Global Utilities

Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition

Wroth Poem - F15 - Deare famish nott what you your ſelf gaue food

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.13.

Deare famish nott what you your ſelf gaue food,
    destroy nott what your glory is to ſaue;
    kill nott that ſoule to wch you spiritt gaue;
    In pitty, nott diſdaine your triumph stood;

An eaſy thing itt is to shed the blood
    of one, who att your will, yeelds to the graue;
    butt more you may true worthe by mercy craue
    when you preſerue, nott spoyle, butt nurrish good;

Your ſight is all the food I doe deſire;
    then ſacrifies mee nott in hidden fire,
    Or stop that breath wch did your prayſes moue:

Think butt how eaſy t'is a ſight to giue;
    nay eu'n deſerte; ſince by itt I doe liue,
    I butt Camælion=like would liue, and loue;
13.

Dear, famish not what you yourself gave food,
    Destroy not what your glory is to save;
    Kill not that soul to which you spirit gave;
    In pity, not disdain your triumph stood;

An easy thing it is to shed the blood
    Of one, who at your will, yields to the grave;
    But more you may true worth by mercy crave
    When you preserve, not spoil, but nourish good;

Your sight is all the food I doe desire;
    Then sacrifice me not in hidden fire,
    Or stop that* breath which did your praises move:

Think butt how easy 'tis a sight to give;
    Nay even desert; since by it I doe live,
    I but Chameleon-like would live, and love.


'that' = 'the' in P

The associations of food with love and desire are legion, but in particular Wroth may allude to a famous line from AS 71: 'But, ah, Desire still cries, Give me some food'.
13.

Deare famiſh not what you your ſelfe gaue foode,
    Deſtroy not what your glory is to ſaue:
    Kill not that ſoule to which you ſpirit gaue,
    In pitty, not diſdaine, your triumph ſtood.

An eaſie thing it is to ſhed the bloud
    Of one who at your will yeelds to the graue:
    But more you may true worth by mercy craue,
    When you preſerue, not ſpoyle, but nouriſh good.

Your ſight is all the food I doe deſire,
    Then ſacrifice me not in hidden fire,
    Or ſtop the breath which did your praiſes moue.

Thinke but how eaſie 'tis a ſight to giue,
    Nay, euen deſert, ſince by it I doe liue,
    I but Camelion-like, would liue, and loue.
13.

Dear, famish not what you yourself gave food,
    Destroy not what your glory is to save;
    Kill not that soul to which you spirit gave;
    In pity, not disdain your triumph stood;

An easy thing it is to shed the blood
    Of one, who at your will, yields to the grave;
    But more you may true worth by mercy crave
    When you preserve, not spoil, but nourish good;

Your sight is all the food I doe desire;
    Then sacrifice me not in hidden fire,
    Or stop the breath which did your praises move:

Think butt how easy 'tis a sight to give;
    Nay even desert; since by it I doe live,
    I but Chameleon-like would live, and love.



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