To the Noblest and Best of Ladies, the Countess of Denbigh

A Letter
to the
Countess of DENBIGH,
Against Irresolution and Delay in matters
What Heav'n-beseiged Heart is this
Stands Trembling at the Gate of Blisse:
Holds fast the Door, yet dares not venture
Fairly to open and to enter?
Whose Definition is, A Doubt
'Twixt Life and Death, 'twixt In and Out,
Ah! linger not, lov'd Soul: A slow
And late Consent was a long No.
Who grants at last, a great while try'de,
And did his best to have Deny'de.
 What Magick-Bolts, what mystick Barrs
Maintain the Will in these strange Warrs?
What Fatall, yet fantastick, Bands
Keep the free Heart from his own Hands?
Say, lingring Fair, why comes the Birth
Of your brave Soul so slowly forth?
Plead your Pretences, (O you strong
In weaknesse) why you chuse so long
In Labour of your self to ly,
Not daring quite to Live nor Die.
 So when the Year takes cold we see
Poor Waters their own Prisoners be:
Fetter'd and lock'd up fast they lie
In a cold self-captivity.
Th'astonish'd Nymphs their Floud's strange Fate deplore,
To find themselves their own severer Shoar.
  Love, that lends haste to heaviest things,
 In you alone hath lost his wings.
 Look round and reade the World's wide face,
 The field of Nature or of Grace;
 Where can you fix, to find Excuse
 Or Pattern for the Pace you use?
 Mark with what Faith Fruits answer Flowers,
 And know the Call of Heav'n's kind showers:
 Each mindfull Plant hasts to make good
 The hope and promise of his Bud.
Seed-time's not all; there should be Harvest too,
Alas! and has the Year no Spring for you?
  Both Winds and Waters urge their way,
 And murmure if they meet a stay,
 Mark how the curl'd Waves work and wind,
 All hating to be left behind.
 Each bigge with businesse thrusts the other,
 And seems to say, Make haste, my Brother.
 The aiery nation of neat Doves,
 That draw the Chariot of chast Loves,
 Chide your delay: yea those dull things,
 Whose wayes have least to doe with wings,
 Make wings at least of their own Weight,
 And by their Love controll their Fate.
 So lumpish Steel, untaught to move
 Learn'd first his Lightnesse by his Love.
  What e're Love's matter be, he moves
 By th'even wings of his own Doves,
 Lives by his own Laws, and does hold
 In grossest Metalls his own Gold.
  All things swear friends to Fair and Good,
 Yea Suitours; Man alone is wo'ed,
 Tediously wo'ed, and hardly wone:
 Only not slow to be undone.
 As if the Bargain had been driven
 So hardly betwixt Earth and Heaven;
 Our God would thrive too fast, and be
 Too much a gainer by't, should we
 Our purchas'd selves too soon bestow
 On him, who has not lov'd us so.
 When love of Us call'd Him to see
 If wee'd vouchsafe his company,
 He left his Father's Court, and came
 Lightly as a Lambent Flame,
 Leaping upon the Hills, to be
 The Humble King of You and Me.
 Nor can the cares of his whole Crown
 (When one poor Sigh sends for him down)
 Detain him, but he leaves behind
 The late wings of the lazy Wind,
 Spurns the tame Laws of Time and Place,
And breaks through all ten Heav'ns to our embrace.
  Yield to his Siege, wise Soul, and see
 Your Triumph in his Victory.
 Disband dull Feares, give Faith the day:
 To save your Life, kill your Delay.
 'Tis Cowardise that keeps this Field;
 And want of Courage not to Yield.
  Yield then, O yield, that Love may win
 The Fort at last, and let Life in.
 Yield quickly, lest perhaps you prove
 Death's Prey, before the Prize of Love.
This Fort of your Fair Self if't be not wone,
He is repuls'd indeed, but You'r undone.
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