Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
Sonnets from Aurora
By William Alexander, Earl of Stirling (1567?–1640)
I ENVY not Endymion now no more,
Nor all the happiness his sleep did yield,
While as Diana, straying through the field,
Suck’d from his sleep-seal’d lips balm for her sore:
Whilst I embraced the shadow of my death,        5
I dreaming did far greater pleasure prove,
And quaff’d with Cupid sugar’d draughts of love
Then, Jove-like, feeding on a nectar’d breath.
Now judge which of us two might be most proud;
He got a kiss yet not enjoy’d it right,        10
And I got none, yet tasted that delight
Which Venus on Adonis once bestow’d:
    He only got the body of a kiss,
    And I the soul of it, which he did miss.
LOVE swore by Styx, while all the depths did tremble,        15
That he would be avenged of my proud heart,
Who to his deity durst base styles impart,
And would in that Latona’s imp resemble:
Then straight denounced his rebel, in a rage
He laboured by all means for to betray me,        20
And gave full leave to any for to slay me,
That he might by my wrack his wrath assuage.
A nymph, that longed to finish Cupid’s toils,
Chanced once to spy me come in beauty’s bounds,
And straight o’erthrew me with a world of wounds,        25
Then unto Paphos did transport my spoils.
    Thus, thus I see that all must fall in end,
    That with a greater than themselves contend.

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