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As oft as I behold, and see

As oft as I behold, and see
The sovereign beauty that me bound;
The nigher my comfort is to me,
Alas! the fresher is my wound.

As flame doth quench by rage of fire,
And running streams consume by rain;
So doth the sight that I desire
Appease my grief, and deadly pain.

Like as the fly that see’th the flame,
And thinks to play her in the fire;
That found her woe, and sought her game
Where grief did grow by her desire.

First when I saw those crystal streams,
Whose beauty made my mortal wound;
I little thought within their beams
So sweet a venom to have found.

But wilful will did prick me forth,
Blind Cupid did me whip and guide;
Force made me take my grief in worth;
My fruitless hope my harm did hide;

Wherein is hid the cruel bit,
Whose sharp repulse none can resist;
And eke the spur that strains each wit
To run the race against his list.

As cruel waves full oft be found
Against the rocks to roar and cry;
So doth my heart full oft rebound
Against my breast full bitterly.

And as the spider draws her line,
With labour lost I frame my suit;
The fault is her’s, the loss is mine:
Of ill sown seed, such is the fruit.

I fall, and see mine own decay;
As he that bears flame in his breast,
Forgets for pain to cast away
The thing that breedeth his unrest.

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As oft as I behold, and see - HENRY HOWARD