Of His Ladies Not Comming To London

A poem by Michael Drayton

That ten-yeares-trauell'd Greeke return'd from Sea
Ne'r ioyd so much to see his Ithaca,
As I should you, who are alone to me,
More then wide Greece could to that wanderer be.
The winter windes still Easterly doe keepe,
And with keene Frosts haue chained vp the deepe,
The Sunne's to vs a niggard of his Rayes,
But reuelleth with our Antipodes;
And seldome to vs when he shewes his head,
Muffled in vapours, he straight hies to bed.
In those bleake mountaines can you liue where snowe
Maketh the vales vp to the hilles to growe;
Whereas mens breathes doe instantly congeale,
And attom'd mists turne instantly to hayle;
Belike you thinke, from this more temperate cost,
My sighes may haue the power to thawe the frost,
Which I from hence should swiftly send you thither,
Yet not so swift, as you come slowly hither.
How many a time, hath Phebe from her wayne,
With Phoebus fires fill'd vp her hornes againe;
Shee through her Orbe, still on her course doth range,
But you keep yours still, nor for me will change.
The Sunne that mounted the sterne Lions back,
Shall with the Fishes shortly diue the Brack,
But still you keepe your station, which confines
You, nor regard him trauelling the signes.
Those ships which when you went, put out to Sea,
Both to our Groenland, and Virginia,
Are now return'd, and Custom'd haue their fraught,
Yet you arriue not, nor returne me ought.
The Thames was not so frozen yet this yeare,
As is my bosome, with the chilly feare
Of your not comming, which on me doth light,
As on those Climes, where halfe the world is night.
Of euery tedious houre you haue made two,
All this long Winter here, by missing you:
Minutes are months, and when the houre is past,
A yeare is ended since the Clocke strooke last,
When your Remembrance puts me on the Racke,
And I should Swound to see an Almanacke,
To reade what silent weekes away are slid,
Since the dire Fates you from my sight haue hid.
I hate him who the first Deuisor was
Of this same foolish thing, the Hower-glasse,
And of the Watch, whose dribbling sands and Wheele,
With their slow stroakes, make mee too much to feele
Your slackenesse hither, O how I doe ban,
Him that these Dialls against walles began,
Whose Snayly motion of the moouing hand,
(Although it goe) yet seeme to me to stand;
As though at Adam it had first set out
And had been stealing all this while about,
And when it backe to the first point should come,
It shall be then iust at the generall Doome.
The Seas into themselues retract their flowes.
The changing Winde from euery quarter blowes,
Declining Winter in the Spring doth call,
The Starrs rise to vs, as from vs they fall;
Those Birdes we see, that leaue vs in the Prime,
Againe in Autumne re-salute our Clime.
Sure, either Nature you from kinde hath made,
Or you delight else to be Retrograde.
But I perceiue by your attractiue powers,
Like an Inchantresse you haue charm'd the bowers
Into short minutes, and haue drawne them back,
So that of vs at London, you doe lack
Almost a yeare, the Spring is scarce begonne
There where you liue, and Autumne almost done.
With vs more Eastward, surely you deuise,
By your strong Magicke, that the Sunne shall rise
Where now it setts, and that in some few yeares
You'l alter quite the Motion of the Spheares.
Yes, and you meane, I shall complaine my loue
To grauell'd Walkes, or to a stupid Groue,
Now your companions; and that you the while
(As you are cruell) will sit by and smile,
To make me write to these, while Passers by,
Sleightly looke in your louely face, where I
See Beauties heauen, whilst silly blockheads, they
Like laden Asses, plod vpon their way,
And wonder not, as you should point a Clowne
Vp to the Guards, or Ariadnes Crowne;
Of Constellations, and his dulnesse tell.
Hee'd thinke your words were certainly a Spell;
Or him some piece from Creet, or Marcus show,
In all his life which till that time ne'r saw
Painting: except in Alehouse or old Hall
Done by some Druzzler, of the Prodigall.
Nay doe, stay still, whilst time away shall steale
Your youth, and beautie, and your selfe conceale
From me I pray you, you haue now inur'd
Me to your absence, and I haue endur'd
Your want this long, whilst I haue starued bine
For your short Letters, as you helde it sinne
To write to me, that to appease my woe,
I reade ore those, you writ a yeare agoe,
Which are to me, as though they had bin made,
Long time before the first Olympiad.
For thankes and curt'sies sell your presence then
To tatling Women, and to things like men,
And be more foolish then the Indians are
For Bells, for Kniues, for Glasses, and such ware,
That sell their Pearle and Gold, but here I stay,
So I would not haue you but come away.

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