Sir John Suckling – 4

[“Love is the fart/Of every heart” – Floral border to Le Livre des hystoires du Mirouer du monde, Paris 15th century]

AG: So on page three fifty-four. (more Suckling) – “Out upon it I have loved three whole days together” – “Out upon it, I have lov’d/Three whole days together;/And am like to love three more,/If it prove fair weather./ Time shall moult away his wings,/Ere he shall discover/In the whole wide world again/Such a constant lover./ But the spite on’t is, no praise/Is due at all to me;/Love with me had made no stays,/Had it any been but she/  Had it any been but she,/And that very face,/There had been at least ere this/A dozen dozen in her place.”

So..a great compliment, The girl has got him tied down for three days, and maybe another three, so, like, a charming fellow .

But you don’t get very much of his charm in this… or his rapscallion-esque character, like, in this book, so I checked out a few other poems of his that might amuse you. In other words -, a rich, funny, intelligent libertine, that everybody loved in London. So there are a few poems worth looking out, looking at of his that are not in this Norton Anthology .In The Minor Poets of the Seventeeth Century,  Everyman paperback, some perfect little lyrics, but, in some of them, there’s a slightly off-color shot in it, unlike the other poets, all of a sudden he gets bawdy.

“If when Don Cupid’s dart doth wound” – “If when Don Cupid’s dart/Doth wound a heart,/We hide our grief/And shun relief,/The smart increaseth on that score;/For wounds unsearcht but rankle more./   Then if we whine, look pale,/And tell our tale,/Men are in pain/For us again;/So, neither speaking doth become/The lover’s state, nor being dumb/  When this I do descry,/Then thus think I:/Love is the fart/Of every heart;/It pains a man when ’tis kept close,/And others doth offend when ’tis let loose”.

In case you didn’t get it I’ll read it again – “When this I do descry,/Then thus think I:/Love is the fart/Of every heart;/It pains a man when ’tis kept close,/And others doth offend when ’tis let loose.”

Then there’s his Farewell..  He’s got a lot of good lines scattered here and there. He’s got a long, pretty funny poem about ” a sessions of the poets where Tom Carew, and lots of the other poets, Suckling, and Davenant, and Will Bartlett, and Toby Mathews, and all the poets of that day, came around and made their claim to be the greatest poet of the age. You can check that out. (it’s called “A Sessions of the Poets”, which I’d recommend reading)

Of himself he says,  “Suckling next was called but did not appear/ But straight one whispered   Apollo i’ the ear./That all of men living he cared not for ‘t/He loved not the muses so well as his sport/ And prized black eyes or a lucky hit/At bowels above all the trophies of wit;/But Apollo was angry and publicly said,/’Twere fit that a fine were set upon ‘s head”  – So that was Suckling commenting on himself.

Maybe I’ve got him about Lovelace here? – Carew (remember Carew the poet, “Ask me no more where Jove bestows… the beauty of the fading rose” – [Editorial note – “Ask me no more where Jove bestows,/When June is past, the fading rose;/For in your beauty’s orient deep…” ] – “Tom Carew was next but he had a fault/ That would not stand well with a laureate/His muse was hard-bound and th’ issue of ‘s brain/Was seldom brought forth but with trouble and pain” – (Suckling was mocking Carew for working so hard)

Well, we go on to… “Farewell To Love” ..what is he going to do when a fellow like him has to give up love, or begin guessing he’s getting old and that it ain’t gonna last forever – “Well – shadowed landskip -fare you well” – “shadowed landskip, fare ye well/ How I have loved you none can tell/ At least so well/ As he who now hates more/ Than e’er he loved before” – (“As he who now hates more than ere he loved before”) – “But my dear nothings, take your leave ( it’s something!) – “my dear nothings, take your leave/No longer must you me deceive /Since I perceive/All the deceit, and know/Whence the mstake did grow/ As he, whose quicker eye doth trace/A false star shot to a mark’d place,/ Does run apace,/And thinking it to catch,/ A jelly up does snatch./ So our dull souls tasting delight/Far off, by sense and appetite/Think that is right/And real good; when yet/”Tis but the counterfeit/ O how I glory now, that I/have made this new discovery!/ Each wanton eye/Inflamed before; no more/Will I increase that score/. If I gaze now, ’tis but to see/What manner of deaths-head t’will be..” – (that’s pretty good,  (to say to) somebody, like, pretty)  – “If I gaze now, ’tis but to see/What manner of deaths-head t’will be/When it is free from that fresh upper skin,/The gazer’s joy and sin/. The gum and glist’ning which with art/And studied method in each part/Hangs down the hair/Looks (just) as if that day/Snails there had crawled the hay/  The locks that curled o’er each ear be,/Hang like two master-worms to me/ That (as we see)/Have tasted to the rest/Two holes, where they like ‘t best/ A quick corse, methink, I spy/In every woman; and mine eye/At passing by,/Checks, and is troubled, just/As if it rose from dust…” – (That’s pretty heavy for Mr Suckling, but you can see what he’s.. it actually is a rare moment of awareness for him.

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately  ten-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately seventeen-and-three-quarter minutes in] 

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