A Valediction Of My Name, In The Window
- My name engraved herein
- Doth contribute my firmness to this glass,
- Which ever since that charm hath been
- As hard, as that which graved it was;
- Thine eye will give it price enough, to mock
- The diamonds of either rock.
- 'Tis much that glass should be
- As all-confessing, and through-shine as I;
- 'Tis more that it shows thee to thee,
- And clear reflects thee to thine eye.
- But all such rules love's magic can undo;
- Here you see me, and I am you.
- As no one point, nor dash,
- Which are but accessories to this name,
- The showers and tempests can outwash
- So shall all times find me the same;
- You this entireness better may fulfill,
- Who have the pattern with you still.
- Or if too hard and deep
- This learning be, for a scratch'd name to teach,
- It as a given death's head keep,
- Lovers' mortality to preach;
- Or think this ragged bony name to be
- My ruinous anatomy.
- Then, as all my souls be
- Emparadised in you—in whom alone
- I understand, and grow, and see—
- The rafters of my body, bone,
- Being still with you, the muscle, sinew, and vein
- Which tile this house, will come again.
- Till my return repair
- And recompact my scatter'd body so,
- As all the virtuous powers which are
- Fix'd in the stars are said to flow
- Into such characters as gravèd be
- When these stars have supremacy.
- So since this name was cut,
- When love and grief their exaltation had,
- No door 'gainst this name's influence shut.
- As much more loving, as more sad,
- 'Twill make thee; and thou shouldst, till I return,
- Since I die daily, daily mourn.
- When thy inconsiderate hand
- Flings open this casement, with my trembling name,
- To look on one, whose wit or land
- New battery to thy heart may frame,
- Then think this name alive, and that thou thus
- In it offend'st my Genius.
- And when thy melted maid,
- Corrupted by thy lover's gold and page,
- His letter at thy pillow hath laid,
- Disputed it, and tamed thy rage,
- And thou begin'st to thaw towards him, for this,
- May my name step in, and hide his.
- And if this treason go
- To an overt act and that thou write again,
- In superscribing, this name flow
- Into thy fancy from the pane;
- So, in forgetting thou rememb'rest right,
- And unaware to me shalt write.
- But glass and lines must be
- No means our firm substantial love to keep;
- Near death inflicts this lethargy,
- And this I murmur in my sleep;
- Inpute this idle talk, to that I go,
- For dying men talk often so.
From: Songs and Sonnets, 1633.
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