Wert thou to such bewitching sweetness born

Wert thou to such bewitching sweetness born,
Or didst thou, in thy jealousy, conform,
On having heard her hymns traverse the trees,
To match the mould of Nature’s melodies?
If so, thy labour sound success hath brought;
Th’ unconquerable mother hath been caught,
And, like a shattered mirror scattered round,
A hundred times thy graces doth resound.
But as each beast and bird must bare his bones,
And as the rushing river strips the stones,
Doth beauty, with her blessing, bring her bane:
Each flower singed by Saturn’s pheonix-flame,
Which, like the forest fire blazing through,
Shall scorch away thy sins, and bear anew.


The goddess hath my instruments destroy’d,
And as my loom hath brake, so hath my breast,
Delivered in its shards to show its worth
And being shown, revealing all its faults.
For fool was I, who challeng├Ęd the gods,
In jest, perhaps, but even so, a sin;
For though indeed my skill the greater was,
It weaken’d with the pride with which it paired:

One needle more I think I’ll thread,
The eye of grass, the strand this head.