Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
Which borrow'd from this holy fire of Love
Or made them swear against the thing they see;
But found no cure: the bath for my help lies
A dateless lively heat, still to endure,
For men diseased; but I, my mistress' thrall,
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand
Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.
For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness,
Growing a bath and healthful remedy
In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;
And thither hied, a sad distemper'd guest,
Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd;
Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy,
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,
For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee
For I have sworn thee fair; more perjured I,
In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn,
But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fired,
Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,
In act thy bed-vow broke and new faith torn,
Whilst many nymphs that vow'd chaste life to keep
And all my honest faith in thee is lost,
The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;
Cupid laid by his brand, and fell asleep:
Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarm'd.
In vowing new hate after new love bearing.
Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual,
When I break twenty? I am perjured most;
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
A maid of Dian's this advantage found,
And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness,
But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing,
The fairest votary took up that fire
And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove
But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee,
Where Cupid got new fire--my mistress' eyes.
And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep
And so the general of hot desire
The little Love-god lying once asleep
To swear against the truth so foul a lie!