth geve,
This badge this marke, to every man that mindes it,
Love lendeth life, which (dying) cannot dye,
Nor lyving live: and such a life leade I.

The Sunny dayes which gladde the saddest wightes,
Yet never shine to cleere my misty moone:
No quiet sleepe, amidde the mooneshine nightes,
Can close mine eyes, when I am woe begone.
Into such shades my peevishe sorrowe shrowdes,
That Sunne and Moone, are styll to me in clowdes.

And feverlike I feede my fancie styll,
With such repast, as most empaires my health,
Which fever first I caught by wanton wyll,
When coles of kind dyd stirre my blood by stealth:
And gazing eyes, in bewtie put such trust,
That love enflamd my liver al with lust.
My fits are lyke the fever Ectick fits,
Which one daye quakes within and burnes without,
The next day heate within the boosoms sits,
And shiviring colde the body goes about.
So is my heart most hote when hope is colde,
And quaketh most when I most heate behold.

Tormented thus without delayes I stand,
All wayes in one and evermore shalbe,
In greatest griefe when helpe is nearest hand,
And best at ease if death might make me free:
Delighting most in that which hurtes my heart,
And hating change which might relieve my smart.

Yet you deare dame: to whome this cure pertaines,
Devise by times some drammes for my disease,
A noble name shall be your greatest gaines,
Whereof be sure, if you wyll worke mine ease.
And though fond fooles set forth their fittes as fast,
Yet graunt with me that my straunge passion past.

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The passion of a Lover - GEORGE GASCOIGNE