By Andrew Marvell
How wisely Nature did decree,
With the same eyes to
weep and see ;
That, having viewed the object vain,
They might be ready
to complain !
And, since the self-deluding sight
In a false angle takes
These tears, which better measure all,
Like watery lines
and plummets fall.
Two tears, which sorrow long did weigh
scales of either eye,
And then paid out in equal poise,
Are the true
price of all my joys.
What in the world most fair appears,
laughter, turns to tears ;
And all the jewels which we prize
these pendants of the eyes.
I have through every garden been,
the red, the white, the green,
And yet from all the flowers I saw,
honey, but these tears could draw.
So the all-seeing sun each day
Distils the world with chymic ray ;
But finds the essence only showers,
Which straight in pity back he pours.
Yet happy they whom grief doth
That weep the more, and see the less ;
And, to preserve their
sight more true,
Bathe still their eyes in their own dew.
So Magdalen in
tears more wise
Dissolved those captivating eyes,
Whose liquid chains
could flowing meet
To fetter her Redeemer's feet.
Not full sails hasting
Nor the chaste lady's pregnant womb,
Nor Cynthia teeming
shows so fair
As two eyes swollen with weeping are.
The sparkling glance
that shoots desire,
Drenched in these waves, does lose its fire ;
oft the Thunderer pity takes,
And here the hissing lightning slakes.
incense was to Heaven dear,
Not as a perfume, but a tear ;
shew lovely in the night,
But as they seem the tears of light.
mine eyes, your double sluice,
And practice so your noblest use ;
others too can see, or sleep,
But only human eyes can weep.
two clouds dissolving, drop,
And at each tear in distance stop ;
like two fountains, trickle down ;
Now, like two floods, o'erturn and drown
Thus let your streams o'erflow your springs,
Till eyes and tears be
the same things ;
And each the other's difference bears,
eyes, those seeing tears.