She looks upon his lips, and they are pale;
She takes him by the hand, and that is cold;
She whispers in his ears a heavy tale,
As if they heard the woeful words she told;
She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes,
Where lo, two lamps burnt out in darkness lies:
Two glasses where herself herself beheld
A thousand times, and now no more reflect;
Their virtue lost wherein they late excelled,
And every beauty robbed of his effect.
“Wonder of time,” quoth she “this is my spite,
That thou being dead, the day should yet be light.
“Since thou art dead, lo, here I prophesy
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend.
It shall be waited on with jealousy,
Find sweet beginning but unsavoury end;
Ne’er settled equally, but high or low,
That all love’s pleasure shall not match his woe.
“It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud;
Bud and be blasted in a breathing while,
The bottom poison, and the top o’erstrawed
With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile.
The strongest body shall it make most weak;
Strike the wise dumb, and teach the fool to speak.
“It shall be sparing, and too full of riot,
Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures.
The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet;
Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures.
It shall be raging mad, and silly-mild,
Make the young old, the old become a child.
“It shall suspect where is no cause of fear;
It shall not fear where it should most mistrust.
It shall be merciful, and too severe,
And most deceiving when it seems most just.
Perverse it shall be where it shows most toward,
Put fear to valour, courage to the coward.
“It shall be cause of war and dire events,
And set dissension ‘twixt the son and sire;
Subject and servile to all discontents,
As dry combustious matter is to fire.
Sith in his prime death doth my love destroy,
They that love best their loves shall not enjoy.”
By this, the boy that by her side lay killed
Was melted like a vapour from her sight,
And in his blood that on the ground lay spilled
A purple flower sprung up, chequered with white,
Resembling well his pale cheeks, and the blood
Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood.
She bows her head the new-sprung flower to smell,
Comparing it to her Adonis’ breath;
And says within her ***** it shall dwell,
Since he himself is reft from her by death.
She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears
Green-dropping sap, which she compares to tears.
“Poor flower,” quoth she “this was thy father’s guise,
—Sweet issue of a more sweet-smelling sire—
For every little grief to wet his eyes.
To grow unto himself was his desire,
And so ’tis thine; but know, it is as good
To wither in my breast as in his blood.
“Here was thy father’s bed, here in my breast;
Thou art the next of blood, and ’tis thy right.
Lo, in this hollow cradle take thy rest;
My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night.
There shall not be one minute in an hour
Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love’s flower.”
Thus weary of the world, away she hies,
And yokes her silver doves, by whose swift aid
Their mistress, mounted, through the empty skies
In her light chariot quickly is conveyed,
Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen
Means to immure herself, and not be seen.