Global Utilities

Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition

Wroth Poem - F117 - I, who doe feele the highest part of griefe

Folger Image Folger Transcription Folger Modernisation PA Transcription PA Modernisation Urania Transcription Urania Modernisation
F117 F117mod U24 U24mod


I, who doe feele the highest part of griefe
    shall I bee left wthout reliefe:
I, who for you my torments patient beare,
    now doe nott leaue mee in my feare;
O comfort neuer could more wellcom bee
    then in this needfull time to mee,
One drop of pitty will bee higher priz'd
    then ſeas of ioye, if once dispiſd;
Turne nott the tortures wch for you I try
    vpon my hart to make mee dy;
Haue I offended? t'was att your deſire
    when by your words, you felt lou's fire;
Iff I did ill, itt was to pleaſe your will,
    can you gett, and the ofspring kill?
The fault wch I in this committed haue
    was, you did ask, I freely gaue,
show yett ſom pitty, then lett torments hy,
    giue butt one ſigh, I blest shall dy:
Butt O you can nott, I haue you displeaſd,
    and change, from mee your hart hath ſeaz'd;
Now lett noe fauning hope of fained skill
    ſeeke any ioye, butt ioyes to kill;
Lett all conspire to breed my wrack, and end,
    yett nott enough my days to spend;
My state I ſee, and you your ends haue gain'd
    I'me lost, ſince you haue mee obtain'd,
Yett though I can nott pleaſe your first deſire
    I yett may ioye in ſcorners fire,



As Salimanders in the fire doe liue
    ſoe shall loue flames my liuing giue;
And though against yor minde I bee, and moue,
    forſaken creatures feede on loue;
Doe you proceed, you one day may confeſs
    you wrong'd my care, when I care leſs;
Song unnumbered 14 ('I who do feel')

I, who do feel the highest part of grief,
    Shall I be left without relief?
    I, who for you my torments patient* bear,
    Now do not* leave me in my* fear;
    O* comfort never could more welcome be
    Than in this needful time to me.
    One drop of pity* will be higher prized
    Than seas of joy,* if once despised.
    Turn not the tortures which for you I try
    Upon my heart to make me die.
    Have I offended? 'Twas at your desire
    When by your words,* you felt love's fire.
    If* I did ill, it* was to please your will,
    Can you get, and the offspring kill?
    The fault* which I in this committed* have
    Was,* you did ask, I freely gave,
    Show yet some pity, then* let torments hie,*
    Give but one sigh, I blest shall die.
    But O you cannot, I have you* displeased,
    And change, from me your heart hath* seized.
    Now let no fawning hope of feigned skill
    Seek any joy, but joys to kill.
    Let all conspire to breed my wrack, and end,
    Yet not enough my days to spend.*
    My state I see, and you your ends have gained,
    I'm lost, since you have me obtained.
    Yet though* I cannot please your first desire
    I yet may joy in* scorner's fire.
    As salamanders in the fire do live
    So shall love* flames my living* give;
    And though against your mind I be,* and move,
    Forsaken creatures feed on* love.
    Do you proceed, you one day may* confess
    You wronged my care, when* I care less.


In the Folger manuscript [F] this final poem seems an appropriate end to the miscellaneous collection of poems that still centre on the theme of a tormented, faithful lover. However, in Urania [U] Wroth uses a heavily revised version of this poem as the product of the jealous Antissia, (fols. 271-2) [U24], who is a rival for Amphilanthus's love and is, like Pamphilia, an occasional poet. In the romance, Antissia is a complex foil for Pamphilia: she is seen as unbalanced, although she eventually recovers, and she is less circumspect than Pamphilia about her poetry.

'my torments patient' = do cruel torments' in U.
'now do not' = 'will you alas' in U.
'in my' = 'in' in U.
'O' = 'Know' in U.
'pity' = 'comfort' in U.
'joy' = 'joys' in U.
'words' = 'vows' in U.
'If' = 'What' in U.
'ill, it' = 'err in' in U.
'fault' = 'greatest fault' in U.
'in this committed' = 'committed' in U.
'was' = 'is' in U.
'show yet some pity, then' = kindly relent' in U.
'torments hie' = 'causeless curstness fly' in U.
'you' = 'much' in U.
'and change, from me your hearth hath' = 'striving to gain, I loss have' in U.
'Now let. . . 'to spend': these 4 lines omitted in U.
'Yet though' = 'And since' in U.
'I yet may joy in' = 'I'll blow and nourish' in U.
'love' = 'those' in U.
'living' = 'being' in U.
'mind I be,' =, 'will, I live' in U.
'feed on' = 'live and' in 'U.
'you one day may' = 'and you may well' in U.
'when' = 'while' in U.

I who doe feele the higheſt part of griefe,
    ſhall I be left without reliefe?
I who for you, doe cruell torments beare,
    will you alaſſe leaue me in feare?
Know comfort neuer could more welcome bee,
    then in this needfull time to mee,
One drop of comfort will be higher prized
    then ſeas of ioyes, if once deſpiz'd,
Turne not the tortures which for you I try
    vpon my hart, to make me dye.
Haue I offended? 'twas at your deſire,
    when by your vowes you felt loues fire.
What I did erre in, was to pleaſe your will
    can you get, and the offspring kill?
The greateſt fault, which I committed haue
    is you did aske, I freely gaue.
Kindly relent, let cauſleſſe curſtnes flye,
    giue but one ſigh, I bleſſ'd ſhall dye.
But O you cannot, I haue much diſpleaſ'd
    ſtriuing to gaine, I loſſe haue ſeaz'd.
My ſtate I ſee, and you your ends haue gain'd
    I'me loſt ſince you haue me obtain'd.
And ſince I cannot pleaſe your firſt deſire
    I'le blow, and nouriſh ſcorners fire
As Salimanders in the fire doe liue:
    ſo ſhall thoſe flames my being giue.
And though againſt your will, I liue and moue,
    forſaken creatures liue and loue
Doe you proceed, and you may well confeſſe
    you wrong'd my care, while I care leſſe.



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