Like a bad suitor desperate and trembling
From the mixed sense of being not loved and loving,
Who with feared longing half would know, dissembling
With what he'd wish proved what he fears soon proving,
I look with inner eyes afraid to look,
Yet perplexed into looking, at the worth
This verse may have and wonder, of my book,
To what thoughts shall't in alien hearts give birth.
But, as he who doth love, and, loving, hopes,
Yet, hoping, fears, fears to put proof to proof,
And in his mind for possible proofs gropes,
Delaying the true proof, lest the real thing scoff,
I daily live, i'th' fame I dream to see,
But by my thought of others' thought of me.
We never joy enjoy to that full point
Regret doth wish joy had enjoyèd been,
Nor have the strength regret to disappoint
Recalling not past joy's thought, but its mien.
Yet joy was joy when it enjoyèd was
And after-enjoyed when as joy recalled,
It must have been joy ere its joy did pass
And, recalled, joy still, since its being-past galled.
Alas! All this is useless, for joy's in
Enjoying, not in thinking of enjoying.
Its mere thought-mirroring gainst itself doth sin,
By mere reflecting solid life destroying,
Yet the more thought we take to thought to prove
It must not think, doth further from joy move.