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Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition

Wroth Poem - F26 - When euery one to pleaſing pastime hies

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23.

When euery one to pleaſing pastime hies
    ſome hunt, ſome hauke, ſome play, while ſome delight
    in ſweet diſcourſe, and muſique ſhowes ioys might
    yett I my thoughts doe farr aboue thes priſe

The ioy wch I take, is that free from eyes
    I ſitt, and wunder att this daylike night
    ſoe to dispoſe themſelues, as voyd of right;
    and leaue true pleaſure for poore vanities

When others hunt, my thoughts I haue in chaſe;
    if hauke, my minde att wished end doth fly,
    diſcourſe, I, wt my spiritt tauke, and cry
    while others, muſique is theyr greatest grace

O God, ſay I, can thes fond pleaſures moue?
Or muſique bee butt in deere thoughts of loue?
23.

When every one to pleasing pastime hies
    Some hunt, some hawk, some play,* while some delight
    In sweet discourse, and music shows joy's might
    Yet I my thoughts do* far above these prize

The joy which I take, is that free from eyes
    I sit, and wonder at this day-like night
    So to dispose themselves, as void of right;
    And leave true pleasure for poor vanities

When others hunt, my thoughts I have in chase;
    If hawk, my mind at wished end doth fly,
    Discourse, I, with my spirit* talk, and cry
    While others, music is their* greatest grace.

O God, say I, can these fond pleasures move?
    Or music be but in dear* thoughts of love?


'play': probably play cards or a similar game; like hawking and hunting, seen here as vain aristocratic pursuits. Wroth's husband Robert Wroth was especially fond of hunting, a passion he shared with King James, and he had the position of Forester. But while this sonnet may well have an autobiographical cast, Mary Wroth took part in courtly pastimes herself, notably dancing in masques arranged by Queen Anne.

'do': written over top of 'did'.
'spirit': here meaning something like Soul, with a sense of the essence of oneself.
'is their' = 'choose as' in P.
'dear' = 'sweet' in P.
23.

When euery one to pleaſing paſtime hies,
    Some hunt, ſome hauke, ſome play while ſome delight
    In ſweet diſcourſe, and muſicke ſhewes ioyes might:
    Yet I my thoughts doe farre aboue theſe prize.

The ioy which I take is, that free from eyes
    I ſit and wonder at this day-like night,
    So to diſpoſe themſelues as void of right,
    And leaue true pleaſure for poore vanities.

When others hunt, my thoughts I haue in chaſe;
    If hauke, my minde at wiſhed end doth flye:
    Diſcourſe, I with my ſpirit talke and cry;
    While others muſicke chooſe as greateſt grace.

O God ſay I, can theſe fond pleaſures moue,
Or muſicke bee but in ſweet thoughts of Loue?
23.

When every one to pleasing pastime hies
    Some hunt, some hawk, some play, while some delight
    In sweet discourse, and music shows joy's might
    Yet I my thoughts do far above these prize

The joy which I take, is that free from eyes
    I sit, and wonder at this day-like night
    So to dispose themselves, as void of right;
    And leave true pleasure for poor vanities

When others hunt, my thoughts I have in chase;
    If hawk, my mind at wished end doth fly,
    Discourse, I, with my spirit talk, and cry
    While others, music choose as greatest grace.

O God, say I, can these fond pleasures move?
    Or music be but in sweet thoughts of love?



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