Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Laura
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Laura by Robert Tofte (1561–1620)
 
    Front Matter
    Alia bellissima sua Signora
 
Part I.
I. Fortune, cross-friend to ever-conquering Love
II. Though I do part, my heart yet doth not part
III. Like to the blacksome Night, I may compare
IV. In the Egean dangerous Sea of Love
V. Great was the strife between the sun on high
VI. Turned to a stone was he that did bewray
VII. Down from the neck unto that dainty Breast
VIII. To give that life, which had not breath before
IX. Love, being blind, hath wrought me damage sore
X. If, Laura, thou dost turn ’gainst me in hate
XI. Upon triumphant chariot, ’passing rare
XII. The beauty, that in Paradise doth grow
XIII. Whilst angry Juno, from the scowling skies
XIV. The swift Meander, turning, winds so fast
XV. Thou stranger, who with wand’ring steps dost wend
XVI. If lovely Lass, for Fairing thine, of me
XVII. Rocked in a cradle, like as infants be
XVIII. If Sea, no other thing doth shew to be
XIX. Lady, the sun was in Aquarius
XX. What time, with brow, the Loveliest ’gins to scowl
XXI. Rankle the wound did in my head apace
XXII. If in the midst of kindling burning fire
XXIII. The Gentiles used, in sign of sacrifice
XXIV. For to behold my Sun, I from the sun
XXV. White was the orient pearl which, on a day
XXVI. When you appear, appears the Break of Day
XXVII. Justly of thee, Love partial, I complain
XXVIII. Diana shineth in the heavens clear
XXIX. As burnished gold, such are my Sovereign’s Hairs
XXX. Unto thy favour (which when Nature formed
XXXI. Lady, thou seemest like Fortune unto me
XXXII. Thou, merry, laugh’st, and pleasantly dost smile
XXXIII. Since thou hast changed thy gown and thine attire
XXXIV. Changed is my nature in me; where before
XXXV. Far better had it been, I had been dead
XXXVI. Sweet sang thy bird, in ebon cage shut fast
XXXVII. If white ’s the Moon, thou Laura seem’st as white
XXXVIII. Even as the lamp goeth out, that oil doth want
XXXIX. Seated on marble was my Lady blithe
XL. No more a man, as once I was, am I
Conclusion: The Macedonian Monarch once did deign
 
Part II.
I. If I somewhile look up into the Skies
II. Marvel I do not, though thou dost not see
III. If whilom, in times past, that Spartan Lass
IV. Shoot forth no more those darts from lightning eyes!
V. If what is heavy craves the Centre base
VI. Lady, what time I seek in mournful note
VII. As rocks become, exposed ’gainst waves and wind
VIII. Hark, Lovers! Hark, a strange miracle
IX. When I did part from thee the other night
X. My mourning Mistress’s garments, black doth bear
XI. If April fresh doth kindly give us flowers
XII. Drawn, cunning Painter, hast thou with great art
XIII. When first the cruel Fair deigned graciously
XIV. When first the sun did shine upon her eyes
XV. The dusky cloud in sky, with shadow dark
XVI. From milk of Juno, as the Poets feign
XVII. Of constant love, I am the wasted fire
XVIII. My Laura wonders that, in visage pale
XIX. Whilst foaming steed I spur unto the quick
XX. Rich is the diamond, a gem of price
XXI. The Grecians used to offer up their hair
XXII. One lovely glance, which from the eyes did pass
XXIII. Two winds, one calm, another fierce, to see
XXIV. No sooner do I earnest fix mine eyes
XXV. O that I were sly Proteus! for to take
XXVI. Say, gentle friend, tell me in courtesy
XXVII. The Blazing Star foretells the hapless fall
XXVIII. The Crow makes war with the Chameleon
XXIX. Amongst the Parthians is a kind of ground
XXX. Love, ope my heart! Hot fire thou forth shall take
XXXI. Unto an Image may I right compare
XXXII. Both gems, and pearls, their proper value have
XXXIII. If love, wherein I burn, were but a fire
XXXIV. Rivers unto the Sea do tribute pay
XXXV. Such is the virtue of the sunny heat
XXXVI. The blood of fair Adonis, Venus changed
XXXVII. An ocean Sea of water calm am I
XXXVIII. Rich Damask Roses in fair cheeks do bide
XXXIX. Th’ immortal Parcæ, fatal Sisters three
XL. The heavens, their restless sphere do always move
Conclusion: Thus is the Second Course now servèd in
 
Part III.
I. Who joys in love? The Heart alone, to see
II. What crimson gown, with drops of blood ywrought
III. The flaming torch, a shadow of the light
IV. Pardoned of every wicked fact was he
V. If thou art cold, as is the Winter’s snow
VI. The cruel Nero used on golden hook
VII. When She was born; She came, with smiling eye
VIII. In Love his kingdom great, two Fools there be
IX. No sooner Laura mine appears to me
X. Phœbus had once a bird, his chief delight
XI. In silver stream, on shallow fountain’s shelf
XII. Joy of my soul! My blindfold eyes’ clear light!
XIII. Painter, in lively colours draw Disdain!
XIV. With gold and rubies glistereth her small hand
XV. A gentle tame deer am I, called a Hart
XVI. The golden tresses of a Lady fair
XVII. Sweet Laura, in the water look no more
XVIII. If, cruel, thou desirous art of blood
XIX. That ivory hand, a fan most white doth hold
XX. The snakes, amongst themselves, so carefully
XXI. Laura is fair and cruel both in one
XXII. The snow-white Swan betokens brightsome Day
XXIII. Say, Cupid, since thou wings so swift dost bear
XXIV. On quicksedge wrought with lovely eglantine
XXV. Gold upon gold, mine only Joy did plate
XXVI. The heavens begin, with thunder, for to break
XXVII. “Love this fair Lass!” said Love once unto me
XXVIII. My Mistress writing, as her hand did shake
XXIX. None dares now look more on my Laura’s face
XXX. Unbare that ivory Hand! Hide it no more!
XXXI. “My Mistress seems but brown,” say you to me
XXXII. White art thou, like the mountain-snow to see
XXXIII. As sacrifice unto a goddess bright
XXXIV. Strange is this thing! My horse I cannot make
XXXV. When I, of my sweet Laura leave did take
XXXVI. With thousand bands of furious inward heat
XXXVII. If scalding sighs, my faith may testify
XXXVIII. The hapless Argus, happy in this same
XXXIX. In vasty sea, fain would my slender Muse
XL. When I did part, my soul did part from me
Conclusion: Timantes, when he saw he could not paint
 
    A Friend’s just Excuse about the Book and [the] Author; in his absence

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