Denying love, to forsake all the heart,
Is greatest sin that man may ever know.
Yet how may I pay rightly for my blow?
One word to her beates thousand Aves’ part.
If thou alone will ease this deadly dart
And heal it, then can I this ill forego,
And tarry ne’er, no more such love to show.
But, until then, the greater it shall smart.
I wait on reply, but discern no nod:
She blinks, she looks, her eyes upon me sheen,
And piercèd full through am I by that sword
Of her physick, and care, and smile most keen.
Return’d to health by her sweetest mercy,
I worship now of God’s grace-made beauty.
1. “Denying love … ever know.” Here is a decent (I hope) example of the Sidney-like tripartite definition of an idea (as mentioned in an earlier annotation); in this case, it is rejection/ignorance. Denying – the will, to forsake – the reason, sin – memory.
4. Aves: Plural of “Ave Maria,” the Catholic prayer more commonly known as “Hail Mary.” Since this is an Elizabethan (and thus Protestant) work, the importance of one’s prayer to a lover over that to Mary is double: it proclaims the lover’s worth to the individual, but also manages to trash the Catholic ‘cult of Mary’ (a common practice which can be seen especially clearly in Spenser) in the process.