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Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition

Wroth Poem - F20 - Wch should I better like of, day, or night

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.18.

Wch should I better like of, day, or night
    ſince all the day I liue in bitter woe
    inioying light more cleere my wrongs to know,
    and yett most ſad, feeling in itt all spite;

In night, when darknes doth forbid all light
    yett ſee I griefe aparant to the show
    follow'd by iealouſie whoſe fond tricks flow,
    and on vnconſtant waues of doubt allight,

I can beehold rage cowardly to feede
    vpon foule error, wch thes humours breed,
    shame, doubt, and feare, yett boldly will thinke ill,

All thes in both I feele, then wch is best
    darke to ioy by day, light in night oprest
    Leaue both, and end, thes butt each other spill:
18.

Which should I better like of, day, or night,
    Since all the day I live in bitter woe
    Enjoying light more clear my wrongs to know,
    And yet most sad, feeling in it all spite;

In night, when darkness doth forbid all light
    Yet see I grief apparent to the show
    Followed by jealousy whose fond tricks flow,
    And on unconstant waves of doubt alight,

I can behold rage cowardly to feed
    Upon foul error, which these humours breed,
    Shame, doubt, and fear, yet boldly will think ill,

All these* in both I feel, then which is best:
    Dark to joy by day, light in night oppressed.
    Leave both, and end, these but each other spill.


The debate about day vs night may be compared to the theme of sight that runs through the poetry. This sonnet takes up the themes of [P13]. There are similar sets of images related to night in AS, for example sonnet 89:

    Now that of absence the most irksome night
    With darkest shade doth overcome my day;
    Since Stella's eyes, wont to give me my day,
    Leaving my hemisphere, leave me in night;
    Each day seems long, and longs for long-staid night;
    The night, as tedious, woos th' approach of day

'these' = 'those' in P.
18.

Which ſhould I better like of, day or night?
    Since all the day, I liue in bitter woe:
    Inioying light more cleere my wrongs to know,
    and yet moſt ſad, feeling in it all ſpite.

In night when darkneſſe doth forbid all light;
    Yet ſee I griefe apparant to the ſhow,
    Follow'd by iealouſie, whoſe fond tricks flow,
    And on vnconſtant waues of doubt alight.

I can behold rage cowardly to feede
    Vpon foule error, which theſe humors breede,
    Shame doubt and feare, yet boldly will thinke ill.

All thoſe in both I feele, then which is beſt
    Darke to ioy by day, light in night oppreſt?
    Leaue both and end, theſe but each other ſpill.
18.

Which should I better like of, day, or night,
    Since all the day I live in bitter woe
    Enjoying light more clear my wrongs to know,
    And yet most sad, feeling in it all spite;

In night, when darkness doth forbid all light
    Yet see I grief apparent to the show
    Followed by jealousy whose fond tricks flow,
    And on unconstant waves of doubt alight,

I can behold rage cowardly to feed
    Upon foul error, which these humours breed,
    Shame, doubt, and fear, yet boldly will think ill,

All those in both I feel, then which is best:
    Dark to joy by day, light in night oppressed.
    Leave both, and end, these but each other spill.



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