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Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition

Wroth Poem - F59 - Say Venus how long haue I lou'd, and ſeru'd you heere

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Song

Say Venus how long haue I lou'd, and ſeru'd you heere
yett all my paſsions ſcorn'd or doubted allthough cleere
alas thinke loue deſerueth loue, and you haue lou'd
looke on my paines, and ſee if you the like haue prou'd;

Remember then you ar the Goddeſs of deſire,
and that your ſacred powre hath touch'd, and felt this fire,
parſwade thes flames in mee to ceaſe, or them redreſs
in mee, poore mee who stormes of loue haue in exceſs,

My restles nights may show for mee how much I loue
my ſighs vnfain'd can wittnes what my hart doth proue
my ſaddest looks doe show the greife my ſoule indures
yett all thes torments from your hands noe help procures

Command that wayward child your ſonn to grant yor right,
and yt his bowe, and shafts hee yeeld to your fayre ſight
to you who haue the eyes of ioye the hart of loue,
and then new hopes may spring yt I may pitty moue

Lett him nott triumph that hee can both hurt, and ſaue,
and more brag yt to you yor ſelf a wound hee gaue
rule him, or what shall I expect of good to ſee
ſince hee that hurt you, hee alas may murder mee


Song ('Say Venus how long')

Say Venus, how long have I loved and served you here,
    Yet all my passions scorned or doubted, although clear?
    Alas, think love deserveth love, and you have loved;
    Look on my pains, and see if you the like have proved.

Remember then you are the Goddess of desire,
    And that your sacred power hath touched and felt this fire,
    Persuade these flames in me to cease, or them redress
    In me, poor me, who storms of love have in excess,

My restless nights may show for me how much I love,
    My sighs unfeigned can witness what my heart doth prove,
    My saddest looks do show the grief my soul endures,
    Yet all these torments from your hands no help procures.

Command that wayward child your son to grant your right,
    And that his bow and shafts he yield to your fair sight
    To you who have the eyes of joy, the heart of love,
    And then new hopes may spring that I may pity move.

Let him not triumph that he can both hurt and save,
    And more brag that to you yourself a wound he gave;
    Rule him, or what shall I expect of good to see,
    Since he that hurt you, he alas may murder me.


This song is rearranged into 6 line stanzas in P. It is another example of the theme of Cupid representing the torments of desire.

Roberts [P58] notes parallels to the depiction of Cupid here in AS 17:

    His mother dear, Cupid offended late,
    Because that Mars, grown slacker in her love,
    With pricking shot he did not thoroughly moue
    To keep the place of their first loving state.

Roberts also notes Greville's Caelica, 13:

    Cupid, his boy's play many time forbidden
    By Venus, who thinks Mars' best manhood boyish,
    While he shot all, still for not shooting chidden,
    Weeps himself blind to see that sex so churlish.
Song.

Say Venus how long haue I lou'd, and ſeru'd you heere?
    Yet all my paſſions ſcorn'd or doubted, although cleere;
Alas thinke loue deſerueth loue, and you haue lou'd,
    Looke on my paines and ſee if you the like haue prou'd:
Remember then you are the Goddeſſe of Deſire,
    and that your ſacred powre hath touch'd and felt this fire.

Perſwade theſe flames in me to ceaſe, or them redreſſe
    in me (poore me) who ſtormes of loue haue in exceſſe,
My reſtleſſe nights may ſhow for me, how much I lone,
    My ſighes vnfaignd, can witnes what my heart doth proue:
My ſaddeſt lookes doe ſhow the griefe my ſoule indures,
    Yet all theſe torments from your hands no helpe procures.

Command that wayward Childe your Son to grant your right,
    and that his Bow and ſhafts he yeeld to your faire ſight,
To you who haue the eyes of ioy, the heart of loue,
    And then new hopes may ſpring, that I may pitty moue:
Let him not triumph that he can both hurt and ſaue,
    And more, bragge that to you your ſelfe a wound he gaue.

Rule him, or what ſhall I expect of good to ſee?
Since he that hurt you, he (alas) may murther mee.
Song ('Say Venus how long')

Say Venus, how long have I loved and served you here,
    Yet all my passions scorned or doubted, although clear?
    Alas, think love deserveth love, and you have loved;
    Look on my pains, and see if you the like have proved.
    Remember then you are the Goddess of desire,
    And that your sacred power hath touched and felt this fire,

Persuade these flames in me to cease, or them redress
    In me, poor me, who storms of love have in excess,
    My restless nights may show for me how much I love,
    My sighs unfeigned can witness what my heart doth prove,
    My saddest looks do show the grief my soul endures,
    Yet all these torments from your hands no help procures.

Command that wayward child your son to grant your right,
    And that his bow and shafts he yield to your fair sight
    To you who have the eyes of joy, the heart of love,
    And then new hopes may spring that I may pity move.
    Let him not triumph that he can both hurt and save,
    And more brag that to you yourself a wound he gave.

Rule him, or what shall I expect of good to see,
    Since he that hurt you, he alas may murder me.



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