Before I sigh my last gaspe, let me breath,
Great Love, some Legacies; Here I bequeath
Mine eyes to Argus, if mine eyes can see,
If they be blinde, then Love, I give them thee;
My tongue to Fame; to’Embassadours mine eares;
To women, or the sea, my teares.
Thou, Love, hast taught mee heretofore
By making mee serve her who’had twenty more,
That I should give to none, but such, as had too much before.
My constancie I to the planets give;
My truth to them, who at the Court doe live;
Mine ingenuity and opennesse,
To Jesuits; to Buffones my pensivenesse;
My silence to’any, who abroad hath beene;
My mony to a Capuchin:
Thou Love taughtst me, by appointing mee
To love there, where no love receiv’d can be,
Onely to give to such as have an incapacitie.
My faith I give to Roman Catholicques;
All my good works unto the Schismaticks
Of Amsterdam; my best civility
And Courtship to an Universitie;
My modesty I give to souldiers bare;
My patience let gamesters share.
Thou Love taughtst mee, by making mee
Love her that holds my love disparity,
Onely to give to those that count my gifts indignity.
I give my reputation to those
Which were my friends; mine industrie to foes;
To Schoolemen I bequeath my doubtfulnesse;
My sicknesse to Physitians, or excesse;
To Nature, all that I in Ryme have writ;
And to my company my wit.
Thou Love, by making mee adore
Her, who begot this love in mee before,
Taughtst me to make, as though I gave, when I did but restore.
To him for whom the passing-bell next tolls,
I give my physick bookes; my written rowles
Of Morall counsels, I to Bedlam give;
My brazen medals, unto them which live
In want of bread; To them which passe among
All forrainers, mine English tongue.
Thou, Love, by making mee love one
Who thinkes her friendship a fit portion
For yonger lovers, dost my gifts thus disproportion.
Therefore I'll give no more; but I'll undoe
The world by dying; because love dies too.
Then all your beauties will be no more worth
Than gold in Mines, where none doth draw it forth;
And all your graces no more use shall have
Than a Sun dyall in a grave.
Thou Love taughtst me by making mee
Love her, who doth neglect both mee and thee,
To’invent, and practise this one way, to’annihilate all three.