Come, virgin tapers of pure wax,
made in the hive of Love, all white
As snow, and yet as cold, where lacks
Hymen's holy heat and light;
Where blooming kisses
Their beds yet keep
And steep their blisses
In rosy sleep;
Where sister buds yet wanting brothers
Kiss their own lips in lieu of others;
Help me to mourn a matchless maidenhead
That now is dead.

A fine, thin negative thing it was,
A nothing with a dainty name
Which pruned her plumes in Self-Love's glass
Made up of fancy and fond fame;
Within the shade
Of its own wing
It sat and played
A self-crowned king;
A froward flower whose peevish pride
Within itself itself did hide,
Flying all fingers, and even thinking much
Of its own touch.

This bird indeed the phoenix was
Late chased by Love's revengeful arrows,
Whose wars now left the wonted pass
And spared the little lives of sparrows
To hunt this fool
Whose froward pride
Love's noble school
And courts denied,
And froze the fruit of fair desire
Which flourisheth in mutual fire
"Gainst Nature, who 'mong all the webs she spun
Ne'er wove a nun.

She, of Cupid's shafts afraid
Left her own balm-breathing East,
And in a western bosom made
A softer and a sweeter nest;
There did she rest
In the sweet shade
Of a soft breast
Whose beauties made
Thames oft stand still and lend a glass
While in her own she saw Heaven's face
And sent him full of her fair name's report
To Thetis' court.

And now poor Love was at a stand:
The crystal castle which she kept
Was proof against the proudest hand;
There in safest hold she slept;
His shafts' expense
Left there no smart,
But bounding thence
Broached his own heart:
At length a fort he did devise
Built in noble Brampston's eyes,
And aiming thence, this matchless maidenhead
Was soon found dead.

Yet Love in death did wait upon her
Granting leave she should expire
In her fumes and have the honour
T'exhale in flames of his own fire,
Her funeral pile
The marriage bed;
In a sighed smile
She vanishèd.
So rich a dress of death ne'er famed
The cradles where her kindred flamed;
So sweet her mother-phoenixes of the East
Ne'er spiced their nest.

With many pretty, peevish trials
Of angry yielding, faint denyings,
Melting Noes and mild denials,
Dying lives and short-lived dyings,
With doubtful eyes
Half smiles, half tears;
With trembling joys
And jocund fears,
Twixt the pretty twilight strife
Of dying maid and dawning wife,
Twixt rain and sunshine, this sweet maidenhead
Alas is dead.

Happy he whose wakeful joys
Kept the prize of this rich loss;
Happy she whose watery eyes
Kiss no worse a weeping cross;
Thrice happy he
Partakes her store
Thrice happy she
Hath still the more.
Think not sweet bride, that faint shower slakes
The fires he from thy fair eyes takes;
Thy drops are salt, and while they think to tame
Sharpen his flame.

Blest bridegroom, ere the rain be laid,
Use good weather while it proves;
Those drops that wash away the maid
Shall water your warm-planted loves;
Fair youth, make haste
Ere it be dry:
The sweet brine taste
From her moist eye;
Thy lips will find such dew as this is
Best season for a lover's kisses;
And those thy morning stars will better please
Bathed in those seas.

Nor may thy vine, fair oak, embrace thee
With ivy arms and empty wishes,
But with full bosom interlace thee
And reach her clusters to thy kisses;
Safe may she rest
Her laden boughs
On thy firm breast
And fill thy vows
Up to the brim, till she make even
Their full tops with the fair-eyed heaven,
And heaven to gild those glorious heroes' birth
Stoop and kiss earth.

Long may this happy heaven-tied band
Exercise its most holy art,
Keeping her heart within his hand,
Keeping his hand upon her heart;
But from her eyes
Feel he no charms;
Find she no joy
But in his arms;
May each maintain a well-fledged nest
Of wingèd loves in either's breast;
Be each of them a mutual sacrifice
Of either's eyes.

May their whole life a sweet song prove
Set to two well-composèd parts
By music's noblest master, Love,
Played on the strings of both their hearts;
Whose mutual sound
May ever meet
In a just round,
Not short though sweet;
Long may heaven listen to the song
And think it short though it be long;
Oh, prove't a well-set song indeed, which shows
Sweet'st in the close!
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