L’Escu d’amour, the shield of perfect love,
The shield of love, the force of stedfast faith,
The force of faith which never will remove,
But standeth fast, to bide the brunts of death:
That trustie targe, hath long borne off the blowes,
And broke the thrusts, which absence at me throwes.
In dolefull dayes I lead an absent life,
And wound my will with many a weary thought:
I plead for peace, yet sterve in stormes of strife,
I find debate, where quiet rest was sought.
These panges with mo, unto my paine I prove,
Yet beare I all uppon my shield of love.
In colder cares are my conceipts consumd,
Than Dido felt when false Æneas fled:
In farre more heat, than trusty Troylus fumde,
When craftie Cressyde dwelt with Diomed:
My hope such frost, my hot desire such flame,
That I both fryse, and smoulder in the same.
So that I live, and die in one degree,
Healed by hope, and hurt againe with dread:
Fast bound by faith when fansie would be free,
Untied by trust, though thoughts enthrall my head:
Reviv’d by joyes, when hope doth most abound,
And yet with grief, in depth of dolors drownd.
In these assaultes I feele my feebled force
Begins to faint, thus weried still in woes:
And scarcely can my thus consumed corse,
Hold up this Buckler to beare of these blowes:
So that I crave, or presence for relief,
Or some supplie, to ease mine absent grief.
To you (deare Dame) this dolefull plaint I make,
Whose onely sight may soone redresse my smart:
Then shew your selfe, and for your servaunts sake,
Make hast post hast, to helpe a faithfull harte:
Mine owne poore shield hath me defended long,
Now lend me yours, for elles you do me wrong.