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Cupids epistle to the yonger sorte

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Cupids epistle to the yonger sorte.
When oght with ardent heat I kindle and inflame,
Then is accomplished & broght in orders frame,
That forcefull woord of yore, wherein stil force doth ly,
That wild each thing at first, encreasse and multiply,
What after nature liues, liues subiect vnto mee,
All yeilding to my law must all my vassalles bee.
Obedience vnto mee importes not anie blame,
Since all-comaunding will ordayneth so thesame.
My vnrestrayned force to all that moue & liue,
A lust to procreate, moste liberally doth giue.
In elements all fowre, all what appeers to bee,
By inclination shew accordance vnto mee.
Yea eu’n aswell the things that reasonlesse are found,
As that same race wherin reason doth most abound,
The fish amiddes the deep & fowles that fly aboue,
Do all well know & fynd what thing it is to loue.
The Salamander doth not leaue deer loues desyre,
Since I it do conserue with him admiddes the fyre.
Behold the Sun & Moon, resembling man and wyf,
How they remayn in heau’n in loue and lasting lyf.
By whose coniunction all vvhat men on earth do fynd,
Are both produc’d & kept in novvriture and kynd.
Their springing & encrease & food they freely giue,
Vnto the trees and plants vvhich by them grovv & liue.

For trees haue liuing spririts, althogh they sencelesse bee,
Obseruing my comaund,as by the Palme ye see,
When as some riuer doth female & male diseuer,
Each to the other bends, as fayn to bee together.
Iust nature did at first deuise and well ordayn,
The woman and the man deuyded into twayn.
But by vniting both, by either sweetned is,
The kynd& loving vse of this deuisions blisse.
The well establisht law of nature and of kynd,
To do oght reasonlesse may neuer anie fynd,
For nothing is vnfitt by nature put in trayn,
But all is well, and well in order doth remayn,
What man then may hee seem which liueth still alone,
Vnioynd’d vnto a wyf which maketh two in one?
Hee is but half a man, for man without a wyf,
I do esteem no more if hee so end his lyf.
A lustlesse lyuing thing, bereft of his delight,
A fostrer of sad thoghts, a solitarie wight.
One whome vnpleasantnes best seemeth for to please,
Borne to his onlie care, and ignorant of ease.
Depryu’d of lyf and ioy, vndonne and vnbeloued,
For Iouelesse must he liue, that not to loue is moued.
Where hee that to sweet loue loues to affoord his fauor,
The sweetnes of his lyf more sweetly makes to sauor.

Hee doth diminish much his sorrow and his wo,
Or maketh that his cares do seem not to bee so.
His beeing borne anew, hee in his children sees,
And their encreasse agayn in more and more degrees.
Thus loue to mortall man so great a fauor giues,
That him immortall makes, so that hee euer liues.
The man that liues alone I may vnhappie call,
For who will help him vp if hee doo chance to fall?
Who will partake his payn, who will his wo bemone?
All burthens heauier bee when they bee borne alone.
Two twisted cordes in one, in dooble strength do last,
And hee that yeilds no frute whereby the world must liue
The honor also wants which children parents giue.
And thow of female sex, who can thy woorth approue?
That from thy inward thoghts sequestreth kyndest loue.
More wofull then the man, voyd of supporte and stay,
What will thee benefit thy euer saying nay?
When tyme thy froward will, in swiftnes shal outrunne,
And cause thy rosie red and lillie whyte bee donne,
And make thy faire plum cheeks & corall lippes look than.
Abated and full thin, vnseemly pale and wan.
When thy faire frisled heare set vp & pleated braue,
To greynesse shalbe turn’d, or that thow baldnesse haue.

When furrowes ouerspred the fore-head of thy face,
Then mayst thow rue thy yeares lost in sweet loues disgrace
And beeing but alone, deuoyd of comforte left,
To think thow haest thy felt eu’n of thy self bereft.
No husband nor no chyld, thow haest to hope vpon,
Thy fortune, youth, and ioy, is altogether gon.
And beeing gon and past are not to bee regayned,
Where loue had honor broght that longer had remayned.
Then shall thy beautie past haue serued thee no more,
Then gold the miser doth that hoords it still in store.
Or some ritche diamonds deep hid vvithin the grownd,
Which turnes to nomannes good because it lyes vnfound.
To bee of Man belou’d, thow in the vvorld arte borne,
Wilt thow thy sweetest good so fondly hold in scorne.
What can there bee more sweet, then deerly lou’d to bee,
Of such an one as hath moste deer esteem of thee.
That to thee day and night will snew himself so kynd,
That vvill to thee disclose the secrets of his mynd.
That will with thee imparte is dolor and his ioy;
And beare his parte with thee of solace and annoy,
His passions louingly to read vpon his face,
His anger to conuert to fauor and to grace.
Him oft-tymes in himself forlorne for to see,
But ioyfully agayn, to fynd himself in thee.

Thus rightwell mayst thow heer the ioyes of heauen proue,
Vnlesse thow fondly passe thy youthfull tyme to loue.
Therefore you that are youg liue in the cours of kynd,
And louingly ensue waht nature hath assygn’d.
My reasons alwayes will associate your desyres,
Who nature not ensues, fortune from him retyres.
Read and regard this book which I to thee imparte,
My force heer shalt thow fynd, my custome and my arte.
And vvhoso shall this vvoork in good esteem retayn,
Shall yeild the onlie meed that vvil reward the payn.

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Facsimile Images

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