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Best Famous Thomas Carew Poems

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by Thomas Carew |

Song. Good Counsel to a Young Maid

 GAZE not on thy beauty's pride, 
Tender maid, in the false tide 
That from lovers' eyes doth slide. 
Let thy faithful crystal show 
How thy colours come and go : 
Beauty takes a foil from woe. 

Love, that in those smooth streams lies 
Under pity's fair disguise, 
Will thy melting heart surprise. 

Nets of passion's finest thread, 
Snaring poems, will be spread, 
All to catch thy maidenhead. 

Then beware ! for those that cure 
Love's disease, themselves endure 
For reward a calenture. 

Rather let the lover pine, 
Than his pale cheek should assign 
A perpetual blush to thine.


by Thomas Carew |

To A. L. Persuasions to Love.

 THINK not, 'cause men flattering say
You're fresh as April, sweet as May,
Bright as is the morning star,
That you are so ; or, though you are,
Be not therefore proud, and deem
All men unworthy your esteem :
For, being so, you lose the pleasure
Of being fair, since that rich treasure
Of rare beauty and sweet feature
Was bestow'd on you by nature
To be enjoy'd ; and 'twere a sin
There to be scarce, where she hath bin
So prodigal of her best graces.
Thus common beauties and mean faces
Shall have more pastime, and enjoy
The sport you lose by being coy.
Did the thing for which I sue
Only concern myself, not you ;
Were men so framed as they alone
Reap'd all the pleasure, women none ;
Then had you reason to be scant :
But 'twere a madness not to grant
That which affords (if you consent)
To you the giver, more content
Than me, the beggar. Oh, then be
Kind to yourself, if not to me.
Starve not yourself, because you may
Thereby make me pine away ;
Nor let brittle beauty make
You your wiser thoughts forsake ;
For that lovely face will fail.
Beauty's sweet, but beauty's frail,
'Tis sooner past, 'tis sooner done,
Than summer's rain, or winter's sun ; 
Most fleeting, when it is most dear,
'Tis gone, while we but say 'tis here.
These curious locks, so aptly twined,
Whose every hair a soul doth bind,
Will change their auburn hue and grow
White and cold as winter's snow.
That eye, which now is Cupid's nest,
Will prove his grave, and all the rest
Will follow ; in the cheek, chin, nose,
Nor lily shall be found, nor rose.
And what will then become of all
Those whom now you servants call ?
Like swallows, when your summer's done,
They'll fly, and seek some warmer sun.
Then wisely choose one to your friend
Whose love may, when your beauties end,
Remain still firm : be provident,
And think, before the summer's spent,
Of following winter ; like the ant, 
In plenty hoard for time of scant.
Cull out, amongst the multitude
Of lovers, that seek to intrude
Into your favour, one that may
Love for an age, not for a day ;
One that will quench your youthful fires,
And feed in age your hot desires.
For when the storms of time have moved
Waves on that cheek which was beloved,
When a fair lady's face is pined,
And yellow spread where once red shined ;
When beauty, youth, and all sweets leave her,
Love may return, but lover never :
And old folks say there are no pains
Like itch of love in aged veins.
O love me, then, and now begin it,
Let us not lose this present minute ;
For time and age will work that wrack
Which time or age shall ne'er call back.
The snake each year fresh skin resumes,
And eagles change their aged plumes ;
The faded rose each spring receives
A fresh red tincture on her leaves :
But if your beauties once decay,
You never know a second May.
O then, be wise, and whilst your season
Affords you days for sport, do reason ;
Spend not in vain your life's short hour,
But crop in time your beauty's flower,
Which will away, and doth together
Both bud and fade, both blow and wither.


by Thomas Carew |

Epitaph On the Lady Mary Villiers

 THE Lady Mary Villiers lies 
Under this stone; with weeping eyes 
The parents that first gave her birth, 
And their sad friends, laid her in earth. 
If any of them, Reader, were 
Known unto thee, shed a tear; 
Or if thyself possess a gem 
As dear to thee, as this to them, 
Though a stranger to this place, 
Bewail in theirs thine own hard case: 
 For thou perhaps at thy return 
 May'st find thy Darling in an urn.


by Thomas Carew |

To Ben Jonson upon Occasion of his Ode of Defiance Annexed t

 'Tis true, dear Ben, thy just chastising hand 
Hath fix'd upon the sotted age a brand 
To their swoll'n pride and empty scribbling due; 
It can nor judge, nor write, and yet 'tis true 
Thy comic muse, from the exalted line 
Touch'd by thy Alchemist, doth since decline 
From that her zenith, and foretells a red 
And blushing evening, when she goes to bed; 
Yet such as shall outshine the glimmering light 
With which all stars shall gild the following night. 
Nor think it much, since all thy eaglets may 
Endure the sunny trial, if we say 
This hath the stronger wing, or that doth shine 
Trick'd up in fairer plumes, since all are thine. 
Who hath his flock of cackling geese compar'd 
With thy tun'd choir of swans? or else who dar'd 
To call thy births deform'd? But if thou bind 
By city-custom, or by gavelkind, 
In equal shares thy love on all thy race, 
We may distinguish of their sex, and place; 
Though one hand form them, and though one brain strike 
Souls into all, they are not all alike. 
Why should the follies then of this dull age 
Draw from thy pen such an immodest rage 
As seems to blast thy else-immortal bays, 
When thine own tongue proclaims thy itch of praise? 
Such thirst will argue drouth. No, let be hurl'd 
Upon thy works by the detracting world 
What malice can suggest; let the rout say, 
The running sands, that, ere thou make a play, 
Count the slow minutes, might a Goodwin frame 
To swallow, when th' hast done, thy shipwreck'd name; 
Let them the dear expense of oil upbraid, 
Suck'd by thy watchful lamp, that hath betray'd 
To theft the blood of martyr'd authors, spilt 
Into thy ink, whilst thou growest pale with guilt. 
Repine not at the taper's thrifty waste, 
That sleeks thy terser poems; nor is haste 
Praise, but excuse; and if thou overcome 
A knotty writer, bring the booty home; 
Nor think it theft if the rich spoils so torn 
From conquer'd authors be as trophies worn. 
Let others glut on the extorted praise 
Of vulgar breath, trust thou to after-days; 
Thy labour'd works shall live when time devours 
Th' abortive offspring of their hasty hours. 
Thou are not of their rank, the quarrel lies 
Within thine own verge; then let this suffice, 
The wiser world doth greater thee confess 
Than all men else, than thyself only less.


by Thomas Carew |

Song

 ASK me no more where Jove bestows, 
When June is past, the fading rose; 
For in your beauty's orient deep 
These flowers, as in their causes, sleep. 

Ask me no more whither do stray 
The golden atoms of the day; 
For in pure love heaven did prepare 
Those powders to enrich your hair. 

Ask me no more whither doth haste 
The nightingale when May is past; 
For in your sweet dividing throat 
She winters and keeps warm her note. 

Ask me no more where those stars 'light 
That downwards fall in dead of night; 
For in your eyes they sit, and there 
Fixed become as in their sphere. 

Ask me no more if east or west 
The Phoenix builds her spicy nest; 
For unto you at last she flies, 
And in your fragrant bosom dies.


by Thomas Carew |

Song. Mediocrity in love rejected.

 GIVE me more love or more disdain ; 
The torrid or the frozen zone 
Bring equal ease unto my pain, 
The temperate affords me none : 
Either extreme of love or hate, 
Is sweeter than a calm estate. 

Give me a storm ; if it be love, 
Like Dana? in that golden shower, 
I swim in pleasure ; if it prove 
Disdain, that torrent will devour 
My vulture-hopes ; and he's possess'd 
Of heaven, that's but from hell released.
Then crown my joys or cure my pain : 
Give me more love or more disdain.


by Thomas Carew |

Song. A Beautiful Mistress.

 IF when the sun at noon displays
His brighter rays, 
Thou but appear, 
He then, all pale with shame and fear,
Quencheth his light,
Hides his dark brow, flies from thy sight,
And grows more dim,
Compared to thee, than stars to him.
If thou but show thy face again,
When darkness doth at midnight reign,
The darkness flies, and light is hurl'd
Round about the silent world :
So as alike thou driv'st away
Both light and darkness, night and day.


by Thomas Carew |

A Song: When June is Past the Fading Rose

 Ask me no more where Jove bestows, 
When June is past, the fading rose; 
For in your beauty's orient deep 
These flowers as in their causes, sleep. 

Ask me no more whither doth stray 
The golden atoms of the day; 
For in pure love heaven did prepare 
Those powders to enrich your hair. 

Ask me no more whither doth haste 
The nightingale when May is past; 
For in your sweet dividing throat 
She winters and keeps warm her note. 

Ask me no more where those stars light 
That downwards fall in dead of night; 
For in your eyes they sit, and there, 
Fixed become as in their sphere. 

Ask me no more if east or west 
The ph?nix builds her spicy nest; 
For unto you at last she flies, 
And in your fragrant bosom dies.


by Thomas Carew |

Disdain Returned

 He that loves a rosy cheek, 
Or a coral lip admires, 
Or from starlike eyes doth seek 
Fuel to maintain his fires; 
As old Time makes these decay, 
So his flames must waste away. 

But a smooth and steadfast mind, 
Gentle thoughts and calm desires, 
Hearts with equal love combined, 
Kindle never-dying fires. 
Where these are not, I despise 
Lovely cheeks, or lips, or eyes. 

No tears, Celia, now shall win 
My resolved heart to return; 
I have searched thy soul within, 
And find naught but pride and scorn; 
I have learned thy arts, and now 
Can disdain as much as thou. 
Some power, in my revenge convey 
That love to her I cast away.


by Thomas Carew |

Know Celia Since Thou Art So Proud

 Know, Celia, since thou art so proud,
'Twas I that gave thee thy renown.
Thou hadst in the forgotten crowd
Of common beauties lived unknown
Had not my verse extolled thy name,
And with it imped the wings of Fame.

That killing power is none of thine;
I gave it to thy voice and eyes.
Thy sweets, thy graces, all are mine;
Thou art my star, shin'st in my skies:
Then dart not from thy borrowed sphere
Lightning on him that fixed thee there.

Tempt me with such affrights no more,
Lest what I made I uncreate.
Let fools thy mystic form adore,
I know thee in thy mortal state.
Wise poets, that wrapped truth in tales,
Knew her themselves through all her veils.