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Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition

Wroth Poem - F80 - Loue what art thou? A vaine thought

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Song:

Loue what art thou? A vaine thought.
    in our minds by phant'ſie wrought,
    idle ſmiles did thee beegett
    while fond wishes made that nett
    wch ſoe many fooles haue caught;

Loue what art thou? light, and faire,
    fresh as morning clear as th'Aire,
    butt too ſoone thy euening chang
    makes thy warmth wth coldenes rang
    still thy ioy is mixt wth care:

Loue what are thou? A ſweet flowre
    once full blowne, dead in an howre,
    dust in winde as stayd remaines
    as thy pleaſure, or our gaines
    if thy humor chang, to lowre.

Loue what art thou? childish, vaine,
    firme as bubbles made by raine
    wantones thy greatest pride
    thes foule faults thy vertues hide
    butt babes can noe staydnes gaine.

Loue what art thou? cauſeles curst
    yett alas thes nott the wurst
    much more of thee may bee ſay'd
    butt thy law I once obay'd
    therfor ſay noe more att first


Song ('Love what art thou?)

Love what art thou? A vain thought,
    In our minds by fancy wrought,
    Idle smiles did thee beget
    While fond wishes made that* net
    Which so many fools have caught.

Love what art thou? light, and fair,
    Fresh as morning clear as th'air,
    But too soon thy evening change
    Makes thy warmth* with coldness range
    Still thy joy is mixed with care.

Love what are thou? A sweet flower
    Once full blown, dead in an hour,
    Dust in wind as staid remains
    As thy pleasure, or our gains
    If thy humour change, to lour.

Love what art thou? Childish, vain,
    Firm as bubbles made by rain,
    Wantonness thy greatest pride,
    These foul faults thy virtues hide
    But babes can no staidness gain.

Love what art thou? Causeless cursed
    Yet alas these not the worst,
    Much more of thee may be said
    But thy law I once obeyed
    Therefore say no more at first.


In Urania this song becomes one of the eclogues at the end of Book One, sung by a shepherdess, fol. 144.[U13]

'that' = 'the' in U.
'warmth' = 'worth' in U.

Loue what art thou? A vaine thought,
    In our mindes by fancy wrought,
    Idle ſmiles did thee beget,
    While fond wiſhes made the nett
    Which ſo many fooles haue caught.

Loue what art thou? light, and faire,
    Freſh as morning, cleere as th'ayre:
    But too ſoone thy euening change,
    Makes thy worth with coldneſſe range,
    Still thy ioy is mixt with care.

Loue what art thou? a ſweet flowre,
    Once full blowne, dead in an houre.
    Duſt in winde as ſtaid remaines
    As thy pleaſure, or our gaines,
    If thy humour change to lowre.

Loue what art thou? Childiſh, vaine,
    Firme as bubbles made by raine:
    Wantonneſſe thy greateſt pride,
    Theſe foule faults thy vertues hide,
    But babes can no ſtaydneſſe gaine.

Loue what art thou? Cauſeleſſe curſt,
    Yet alas theſe not the worst,
    Much more of thee may bee ſaid,
    But thy Law I once obay'd,
    Therefore ſay no more at first.

Song ('Love what art thou?)

Love what art thou? A vain thought,
    In our minds by fancy wrought,
    Idle smiles did thee beget
    While fond wishes made the net
    Which so many fools have caught.

Love what art thou? light, and fair,
    Fresh as morning clear as th'air,
    But too soon thy evening change
    Makes thy worth with coldness range
    Still thy joy is mixed with care.

Love what are thou? A sweet flower
    Once full blown, dead in an hour,
    Dust in wind as staid remains
    As thy pleasure, or our gains
    If thy humour change, to lour.

Love what art thou? Childish, vain,
    Firm as bubbles made by rain
    Wantonness thy greatest pride
    These foul faults thy virtues hide
    But babes can no staidness gain.

Love what art thou? Causeless cursed
    Yet alas these not the worst,
    Much more of thee may be said,
    But thy law I once obeyed
    Therefore say no more at first.


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