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So God in Eve did perfect man, begun ;
Till then, in vaine much of himselfe he had :
In Adam, God created only one,
Evr, and the world to come, in Eve he made.
We are two halfes : whiles each from other straies
Both barren are; joint, both their like can raise.
At first, both sexes were in man combinde,
Man a she-man did in his body breed;
Adam was Eves, Eve mother of mankinde,
Eve from live-flesh, man did from dust proceed.
One, thus made two, mariage doth re-unite,
And makes them both but one hermaphrodite.
Man did but the well-being of this life
From woman take; her being she from man :
And therefore Eve created was a wife,
And at the end of all her sex, began :
Maringe their object is; their being then,
And now perfection, they receive from men.
Mariage; to all whose joyes two parties be,
And doubled are by being parted so,
Wherein the very act is chastity,
Whereby two soules into one body go.
Which makes two, one; while here they living be,
And after death in their posterity.
God to each man a private woman gave,
That in that center his desires might stint,
That he a comfort like himselfe might have,
And that on her his like he might imprint.
Double is womans use, part of their end
Doth on this age, part on the next depend.
We fill but part of time, and cannot dye,
Till we the world a fresh supply have lent.
Children are bodies sole eternity;
Nature is Gods, art is mans instrument.
Now all mans art but only dead things makes,
But herein man in things of life partakes.
For wandring lust; I know 'tis infinite,
It still begins, and addes not more to more :
The guilt is everlasting, the delight,
This instant doth not feele, of that before.
The taste of it is only in the sense,
The operation in the conscience.
Woman is not lusts bounds, but woman-kinde ;
One is loves number: who from that doth fall,
Hath lost his hold, and no new rest shall find ;
Vice hath no meane, but not to be at all.
A wife is that enough ; lust cannot find :
For lust is still with want, or too much, pin'd.
Bate lust the sin, my share is ev'n with his,
For, not to lust, and to enjoy, is one:
And more or lesse past, equall nothing is ;
I still have one, lust one at once, alone :
And though the woman often changed be,
Yet he's the same without variety.
Mariage our lust (as 'twere with fuell fire)
Doth, with a medicine of the same, allay,
And not forbid, but rectifie desire.
My selfe I cannot chuse, my wife I may :
And in the choise of her, it much doth lye,
To mend my selfe in my posterity.
Or rather let me love, then be in love ;
So let me chuse, as wife and friend to find,
Let me forget her sex,
approve : Beasts likenesse lies in shape, but ours in mind :
Our soules no sexes have, their love is cleane, No sex,
both in the better part are men.
But physicke for our lust their bodies be,
But matter fit to shew our love upon :
But onely shells for our posterity,
Their soules were giv'n lest men should be alone :
For, but the soules interpreters, words be,
Without which, bodies are no company.
That goodly frame we see of flesh and blood,
Their fashion is, not weight; it is I say
But their lay-part; but well digested food;
Tis but 'twixt dust, and dust, lifes middle way:
The worth of it is nothing that is seen,
But only that holds a soule within.
And all the carnall beauty of my wife,
Is but skin-deep, but to two senses known;
Short even of pictures, shorter liv'd then life,
And yet the love survives, that's built thereon :
For our imagination is too high,
For bodies when they meet, to satisfie.
All shapes, all colours, are alike in night,
Nor doth our touch distinguish foule or faire ;
But mans imagination, and his sight,
And those, but the first weeke; by custome are
Both made alike, which differed at first view,
Nor can that difference absence much renew.
Nor can that beauty, lying in the face,
But meerely by imagination be
Enjoy'd by us, in an inferiour place.
Nor can that beauty by enjoying we
Make ours brcome ; so our desire growes tame,
We changed are, but it remaines the same.
Birth, lesse then beauty, shall my reason blinde,
Her birth goes to my children, not to me:
Rather had I that active gentry finde,
Vertue, then passive from her ancestry;
Rather in her alive one vertue see,
Then all the rest dead in her pedigree.
In the degrees, high rather, be she plac't,
Of nature, then of art, and policy :
Gentry is but a relique of time past :
And love doth only but the present see; (same
Things were first made, then words: she were the
With, or without, that title or that name.
As for (the oddes of sexes) portion,
Nor will I shun it, nor my aime it make;
Birth, beauty, wealth, are nothing worth alone,
All these I would for good additions take,
Net for good parts, those two are ill combin'd,
Whom, any third thing from themselves hath join'd.
Rather then these the object of my love,
Let it be good ; when these with vertue go,
They (in themselves indifferent) vertues prove,
For good (like fire) turnes all things to be so.
Gods image in her soule, o let me place
My love upon ! not Adams in her face.