Metaphysical Poetry   17th Century  

The Tear

14 readings


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What bright soft thing is this?
Sweet Mary, the fair eyes’ expense?
A moist spark it is,
A wat’ry diamond; from whence
The very term, I think, was found
The water of a diamond.

O ’tis not a tear,
’Tis a star about to drop
From thine eye its sphere;
The sun will stoop and take it up.
Proud will his sister be to wear
This thine eyes’ jewel in her ear.

O ’tis a tear
Too true a tear; for no sad eyne,
How sad so e’re,
Rain so true a teare as thine;
Each drop leaving a place so dear,
Weeps for itself, is its own tear.

Such a pearl as this is,
(Slipped from Aurora’s dewy breast)
The rose bud’s sweet lip kisses;
And such the rose itself, when vexed
With ungentle flames, does shed,
Sweating in too warm a bed.

Such the maiden gem,
By the wanton spring put on,
Peeps from her parent stem,
And blushes on the manly sun:
This wat’ry blossom of thy eyne,
Ripe, will make the richer wine.

Faire drop, why quak’st thou so?
’Cause thou straight must lay thy head
In the dust? o no;
The dust shall never be thy bed:
A pillow for thee will I bring,
Stuffed with down of angels’ wing.

Thus carried up on high,
(For to Heaven thou must go)
Sweetly shalt thou lie
And in soft slumbers bathe thy woe;
Till the singing orbs awake thee,
And one of their bright chorus make thee.

There thy self shalt be
An eye, but not a weeping one,
Yet I doubt of thee,
Whether th’hadst rather there have shone
An eye of Heaven; or still shine here,
In th’Heaven of Mary’s eye, a tear.