Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Laura
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Laura—Part II.
Conclusion: Thus is the Second Course now servèd in
Robert Tofte (1561–1620)
THUS is the Second Course now servèd in.
A Course too coarse for such a dainty Dame:
Yet, Lady, though the cheer be bad and thin;
Because it comes of zeal, accept the same!
    And though not worthy of your grace it be;        5
    Yet make it gracious through your courtesy!
Great sumptuous feasts the stomach doth dislike;
Which oft, in body dangerous surfeits breed:
Where dishes few revive our sense and sprite;
And Nature ’s pleased on little for to feed.        10
    This, as a sauce, your appetite to move,
    Accept! where meat ’s the heaRT, where cook is LOVE.
Nor think the worse, though I have spun a thread
So fine (I mean your praise) I cannot mend:
Since ’tis a Work to ground the wisest head;        15
And mar I should this loom, this cloth not mend.
    So VENUS’ matchless shape APELLES drew;
    But how to finish it, he never knew.
Far more ’s my mind than is my feeble might.
My pencil, for thy picture is too weak.        20
The sun is only for the eagle’s flight.
My strength’s too small, this hardened ice to break.
    Not painted, scarce I thee have shadowed here:
    This task ’s for such as have in skill no peer.
R. T.    

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