A Divine Love

Why should dull Art, which is wise Nature's ape,
If she produce a shape,
So far beyond all patterns that of old
Fell from her mould,
As thine, admired Lucinda, not bring forth
An equal wonder to express that worth
In some new way, that hath
Like her great work no print of vulgar path?
Is it because the rapes of Poetry,
Rifling the spacious sky
Of all his fires, light, beauty, influence,
Did those dispense
On airy creations, that surpass'd
The real works of Nature; she at last,
To prove their raptures vain,
Show'd such a light as poets could not feign?
Or is it 'cause the factious wits did vie
With vain idolatry,
Whose goddess was supreme, and so had hurl'd
Schism through the world,
Whose priest sung sweetest lays, thou didst appear,
A glorious mystery, so dark, so clear,
As Nature did intend
All should confess, but none might comprehend?
Perhaps all other beauties share a light
Proportion'd to the sight
Of weak mortality; scattering such loose fires
As stir desires,
And from the brain distil salt amorous rheums;
Whilst thy immortal flame such dross consumes,
And from the earthy mould
With purging fires severs the purer gold?
If so, then why in Fame's immortal scroll
Do we their names enroll,
Whose easy hearts and wanton eyes did sweat
With sensual heat?
If Petrarch's unarm'd bosom catch a wound
From a light glance, must Laura be renown'd?
Or both a glory gain,
He from ill-govern'd love, she from disdain?
Shall he more famed in his great art become,
For wilful martyrdom?
Shall she more title gain, too chaste and fair,
Through his despair?
Is Troy more noble 'cause to ashes turn'd,
Than virgin cities that yet never burn'd?
Is fire, when it consumes
Temples, more fire, than when it melts perfumes?
'Cause Venus from the ocean took her form,
Must love needs be a storm?
'Cause she her wanton shrines in islands rears,
Through seas of tears,
O'er rocks and gulfs, with our own sighs for gale,
Must we to Cyprus or to Paphos sail?
Can there no way be given,
But a true hell, that leads to her false heaven?
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