Global Utilities

Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition

Wroth Poem - F45 - Iff I were giu'n to mirthe 't'wowld bee more croſs

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39.

Iff I were giu'n to mirthe 't'wowld bee more croſs
    thus to bee robbed of my chiefest ioy;
    butt ſilently I beare my greatest loſs
    Who's vſ'd to ſorrow, griefe will nott destroy;

Nor can I as thes pleaſant witts inioy
    my owne fram'd words, wch I account the droſs
    of purer thoughts, or recken them as moſs
    while they (witt ſick) them ſelues to breath imploy,

Alas, think I, yor plenty shewes your want,
    for wher most feeling is, words are more ſcant,
    yett pardon mee, Liue, and your pleaſure take,

Grudg nott, if I neglected, enuy show
    't'is nott to you that I dislike doe owe
    butt crost my ſelf, wish ſome like mee to make
39.

If I were given to mirth 'twould be more cross
    Thus to bee robbed of my chiefest joy;
    But silently I bear my greatest loss:
    Who's used to sorrow, grief will not destroy;

Nor can I as these* pleasant wits enjoy
    My own framed words, which I account the dross
    Of purer thoughts, or reckon them as moss
    While they (wit-sick) themselves to breathe employ,

Alas, think I, your plenty shows your want,
    For where most feeling is, words are more scant,
    Yet pardon me, live, and your pleasure take,

Grudge not if I, neglected, envy show
    'Tis not to you that I dislike do owe,
    But crossed myself, wish some like me to make.


This sonnet follows a theme in AS: a contrast between the ability to speak and the way that despair rends one silent: yet this is a paradox because a sonnet is itself the product of wit, however much it may depict a lover in a state of speechless despair. So, for example, AS 50:

    Stella, the fullness of my thoughts of thee
    Cannot be staid within my panting breast,
    But they do swell and struggle forth of me,
    Till that in words thy figure be expressed:
    And yet, as soon as they so formed be,
    According to my lord Love's own behest,
    With sad eyes I their weak proportion see
    To portrait that which in this world is best.
    So that I cannot choose but write my mind,
    And cannot choose but put out what I write,
    While these poor babes their death in birth do find;
    And now my pen these lines had dashed quite
    But that they stopt his fury from the same,
    Because their forefront bare sweet Stella's name.

'these' = 'those' in P.
39.

If I were giuen to mirth, ,twould be more croſſe,
    Thus to be robbed of my chiefeſt ioy:
    But ſilently I beare my greateſt loſſe;
    Who's vs'd to ſorrow, griefe will not deſtroy.

Nor can I as thoſe pleaſant wits inioy
    My owne fram'd wordes which I account the droſſe
    Of purer thoughts, or reckon them as moſſe;
    While they (wit-ſick) themſelues to breath imploy.

Alas, thinke I, your plenty ſhewes your want;
    For where moſt feeling is wordes are more ſcant;
    Yet pardon me, liue and your pleaſure take.

Grudge not if I (neglected) enuy ſhow,
    'Tis not to you that I diſlike doe owe;
    But (croſt my ſelfe) wiſh ſome like me to make.
39.

If I were given to mirth 'twould be more cross
    Thus to bee robbed of my chiefest joy;
    But silently I bear my greatest loss:
    Who's used to sorrow, grief will not destroy;

Nor can I as those pleasant wits enjoy
    My own framed words, which I account the dross
    Of purer thoughts, or reckon them as moss
    While they (wit-sick) themselves to breathe employ,

Alas, think I, your plenty shows your want,
    For where most feeling is, words are more scant,
    Yet pardon me, live, and your pleasure take,

Grudge not if I, neglected, envy show
    'Tis not to you that I dislike do owe,
    But crossed myself, wish some like me to make.



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