Global Utilities

Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition

Wroth Poem - F96 - Eyes, can you tell mee wher my hart remaines?

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Sonett .

Eyes, can you tell mee wher my hart remaines?
have you nott ſeene itt in thoſe louely eyes
wth pride showe you the place itt ther retaines,
and baby=like still paſstime as itt lies?

Or can you in that bleſsed brest ſurpriſe
the run-away? when itt new triumph gaines
to lodg wher greatest harts for mercy cries?
haue you nott ſeene itt ther ioye att theyr paines?

Iff neither wher? wher liues itt? wher abides
this careles sprite who from mee cloſely slides,
and hartles leaus mee? O, alas I knowe

Itt is petitioning for pitty's place
wher loue hath purest, and still during grace;
Thus while I thought itt ſor'de, itt creeps beelow;
Sonnet ('Eyes can you tell me')

Eyes, can you tell me where my heart remains?
    Have you not seen it in those lovely eyes,
    With pride show you the place it there retains,
    And baby-like still pass time as it lies?

Or can you in that blessed breast surprise
    The run-away when it new triumph gains
    To lodge where greatest hearts for mercy cries?
    Have you not seen it there joy at their pains?

If neither, where? Where lives it? Where abides
    This careless sprite who from me closely slides,
    and heartless leaves me? O, alas, I know:

It is petitioning for pity's place
    Where love hath purest and still during* grace;
    Thus while I thought it soared, it creeps below.

In this sonnet the heart, the seat of the emotions, moves around the body as if independent of the person's will: this is in part in accord with early modern anatomical theory, which following Galen thought that the heart might not be in a fixed place.

This sonnet is not reprinted in P.

during: in the sense of enduring.

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