WHAT sweet relief the showers to thirsty plants we see,
What dear delight the blooms to bees, my true love is to me!
As fresh and lusty Ver foul Winter doth exceed—
As morning bright, with scarlet sky, doth pass the evening's weed—
As mellow pears above the crabs esteemed be—
So doth my love surmount them all, whom yet I hap to see!
The oak shall olives bear, the lamb the lion fray,
The owl shall match the nightingale in tuning of her lay,
Or I my love let slip out of mine entire heart,
So deep reposed in my breast is she for her desart!
For many blessed gifts, O happy, happy land!
Where Mars and Pallas strive to make their glory most to stand!
Yet, land, more is thy bliss that, in this cruel age,
A Venus' imp thou hast brought forth, so steadfast and so sage.
Among the Muses Nine a tenth if Jove would make,
And to the Graces Three a fourth, her would Apollo take.
Let some for honour hunt, and hoard the massy gold:
With her so I may live and die, my weal cannot be told.