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Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition

Wroth Poem - F48 - If euer loue had force in humaine breſt?

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42.

If euer loue had force in humaine breſt?
    If euer hee could moue in penſiue hart?
    or if that hee ſuch powre could butt impart
    to breed thoſe flames whoſe heat brings ioys vnrest

Then looke on mee; I ame to thes adrest,
    I, ame the ſoule that feeles the greatest ſmart;
    I, ame that body liues depriu'd of hart;
    I, ame that hartles trunk of harts depart;
    and I, that one, by loue, and griefe oprest;

Non euer felt the truth of loues great miſs
    of eyes, till I depriued was of bliſs;
    for had hee ſeene, hee must haue pitty show'd

I should nott haue bin made the stage of woe
    wher ſad diſasters haue theyr open showe
    O noe, more pitty hee had ſure beestow'd
42.

If ever love had force in human breast,
    If ever he could move in pensive heart,
    Or if that he such power could but impart
    To breed those flames whose heat brings joy's unrest,

Then look on me; I am to these addressed:
    I am the soul that feels the greatest smart;
    I am that heartless trunk of heart's depart;*
    And I that one by love and grief oppressed;

None ever felt the truth of love's great miss
    Of eyes,* till I deprived was of bliss;
    For had he seen, he must have pity showed,

I should not have been made the* stage of woe
    Where sad disasters have their open show;
    O no, more pity he had sure bestowed.


While the concluding image of the stage is virtually an early modern cliché, Roberts [P48] notes a specific parallel in Greville's Caelica, sonnet 9: 'For sorrow holds man's life to be her own,/His thoughts her stage, where tragedies she plays'.

'I am that heartless trunk of heart's depart': replacement for the crossed out: 'I am that body lives deprived of heart'.
'miss of eyes': ie Cupid's blindness
'the' = 'this' in P.
42.

If euer loue had force in humane breſt,
    If euer he could moue in penſiue heart:
    Or if that he ſuch powre could but impart
    To breed thoſe flames, whoſe heat brings ioyes vnreſt.

Then looke on me; I am to theſe adreſt,
    I am the ſoule that feeles the greateſt ſmart:
    I am that heartleſſe Trunck of hearts depart;
    And I that One, by loue, and griefe oppreſt.

None euer felt the truth of loues great miſſe
    Of eyes till I depriued was of bliſſe;
    For had he ſeene, he muſt haue pitty ſhow'd.

I ſhould not haue beene made this Stage of woe,
    Where ſad Diſaſters haue their open ſhow:
    O no, more pitty he had ſure beſtow'd.
42.

If ever love had force in human breast,
    If ever he could move in pensive heart,
    Or if that he such power could but impart
    To breed those flames whose heat brings joy's unrest,

Then look on me; I am to these addressed:
    I am the soul that feels the greatest smart;
    I am that heartless trunk of heart's depart;
    And I that one by love and grief oppressed;

None ever felt the truth of love's great miss
    Of eyes, till I deprived was of bliss;
    For had he seen, he must have pity showed,

I should not have been made this stage of woe
    Where sad disasters have their open show;
    O no, more pity he had sure bestowed.



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