The Works of Christopher Marlowe/Ignoto


I love thee not for sacred chastity,—
Who loves for that?—nor for thy sprightly wit;
I love thee not for thy sweet modesty,
Which makes thee in perfection's throne to sit;
I love thee not for thy enchanting eye,
Thy beauty[s] ravishing perfection;
I love thee not for unchaste luxury,[2]
Nor for thy body's fair proportion;
I love thee not for that my soul doth dance
And leap with pleasure, when those lips of thine
Give musical and graceful utterance
To some (by thee made happy) poet's line;
I love thee not for voice or slender small:[3]
But wilt thou know wherefore? fair sweet, for all.

Faith, wench, I cannot court thy sprightly eyes,
With the base-viol plac'd between my thighs;
I cannot lisp, nor to some fiddle sing,
Nor run upon a high-stretch'd minikin;
I cannot whine in puling elegies,
Entombing Cupid with sad obsequies;
I am not fashion'd for these amorous times,
To court thy beauty with lascivious rhymes;
I cannot dally, caper, dance, and sing,
Oiling my saint with supple sonnetting;
I cannot cross my arms, or sigh "Ay me,
Ay me, forlorn!" egregious foppery!
I cannot buss[4] thy fill, play with thy hair,
Swearing by Jove, "thou art most debonair!"
Not I, by cock![5] but [I] shall tell thee roundly,—
Hark in thine ear,—zounds, I can () thee soundly.

Sweet wench, I love thee: yet I will not sue,
Or shew my love as musky courtiers do;
I'll not carouse a health to honour thee,
In this same bezzling[6] drunken courtesy,
And, when all's quaffd, eat up my bousing-glass,[7]
In glory that I am thy servile ass;
Nor will I wear a rotten Bourbon lock,
As some sworn peasant to a female smock.
Well-featur'd lass, thou know'st I love thee dear:
Yet for thy sake I will not bore mine ear,
To hang thy dirty silken shoe-tires there;
Nor for thy love will I once gnash a brick,
Or some pied colours in my bonnet stick:
But, by the chaps of hell, to do thee good,
I'll freely spend my thrice-decocted blood.

  1. Ignoto] This copy of verses is found only in ed. A.
  2. luxury] i.e. lust.
  3. small] i.e., I suppose, of the waist.
  4. lust] i.e. kiss.
  5. cock] A very old corruption of the sacred name. This is proved by the equally common expressions, "Cock's passion," "Cock's body," &c.
  6. bezzling] i.e. tippling, sotting.
  7. bowing-glass] i.e. drinking-glass.