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The Short Wooing
Like an Oblation set before a Shrine, Fair One! I offer up this heart of mine. Whether the Saint accept my Gift or no, Ile neither fear nor doubt before I know. For he whose faint distrust prevents reply, Doth his own suits denial prophecy. Your will the sentence is; Who free as Fate Can bid my love proceed, or else retreat. And from short views that verdict is decreed Which seldom doth one audience exceed. Love asks no dull probation, but like light Conveyes his nimble influence at first sight. I need not therefore importune or press; This were t'extort unwilling happiness: And much against affection might I sin: To tire and weary what I seek to win. Towns which by lingring siege enforced be Oft make both sides repent the victorie. Be Mistriss of your self: and let me thrive Or suffer by your own prerogative. Yet stay, since you are Judge, who in one breath Bear uncontrolled power of Life and Death, Remember (Sweet) pity doth best become Those lips which must pronounce a Suitors doome. If I find that, my spark of chast desire Shall kindle into Hymens holy sire: Else like sad flowers will these verses prove, To stick the Coffin of rejected Love.
Henry King, Bishop of Chichester's other poems:
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