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TO THE ONLY BEGETTER OF
THESE INSUING SONNETS
MR. W. H. ALL HAPPINESS
AND THAT ETERNITY
OUR EVER-LIVING POET WISHETH
FROM fairest creatures we desire increase
That thereby beauty's rose might never die
But as the riper should by time decease
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thoucontracted to thine own bright eyes
Feed'st thy light'st flame with self-substantial fuel
Making a famine where abundance lies
Thyself thy foeto thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
Andtender churlmakest waste in niggarding.
Pity the worldor else this glutton be
To eat the world's dueby the grave and thee.
When forty winters shall beseige thy brow
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field
Thy youth's proud liveryso gazed on now
Will be a tatter'd weedof small worth held:
Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days
To saywithin thine own deep-sunken eyes
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserved thy beauty's use
If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse'
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.
Look in thy glassand tell the face thou viewest
Now is the time that face should form another;
Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest
Thou dost beguile the worldunbless some mother.
For where is she so fair whose unear'd womb
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
Or who is he so fond will be the tomb
Of his self-loveto stop posterity?
Thou art thy mother's glassand she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime:
So thou through windows of thine age shall see
Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.
But if thou liveremember'd not to be
Die singleand thine image dies with thee.
Unthrifty lovelinesswhy dost thou spend
Upon thyself thy beauty's legacy?
Nature's bequest gives nothing but doth lend
And being frank she lends to those are free.
Thenbeauteous niggardwhy dost thou abuse
The bounteous largess given thee to give?
Profitless usurerwhy dost thou use
So great a sum of sumsyet canst not live?
For having traffic with thyself alone
Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive.
Then howwhen nature calls thee to be gone
What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
Thy unused beauty must be tomb'd with thee
Whichusedlives th' executor to be.
Those hoursthat with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell
Will play the tyrants to the very same
And that unfair which fairly doth excel:
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter and confounds him there;
Sap cheque'd with frost and lusty leaves quite gone
Beauty o'ersnow'd and bareness every where:
Thenwere not summer's distillation left
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass
Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft
Nor it nor no remembrance what it was:
But flowers distill'd though they with winter meet
Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.
Then let not winter's ragged hand deface
In thee thy summerere thou be distill'd:
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place
With beauty's treasureere it be self-kill'd.
That use is not forbidden usury
Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
That's for thyself to breed another thee
Or ten times happierbe it ten for one;
Ten times thyself were happier than thou art
If ten of thine ten times refigured thee:
Then what could death doif thou shouldst depart
Leaving thee living in posterity?
Be not self-will'dfor thou art much too fair
To be death's conquest and make worms thine heir.
Lo! in the orient when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning headeach under eye
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight
Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
And having climb'd the steep-up heavenly hill
Resembling strong youth in his middle age
yet mortal looks adore his beauty still
Attending on his golden pilgrimage;
But when from highmost pitchwith weary car
Like feeble agehe reeleth from the day
The eyes'fore duteousnow converted are
From his low tract and look another way:
So thouthyself out-going in thy noon
Unlook'd on diestunless thou get a son.
Music to hearwhy hear'st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war notjoy delights in joy.
Why lovest thou that which thou receivest not gladly
Or else receivest with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tuned sounds
By unions marrieddo offend thine ear
They do but sweetly chide theewho confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one stringsweet husband to another
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering
Resembling sire and child and happy mother
Who all in oneone pleasing note do sing:
Whose speechless songbeing manyseeming one
Sings this to thee: 'thou single wilt prove none.'
Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye
That thou consumest thyself in single life?
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die.
The world will wail theelike a makeless wife;
The world will be thy widow and still weep
That thou no form of thee hast left behind
When every private widow well may keep
By children's eyes her husband's shape in mind.
Lookwhat an unthrift in the world doth spend
Shifts but his placefor still the world enjoys it;
But beauty's waste hath in the world an end
And kept unusedthe user so destroys it.
No love toward others in that bosom sits
That on himself such murderous shame commits.
For shame! deny that thou bear'st love to any
Who for thyself art so unprovident.
Grantif thou wiltthou art beloved of many
But that thou none lovest is most evident;
For thou art so possess'd with murderous hate
That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to conspire.
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
Ochange thy thoughtthat I may change my mind!
Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?
Beas thy presence isgracious and kind
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove:
Make thee another selffor love of me
That beauty still may live in thine or thee.
As fast as thou shalt waneso fast thou growest
In one of thinefrom that which thou departest;
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestowest
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth convertest.
Herein lives wisdombeauty and increase:
Without thisfollyage and cold decay:
If all were minded sothe times should cease
And threescore year would make the world away.
Let those whom Nature hath not made for store
Harsh featureless and rudebarrenly perish:
Lookwhom she best endow'd she gave the more;
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish:
She carved thee for her sealand meant thereby
Thou shouldst print morenot let that copy die.
When I do count the clock that tells the time
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime
And sable curls all silver'd o'er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard
Then of thy beauty do I question make
That thou among the wastes of time must go
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
Save breedto brave him when he takes thee hence.
Othat you were yourself! butloveyou are
No longer yours than you yourself here live:
Against this coming end you should prepare
And your sweet semblance to some other give.
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination: then you were
Yourself again after yourself's decease
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay
Which husbandry in honour might uphold
Against the stormy gusts of winter's day
And barren rage of death's eternal cold?
Onone but unthrifts! Dear my loveyou know
You had a father: let your son say so.
Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck;
And yet methinks I have astronomy
But not to tell of good or evil luck
Of plaguesof dearthsor seasons' quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell
Pointing to each his thunderrain and wind
Or say with princes if it shall go well
By oft predict that I in heaven find:
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive
Andconstant starsin them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert;
Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.
When I consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase
Cheered and cheque'd even by the self-same sky
Vaunt in their youthful sapat height decrease
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
And all in war with Time for love of you
As he takes from youI engraft you new.
But wherefore do not you a mightier way
Make war upon this bloody tyrantTime?
And fortify yourself in your decay
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?
Now stand you on the top of happy hours
And many maiden gardens yet unset
With virtuous wish would bear your living flowers
Much liker than your painted counterfeit:
So should the lines of life that life repair
Which thisTime's pencilor my pupil pen
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair
Can make you live yourself in eyes of men.
To give away yourself keeps yourself still
And you must livedrawn by your own sweet skill.
Who will believe my verse in time to come
If it were fill'd with your most high deserts?
Though yetheaven knowsit is but as a tomb
Which hides your life and shows not half your parts.
If I could write the beauty of your eyes
And in fresh numbers number all your graces
The age to come would say 'This poet lies:
Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.'
So should my papers yellow'd with their age
Be scorn'd like old men of less truth than tongue
And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage
And stretched metre of an antique song:
But were some child of yours alive that time
You should live twice; in it and in my rhyme.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
Devouring Timeblunt thou the lion's paws
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets
And do whate'er thou wiltswift-footed Time
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
Ocarve not with thy hours my love's fair brow
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men.
Yetdo thy worstold Time: despite thy wrong
My love shall in my verse ever live young.
A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted
Hast thouthe master-mistress of my passion;
A woman's gentle heartbut not acquainted
With shifting changeas is false women's fashion;
An eye more bright than theirsless false in rolling
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
A man in hueall 'hues' in his controlling
Much steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth.
And for a woman wert thou first created;
Till Natureas she wrought theefell a-doting
And by addition me of thee defeated
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure
Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.
So is it not with me as with that Muse
Stirr'd by a painted beauty to his verse
Who heaven itself for ornament doth use
And every fair with his fair doth rehearse
Making a couplement of proud compare
With sun and moonwith earth and sea's rich gems
With April's first-born flowersand all things rare
That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems.
O' let metrue in lovebut truly write
And then believe memy love is as fair
As any mother's childthough not so bright
As those gold candles fix'd in heaven's air:
Let them say more than like of hearsay well;
I will not praise that purpose not to sell.
My glass shall not persuade me I am old
So long as youth and thou are of one date;
But when in thee time's furrows I behold
Then look I death my days should expiate.
For all that beauty that doth cover thee
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart
Which in thy breast doth liveas thine in me:
How can I then be elder than thou art?
Othereforelovebe of thyself so wary
As Inot for myselfbut for thee will;
Bearing thy heartwhich I will keep so chary
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain;
Thou gavest me thinenot to give back again.
As an unperfect actor on the stage
Who with his fear is put besides his part
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage
Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart.
So Ifor fear of trustforget to say
The perfect ceremony of love's rite
And in mine own love's strength seem to decay
O'ercharged with burden of mine own love's might.
Olet my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast
Who plead for love and look for recompense
More than that tongue that more hath more express'd.
Olearn to read what silent love hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.
Mine eye hath play'd the painter and hath stell'd
Thy beauty's form in table of my heart;
My body is the frame wherein 'tis held
And perspective it is the painter's art.
For through the painter must you see his skill
To find where your true image pictured lies;
Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes.
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done:
Mine eyes have drawn thy shapeand thine for me
Are windows to my breastwhere-through the sun
Delights to peepto gaze therein on thee;
Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art;
They draw but what they seeknow not the heart.
Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast
Whilst Iwhom fortune of such triumph bars
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun's eye
And in themselves their pride lies buried
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight
After a thousand victories once foil'd
Is from the book of honour razed quite
And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd:
Then happy Ithat love and am beloved
Where I may not remove nor be removed.
Lord of my loveto whom in vassalage
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit
To thee I send this written embassage
To witness dutynot to show my wit:
Duty so greatwhich wit so poor as mine
May make seem barein wanting words to show it
But that I hope some good conceit of thine
In thy soul's thoughtall nakedwill bestow it;
Till whatsoever star that guides my moving
Points on me graciously with fair aspect
And puts apparel on my tatter'd loving
To show me worthy of thy sweet respect:
Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee;
Till then not show my head where thou mayst prove me.
Weary with toilI haste me to my bed
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mindwhen body's work's expired:
For then my thoughtsfrom far where I abide
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide
Looking on darkness which the blind do see
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view
Whichlike a jewel hung in ghastly night
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo! thusby day my limbsby night my mind
For thee and for myself no quiet find.
How can I then return in happy plight
That am debarr'd the benefit of rest?
When day's oppression is not eased by night
But day by nightand night by dayoppress'd?
And eachthough enemies to either's reign
Do in consent shake hands to torture me;
The one by toilthe other to complain
How far I toilstill farther off from thee.
I tell the dayto please them thou art bright
And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven:
So flatter I the swart-complexion'd night
When sparkling stars twire not thou gild'st the even.
But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer
And night doth nightly make grief's strength
Whenin disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope
Featured like himlike him with friends possess'd
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising
Haply I think on theeand then my state
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earthsings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eyeunused to flow
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on theedear friend
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts
Which I by lacking have supposed dead
And there reigns love and all love's loving parts
And all those friends which I thought buried.
How many a holy and obsequious tear
Hath dear religious love stol'n from mine eye
As interest of the deadwhich now appear
But things removed that hidden in thee lie!
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone
Who all their parts of me to thee did give;
That due of many now is thine alone:
Their images I loved I view in thee
And thouall theyhast all the all of me.
If thou survive my well-contented day
When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover
Compare them with the bettering of the time
And though they be outstripp'd by every pen
Reserve them for my lovenot for their rhyme
Exceeded by the height of happier men.
Othen vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
'Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing age
A dearer birth than this his love had brought
To march in ranks of better equipage:
But since he died and poets better prove
Theirs for their style I'll readhis for his love.'
Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye
Kissing with golden face the meadows green
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face
And from the forlorn world his visage hide
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all triumphant splendor on my brow;
But outalack! he was but one hour mine;
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.
Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day
And make me travel forth without my cloak
To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?
'Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face
For no man well of such a salve can speak
That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace:
Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;
Though thou repentyet I have still the loss:
The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief
To him that bears the strong offence's cross.
Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds
And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.
No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
Roses have thornsand silver fountains mud;
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
All men make faultsand even I in this
Authorizing thy trespass with compare
Myself corruptingsalving thy amiss
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are;
For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense-Thy
adverse party is thy advocate-And
'gainst myself a lawful plea commence:
Such civil war is in my love and hate
That I an accessary needs must be
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.
Let me confess that we two must be twain
Although our undivided loves are one:
So shall those blots that do with me remain
Without thy help by me be borne alone.
In our two loves there is but one respect
Though in our lives a separable spite
Which though it alter not love's sole effect
Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight.
I may not evermore acknowledge thee
Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame
Nor thou with public kindness honour me
Unless thou take that honour from thy name:
But do not so; I love thee in such sort
Asthou being minemine is thy good report.
As a decrepit father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of youth
So Imade lame by fortune's dearest spite
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
For whether beautybirthor wealthor wit
Or any of these allor allor more
Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit
I make my love engrafted to this store:
So then I am not lamepoornor despised
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
That I in thy abundance am sufficed
And by a part of all thy glory live.
Lookwhat is bestthat best I wish in thee:
This wish I have; then ten times happy me!
How can my Muse want subject to invent
While thou dost breathethat pour'st into my verse
Thine own sweet argumenttoo excellent
For every vulgar paper to rehearse?
Ogive thyself the thanksif aught in me
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;
For who's so dumb that cannot write to thee
When thou thyself dost give invention light?
Be thou the tenth Museten times more in worth
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;
And he that calls on theelet him bring forth
Eternal numbers to outlive long date.
If my slight Muse do please these curious days
The pain be minebut thine shall be the praise.
Ohow thy worth with manners may I sing
When thou art all the better part of me?
What can mine own praise to mine own self bring?
And what is 't but mine own when I praise thee?
Even for this let us divided live
And our dear love lose name of single one
That by this separation I may give
That due to thee which thou deservest alone.
O absencewhat a torment wouldst thou prove
Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave
To entertain the time with thoughts of love
Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive
And that thou teachest how to make one twain
By praising him here who doth hence remain!
Take all my lovesmy loveyeatake them all;
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?
No lovemy lovethat thou mayst true love call;
All mine was thine before thou hadst this more.
Then if for my love thou my love receivest
I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest;
But yet be blamedif thou thyself deceivest
By wilful taste of what thyself refusest.
I do forgive thy robberygentle thief
Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
And yetlove knowsit is a greater grief
To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury.
Lascivious gracein whom all ill well shows
Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes.
Those petty wrongs that liberty commits
When I am sometime absent from thy heart
Thy beauty and thy years full well befits
For still temptation follows where thou art.
Gentle thou art and therefore to be won
Beauteous thou arttherefore to be assailed;
And when a woman wooswhat woman's son
Will sourly leave her till she have prevailed?
Ay me! but yet thou mightest my seat forbear
And chide try beauty and thy straying youth
Who lead thee in their riot even there
Where thou art forced to break a twofold truth
Hers by thy beauty tempting her to thee
Thineby thy beauty being false to me.
That thou hast herit is not all my grief
And yet it may be said I loved her dearly;
That she hath theeis of my wailing chief
A loss in love that touches me more nearly.
Loving offendersthus I will excuse ye:
Thou dost love herbecause thou knowst I love her;
And for my sake even so doth she abuse me
Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her.
If I lose theemy loss is my love's gain
And losing hermy friend hath found that loss;
Both find each otherand I lose both twain
And both for my sake lay on me this cross:
But here's the joy; my friend and I are one;
Sweet flattery! then she loves but me alone.
When most I winkthen do mine eyes best see
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleepin dreams they look on thee
And darkly bright are bright in dark directed.
Then thouwhose shadow shadows doth make bright
How would thy shadow's form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
How wouldI saymine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
All days are nights to see till I see thee
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.
If the dull substance of my flesh were thought
Injurious distance should not stop my way;
For then despite of space I would be brought
From limits far remote where thou dost stay.
No matter then although my foot did stand
Upon the farthest earth removed from thee;
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land
As soon as think the place where he would be.
But ah! thought kills me that I am not thought
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone
But that so much of earth and water wrought
I must attend time's leisure with my moan
Receiving nought by elements so slow
But heavy tearsbadges of either's woe.
The other twoslight air and purging fire
Are both with theewherever I abide;
The first my thoughtthe other my desire
These present-absent with swift motion slide.
For when these quicker elements are gone
In tender embassy of love to thee
My lifebeing made of fourwith two alone
Sinks down to deathoppress'd with melancholy;
Until life's composition be recured
By those swift messengers return'd from thee
Who even but now come back againassured
Of thy fair healthrecounting it to me:
This toldI joy; but then no longer glad
I send them back again and straight grow sad.
Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war
How to divide the conquest of thy sight;
Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would bar
My heart mine eye the freedom of that right.
My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie-A
closet never pierced with crystal eyes-But
the defendant doth that plea deny
And says in him thy fair appearance lies.
To 'cide this title is impanneled
A quest of thoughtsall tenants to the heart
And by their verdict is determined
The clear eye's moiety and the dear heart's part:
As thus; mine eye's due is thy outward part
And my heart's right thy inward love of heart.
Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took
And each doth good turns now unto the other:
When that mine eye is famish'd for a look
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother
With my love's picture then my eye doth feast
And to the painted banquet bids my heart;
Another time mine eye is my heart's guest
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:
Soeither by thy picture or my love
Thyself away art resent still with me;
For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move
And I am still with them and they with thee;
Orif they sleepthy picture in my sight
Awakes my heart to heart's and eye's delight.
How careful was Iwhen I took my way
Each trifle under truest bars to thrust
That to my use it might unused stay
From hands of falsehoodin sure wards of trust!
But thouto whom my jewels trifles are
Most worthy of comfortnow my greatest grief
Thoubest of dearest and mine only care
Art left the prey of every vulgar thief.
Thee have I not lock'd up in any chest
Save where thou art notthough I feel thou art
Within the gentle closure of my breast
From whence at pleasure thou mayst come and part;
And even thence thou wilt be stol'nI fear
For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear.
Against that timeif ever that time come
When I shall see thee frown on my defects
When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum
Call'd to that audit by advised respects;
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass
And scarcely greet me with that sun thine eye
When loveconverted from the thing it was
Shall reasons find of settled gravity-Against
that time do I ensconce me here
Within the knowledge of mine own desert
And this my hand against myself uprear
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part:
To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws
Since why to love I can allege no cause.
How heavy do I journey on the way
When what I seekmy weary travel's end
Doth teach that ease and that repose to say
'Thus far the miles are measured from thy friend!'
The beast that bears metired with my woe
Plods dully onto bear that weight in me
As if by some instinct the wretch did know
His rider loved not speedbeing made from thee:
The bloody spur cannot provoke him on
That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide;
Which heavily he answers with a groan
More sharp to me than spurring to his side;
For that same groan doth put this in my mind;
My grief lies onward and my joy behind.
Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I returnof posting is no need.
Owhat excuse will my poor beast then find
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spurthough mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;
Therefore desire of perfect'st love being made
Shall neigh--no dull flesh--in his fiery race;
But lovefor lovethus shall excuse my jade;
Since from thee going he went wilful-slow
Towards thee I'll runand give him leave to go.
So am I as the richwhose blessed key
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure
The which he will not every hour survey
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure.
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare
Sinceseldom comingin the long year set
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are
Or captain jewels in the carcanet.
So is the time that keeps you as my chest
Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide
To make some special instant special blest
By new unfolding his imprison'd pride.
Blessed are youwhose worthiness gives scope
Being hadto triumphbeing lack'dto hope.
What is your substancewhereof are you made
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
Since every one hathevery oneone shade
And youbut onecan every shadow lend.
Describe Adonisand the counterfeit
Is poorly imitated after you;
On Helen's cheek all art of beauty set
And you in Grecian tires are painted new:
Speak of the spring and foison of the year;
The one doth shadow of your beauty show
The other as your bounty doth appear;
And you in every blessed shape we know.
In all external grace you have some part
But you like nonenone youfor constant heart.
Ohow much more doth beauty beauteous seem
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fairbut fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses
Hang on such thorns and play as wantonly
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses:
Butfor their virtue only is their show
They live unwoo'd and unrespected fade
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made:
And so of youbeauteous and lovely youth
When that shall fademy verse distills your truth.
Not marblenor the gilded monuments
Of princesshall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn
And broils root out the work of masonry
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
Sotill the judgment that yourself arise
You live in thisand dwell in lover's eyes.
Sweet loverenew thy force; be it not said
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite
Which but to-day by feeding is allay'd
To-morrow sharpen'd in his former might:
Solovebe thou; although to-day thou fill
Thy hungry eyes even till they wink with fullness
To-morrow see againand do not kill
The spirit of love with a perpetual dullness.
Let this sad interim like the ocean be
Which parts the shorewhere two contracted new
Come daily to the banksthatwhen they see
Return of lovemore blest may be the view;
Else call it winterwhich being full of care
Makes summer's welcome thrice more wish'dmore rare.
Being your slavewhat should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend
Nor services to dotill you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst Imy sovereignwatch the clock for you
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may beor your affairs suppose
Butlike a sad slavestay and think of nought
Savewhere you are how happy you make those.
So true a fool is love that in your will
Though you do any thinghe thinks no ill.
That god forbid that made me first your slave
I should in thought control your times of pleasure
Or at your hand the account of hours to crave
Being your vassalbound to stay your leisure!
Olet me sufferbeing at your beck
The imprison'd absence of your liberty;
And patiencetame to sufferancebide each cheque
Without accusing you of injury.
Be where you listyour charter is so strong
That you yourself may privilege your time
To what you will; to you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime.
I am to waitthough waiting so be hell;
Not blame your pleasurebe it ill or well.
If there be nothing newbut that which is
Hath been beforehow are our brains beguiled
Whichlabouring for inventionbear amiss
The second burden of a former child!
Othat record could with a backward look
Even of five hundred courses of the sun
Show me your image in some antique book
Since mind at first in character was done!
That I might see what the old world could say
To this composed wonder of your frame;
Whether we are mendedor whether better they
Or whether revolution be the same.
Osure I amthe wits of former days
To subjects worse have given admiring praise.
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativityonce in the main of light
Crawls to maturitywherewith being crown'd
Crooked elipses 'gainst his glory fight
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand
Praising thy worthdespite his cruel hand.
Is it thy will thy image should keep open
My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken
While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
So far from home into my deeds to pry
To find out shames and idle hours in me
The scope and tenor of thy jealousy?
Ono! thy lovethough muchis not so great:
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake;
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat
To play the watchman ever for thy sake:
For thee watch I whilst thou dost wake elsewhere
From me far offwith others all too near.
Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine
No shape so trueno truth of such account;
And for myself mine own worth do define
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed
Beated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
'Tis theemyselfthat for myself I praise
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.
Against my love shall beas I am now
With Time's injurious hand crush'd and o'er-worn;
When hours have drain'd his blood and fill'd his brow
With lines and wrinkles; when his youthful morn
Hath travell'd on to age's steepy night
And all those beauties whereof now he's king
Are vanishing or vanish'd out of sight
Stealing away the treasure of his spring;
For such a time do I now fortify
Against confounding age's cruel knife
That he shall never cut from memory
My sweet love's beautythough my lover's life:
His beauty shall in these black lines be seen
And they shall liveand he in them still green.
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore
And the firm soil win of the watery main
Increasing store with loss and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state
Or state itself confounded to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a deathwhich cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.
Since brassnor stonenor earthnor boundless sea
But sad mortality o'er-sways their power
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
Ohow shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days
When rocks impregnable are not so stout
Nor gates of steel so strongbut Time decays?
O fearful meditation! wherealack
Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
Ononeunless this miracle have might
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
Tired with all thesefor restful death I cry
Asto behold desert a beggar born
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity
And purest faith unhappily forsworn
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced
And strength by limping sway disabled
And art made tongue-tied by authority
And folly doctor-like controlling skill
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all thesefrom these would I be gone
Save thatto dieI leave my love alone.
Ah! wherefore with infection should he live
And with his presence grace impiety
That sin by him advantage should achieve
And lace itself with his society?
Why should false painting imitate his cheek
And steal dead seeing of his living hue?
Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
Roses of shadowsince his rose is true?
Why should he livenow Nature bankrupt is
Beggar'd of blood to blush through lively veins?
For she hath no exchequer now but his
Andproud of manylives upon his gains.
Ohim she storesto show what wealth she had
In days long sincebefore these last so bad.
Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn
When beauty lived and died as flowers do now
Before the bastard signs of fair were born
Or durst inhabit on a living brow;
Before the golden tresses of the dead
The right of sepulchreswere shorn away
To live a second life on second head;
Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay:
In him those holy antique hours are seen
Without all ornamentitself and true
Making no summer of another's green
Robbing no old to dress his beauty new;
And him as for a map doth Nature store
To show false Art what beauty was of yore.
Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth view
Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend;
All tonguesthe voice of soulsgive thee that due
Uttering bare trutheven so as foes commend.
Thy outward thus with outward praise is crown'd;
But those same tongues that give thee so thine own
In other accents do this praise confound
By seeing farther than the eye hath shown.
They look into the beauty of thy mind
And thatin guessthey measure by thy deeds;
Thenchurlstheir thoughtsalthough their eyes were kind
To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds:
But why thy odour matcheth not thy show
The solve is thisthat thou dost common grow.
That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect
For slander's mark was ever yet the fair;
The ornament of beauty is suspect
A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air.
So thou be goodslander doth but approve
Thy worth the greaterbeing woo'd of time;
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love
And thou present'st a pure unstained prime.
Thou hast pass'd by the ambush of young days
Either not assail'd or victor being charged;
Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise
To tie up envy evermore enlarged:
If some suspect of ill mask'd not thy show
Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.
No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile worldwith vilest worms to dwell:
Nayif you read this lineremember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
OifI sayyou look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
But let your love even with my life decay
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.
Olest the world should task you to recite
What merit lived in methat you should love
After my deathdear loveforget me quite
For you in me can nothing worthy prove;
Unless you would devise some virtuous lie
To do more for me than mine own desert
And hang more praise upon deceased I
Than niggard truth would willingly impart:
Olest your true love may seem false in this
That you for love speak well of me untrue
My name be buried where my body is
And live no more to shame nor me nor you.
For I am shamed by that which I bring forth
And so should youto love things nothing worth.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leavesor noneor fewdo hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold
Bare ruin'd choirswhere late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west
Which by and by black night doth take away
Death's second selfthat seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivestwhich makes thy love more strong
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
But be contented: when that fell arrest
Without all bail shall carry me away
My life hath in this line some interest
Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.
When thou reviewest thisthou dost review
The very part was consecrate to thee:
The earth can have but earthwhich is his due;
My spirit is thinethe better part of me:
So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life
The prey of wormsmy body being dead
The coward conquest of a wretch's knife
Too base of thee to be remembered.
The worth of that is that which it contains
And that is thisand this with thee remains.
So are you to my thoughts as food to life
Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found;
Now proud as an enjoyer and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure
Now counting best to be with you alone
Then better'd that the world may see my pleasure;
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight
And by and by clean starved for a look;
Possessing or pursuing no delight
Save what is had or must from you be took.
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day
Or gluttoning on allor all away.
Why is my verse so barren of new pride
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all oneever the same
And keep invention in a noted weed
That every word doth almost tell my name
Showing their birth and where they did proceed?
Oknowsweet loveI always write of you
And you and love are still my argument;
So all my best is dressing old words new
Spending again what is already spent:
For as the sun is daily new and old
So is my love still telling what is told.
Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
Time's thievish progress to eternity.
Lookwhat thy memory can not contain
Commit to these waste blanksand thou shalt find
Those children nurseddeliver'd from thy brain
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.
These officesso oft as thou wilt look
Shall profit thee and much enrich thy book.
So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse
And found such fair assistance in my verse
As every alien pen hath got my use
And under thee their poesy disperse.
Thine eyes that taught the dumb on high to sing
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly
Have added feathers to the learned's wing
And given grace a double majesty.
Yet be most proud of that which I compile
Whose influence is thine and born of thee:
In others' works thou dost but mend the style
And arts with thy sweet graces graced be;
But thou art all my art and dost advance
As high as learning my rude ignorance.
Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid
My verse alone had all thy gentle grace
But now my gracious numbers are decay'd
And my sick Muse doth give another place.
I grantsweet lovethy lovely argument
Deserves the travail of a worthier pen
Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent
He robs thee of and pays it thee again.
He lends thee virtue and he stole that word
From thy behavior; beauty doth he give
And found it in thy cheek; he can afford
No praise to thee but what in thee doth live.
Then thank him not for that which he doth say
Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay.
Ohow I faint when I of you do write
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name
And in the praise thereof spends all his might
To make me tongue-tiedspeaking of your fame!
But since your worthwide as the ocean is
The humble as the proudest sail doth bear
My saucy bark inferior far to his
On your broad main doth wilfully appear.
Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride;
Or being wreck'dI am a worthless boat
He of tall building and of goodly pride:
Then if he thrive and I be cast away
The worst was this; my love was my decay.
Or I shall live your epitaph to make
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten;
From hence your memory death cannot take
Although in me each part will be forgotten.
Your name from hence immortal life shall have
Though Ionce goneto all the world must die:
The earth can yield me but a common grave
When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie.
Your monument shall be my gentle verse
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read
And tongues to be your being shall rehearse
When all the breathers of this world are dead;
You still shall live--such virtue hath my pen-Where
breath most breatheseven in the mouths of men.
I grant thou wert not married to my Muse
And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook
The dedicated words which writers use
Of their fair subjectblessing every book
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise
And therefore art enforced to seek anew
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days
And do solove; yet when they have devised
What strained touches rhetoric can lend
Thou truly fair wert truly sympathized
In true plain words by thy true-telling friend;
And their gross painting might be better used
Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abused.
I never saw that you did painting need
And therefore to your fair no painting set;
I foundor thought I foundyou did exceed
The barren tender of a poet's debt;
And therefore have I slept in your report
That you yourself being extant well might show
How far a modern quill doth come too short
Speaking of worthwhat worth in you doth grow.
This silence for my sin you did impute
Which shall be most my glorybeing dumb;
For I impair not beauty being mute
When others would give life and bring a tomb.
There lives more life in one of your fair eyes
Than both your poets can in praise devise.
Who is it that says most? which can say more
Than this rich praisethat you alone are you?
In whose confine immured is the store
Which should example where your equal grew.
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell
That to his subject lends not some small glory;
But he that writes of youif he can tell
That you are youso dignifies his story
Let him but copy what in you is writ
Not making worse what nature made so clear
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit
Making his style admired every where.
You to your beauteous blessings add a curse
Being fond on praisewhich makes your praises worse.
My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still
While comments of your praiserichly compiled
Reserve their character with golden quill
And precious phrase by all the Muses filed.
I think good thoughts whilst other write good words
And like unletter'd clerk still cry 'Amen'
To every hymn that able spirit affords
In polish'd form of well-refined pen.
Hearing you praisedI say ''Tis so'tis true'
And to the most of praise add something more;
But that is in my thoughtwhose love to you
Though words come hindmostholds his rank before.
Then others for the breath of words respect
Me for my dumb thoughtsspeaking in effect.
Was it the proud full sail of his great verse
Bound for the prize of all too precious you
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?
Was it his spiritby spirits taught to write
Above a mortal pitchthat struck me dead?
Noneither henor his compeers by night
Giving him aidmy verse astonished.
Henor that affable familiar ghost
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence
As victors of my silence cannot boast;
I was not sick of any fear from thence:
But when your countenance fill'd up his line
Then lack'd I matter; that enfeebled mine.
Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate:
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gavestthy own worth then not knowing
Or meto whom thou gavest itelse mistaking;
So thy great giftupon misprision growing
Comes home againon better judgment making.
Thus have I had theeas a dream doth flatter
In sleep a kingbut waking no such matter.
When thou shalt be disposed to set me light
And place my merit in the eye of scorn
Upon thy side against myself I'll fight
And prove thee virtuousthough thou art forsworn.
With mine own weakness being best acquainted
Upon thy part I can set down a story
Of faults conceal'dwherein I am attainted
That thou in losing me shalt win much glory:
And I by this will be a gainer too;
For bending all my loving thoughts on thee
The injuries that to myself I do
Doing thee vantagedouble-vantage me.
Such is my loveto thee I so belong
That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.
Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault
And I will comment upon that offence;
Speak of my lamenessand I straight will halt
Against thy reasons making no defence.
Thou canst notlovedisgrace me half so ill
To set a form upon desired change
As I'll myself disgrace: knowing thy will
I will acquaintance strangle and look strange
Be absent from thy walksand in my tongue
Thy sweet beloved name no more shall dwell
Lest Itoo much profaneshould do it wrong
And haply of our old acquaintance tell.
For thee against myself I'll vow debate
For I must ne'er love him whom thou dost hate.
Then hate me when thou wilt; if evernow;
Nowwhile the world is bent my deeds to cross
Join with the spite of fortunemake me bow
And do not drop in for an after-loss:
Ahdo notwhen my heart hath 'scoped this sorrow
Come in the rearward of a conquer'd woe;
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow
To linger out a purposed overthrow.
If thou wilt leave medo not leave me last
When other petty griefs have done their spite
But in the onset come; so shall I taste
At first the very worst of fortune's might
And other strains of woewhich now seem woe
Compared with loss of thee will not seem so.
Some glory in their birthsome in their skill
Some in their wealthsome in their bodies' force
Some in their garmentsthough new-fangled ill
Some in their hawks and houndssome in their horse;
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:
But these particulars are not my measure;
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me
Richer than wealthprouder than garments' cost
Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
And having theeof all men's pride I boast:
Wretched in this alonethat thou mayst take
All this away and me most wretched make.
But do thy worst to steal thyself away
For term of life thou art assured mine
And life no longer than thy love will stay
For it depends upon that love of thine.
Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs
When in the least of them my life hath end.
I see a better state to me belongs
Than that which on thy humour doth depend;
Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind
Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie.
Owhat a happy title do I find
Happy to have thy lovehappy to die!
But what's so blessed-fair that fears no blot?
Thou mayst be falseand yet I know it not.
So shall I livesupposing thou art true
Like a deceived husband; so love's face
May still seem love to methough alter'd new;
Thy looks with methy heart in other place:
For there can live no hatred in thine eye
Therefore in that I cannot know thy change.
In many's looks the false heart's history
Is writ in moods and frowns and wrinkles strange
But heaven in thy creation did decree
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
Whate'er thy thoughts or thy heart's workings be
Thy looks should nothing thence but sweetness tell.
How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow
if thy sweet virtue answer not thy show!
They that have power to hurt and will do none
That do not do the thing they most do show
Whomoving othersare themselves as stone
Unmovedcoldand to temptation slow
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces
And husband nature's riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces
Others but stewards of their excellence.
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet
Though to itself it only live and die
But if that flower with base infection meet
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.
How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame
Whichlike a canker in the fragrant rose
Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!
Oin what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose!
That tongue that tells the story of thy days
Making lascivious comments on thy sport
Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise;
Naming thy name blesses an ill report.
Owhat a mansion have those vices got
Which for their habitation chose out thee
Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot
And all things turn to fair that eyes can see!
Take heeddear heartof this large privilege;
The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge.
Some say thy fault is youthsome wantonness;
Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport;
Both grace and faults are loved of more and less;
Thou makest faults graces that to thee resort.
As on the finger of a throned queen
The basest jewel will be well esteem'd
So are those errors that in thee are seen
To truths translated and for true things deem'd.
How many lambs might the stem wolf betray
If like a lamb he could his looks translate!
How many gazers mightst thou lead away
If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state!
But do not so; I love thee in such sort
Asthou being minemine is thy good report.
How like a winter hath my absence been
From theethe pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I feltwhat dark days seen!
What old December's bareness every where!
And yet this time removed was summer's time
The teeming autumnbig with rich increase
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me
But hope of orphans and unfather'd fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee
Andthou awaythe very birds are mute;
Orif they sing'tis with so dull a cheer
That leaves look paledreading the winter's near.
From you have I been absent in the spring
When proud-pied April dress'd in all his trim
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue
Could make me any summer's story tell
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew;
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweetbut figures of delight
Drawn after youyou pattern of all those.
Yet seem'd it winter stillandyou away
As with your shadow I with these did play:
The forward violet thus did I chide:
Sweet thiefwhence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells
If not from my love's breath? The purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dyed.
The lily I condemned for thy hand
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair:
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand
One blushing shameanother white despair;
A thirdnor red nor whitehad stol'n of both
And to his robbery had annex'd thy breath;
Butfor his theftin pride of all his growth
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
More flowers I notedyet I none could see
But sweet or colour it had stol'n from thee.
Where art thouMusethat thou forget'st so long
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
Returnforgetful Museand straight redeem
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Riseresty Musemy love's sweet face survey
If Time have any wrinkle graven there;
If anybe a satire to decay
And make Time's spoils despised every where.
Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life;
So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife.
O truant Musewhat shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou tooand therein dignified.
Make answerMuse: wilt thou not haply say
'Truth needs no colourwith his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencilbeauty's truth to lay;
But best is bestif never intermix'd?'
Because he needs no praisewilt thou be dumb?
Excuse not silence so; for't lies in thee
To make him much outlive a gilded tomb
And to be praised of ages yet to be.
Then do thy officeMuse; I teach thee how
To make him seem long hence as he shows now.
My love is strengthen'dthough more weak in seeming;
I love not lessthough less the show appear:
That love is merchandized whose rich esteeming
The owner's tongue doth publish every where.
Our love was new and then but in the spring
When I was wont to greet it with my lays
As Philomel in summer's front doth sing
And stops her pipe in growth of riper days:
Not that the summer is less pleasant now
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night
But that wild music burthens every bough
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight.
Therefore like her I sometime hold my tongue
Because I would not dull you with my song.
Alackwhat poverty my Muse brings forth
That having such a scope to show her pride
The argument all bare is of more worth
Than when it hath my added praise beside!
Oblame me notif I no more can write!
Look in your glassand there appears a face
That over-goes my blunt invention quite
Dulling my lines and doing me disgrace.
Were it not sinful thenstriving to mend
To mar the subject that before was well?
For to no other pass my verses tend
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;
And moremuch morethan in my verse can sit
Your own glass shows you when you look in it.
To mefair friendyou never can be old
For as you were when first your eye I eyed
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'd
In process of the seasons have I seen
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd
Since first I saw you freshwhich yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beautylike a dial-hand
Steal from his figure and no pace perceived;
So your sweet huewhich methinks still doth stand
Hath motion and mine eye may be deceived:
For fear of whichhear thisthou age unbred;
Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.
Let not my love be call'd idolatry
Nor my beloved as an idol show
Since all alike my songs and praises be
To oneof onestill suchand ever so.
Kind is my love to-dayto-morrow kind
Still constant in a wondrous excellence;
Therefore my verse to constancy confined
One thing expressingleaves out difference.
'Fairkind and true' is all my argument
'Fairkindand true' varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent
Three themes in onewhich wondrous scope affords.
'Fairkindand true' have often lived alone
Which three till now never kept seat in one.
When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights
Thenin the blazon of sweet beauty's best
Of handof footof lipof eyeof brow
I see their antique pen would have express'd
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our timeall you prefiguring;
Andfor they look'd but with divining eyes
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
For wewhich now behold these present days
Had eyes to wonderbut lack tongues to praise.
Not mine own fearsnor the prophetic soul
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come
Can yet the lease of my true love control
Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom.
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured
And the sad augurs mock their own presage;
Incertainties now crown themselves assured
And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
Now with the drops of this most balmy time
My love looks freshand death to me subscribes
Sincespite of himI'll live in this poor rhyme
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes:
And thou in this shalt find thy monument
When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent.
What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speakwhat new to register
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothingsweet boy; but yetlike prayers divine
I musteach day say o'er the very same
Counting no old thing oldthou mineI thine
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case
Weighs not the dust and injury of age
Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place
But makes antiquity for aye his page
Finding the first conceit of love there bred
Where time and outward form would show it dead.
Onever say that I was false of heart
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify.
As easy might I from myself depart
As from my soulwhich in thy breast doth lie:
That is my home of love: if I have ranged
Like him that travels I return again
Just to the timenot with the time exchanged
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believethough in my nature reign'd
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood
That it could so preposterously be stain'd
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good;
For nothing this wide universe I call
Save thoumy rose; in it thou art my all.
Alas'tis true I have gone here and there
And made myself a motley to the view
Gored mine own thoughtssold cheap what is most dear
Made old offences of affections new;
Most true it is that I have look'd on truth
Askance and strangely: butby all above
These blenches gave my heart another youth
And worse essays proved thee my best of love.
Now all is donehave what shall have no end:
Mine appetite I never more will grind
On newer proofto try an older friend
A god in loveto whom I am confined.
Then give me welcomenext my heaven the best
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.
Ofor my sake do you with Fortune chide
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds
That did not better for my life provide
Than public means which public manners breeds.
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand
And almost thence my nature is subdued
To what it works inlike the dyer's hand:
Pity me then and wish I were renew'd;
Whilstlike a willing patientI will drink
Potions of eisel 'gainst my strong infection
No bitterness that I will bitter think
Nor double penanceto correct correction.
Pity me thendear friendand I assure ye
Even that your pity is enough to cure me.
Your love and pity doth the impression fill
Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow;
For what care I who calls me well or ill
So you o'er-green my badmy good allow?
You are my all the worldand I must strive
To know my shames and praises from your tongue:
None else to menor I to none alive
That my steel'd sense or changes right or wrong.
In so profound abysm I throw all care
Of others' voicesthat my adder's sense
To critic and to flatterer stopped are.
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense:
You are so strongly in my purpose bred
That all the world besides methinks are dead.
Since I left youmine eye is in my mind;
And that which governs me to go about
Doth part his function and is partly blind
Seems seeingbut effectually is out;
For it no form delivers to the heart
Of bird of floweror shapewhich it doth latch:
Of his quick objects hath the mind no part
Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch:
For if it see the rudest or gentlest sight
The most sweet favour or deformed'st creature
The mountain or the seathe day or night
The crow or doveit shapes them to your feature:
Incapable of morereplete with you
My most true mind thus makes mine eye untrue.
Or whether doth my mindbeing crown'd with you
Drink up the monarch's plaguethis flattery?
Or whether shall I saymine eye saith true
And that your love taught it this alchemy
To make of monsters and things indigest
Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble
Creating every bad a perfect best
As fast as objects to his beams assemble?
O'tis the first; 'tis flattery in my seeing
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up:
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing
And to his palate doth prepare the cup:
If it be poison'd'tis the lesser sin
That mine eye loves it and doth first begin.
Those lines that I before have writ do lie
Even those that said I could not love you dearer:
Yet then my judgment knew no reason why
My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer.
But reckoning timewhose million'd accidents
Creep in 'twixt vows and change decrees of kings
Tan sacred beautyblunt the sharp'st intents
Divert strong minds to the course of altering things;
Alaswhyfearing of time's tyranny
Might I not then say 'Now I love you best'
When I was certain o'er incertainty
Crowning the presentdoubting of the rest?
Love is a babe; then might I not say so
To give full growth to that which still doth grow?
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth's unknownalthough his height be taken.
Love's not Time's foolthough rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved
I never writnor no man ever loved.
Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all
Wherein I should your great deserts repay
Forgot upon your dearest love to call
Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day;
That I have frequent been with unknown minds
And given to time your own dear-purchased right
That I have hoisted sail to all the winds
Which should transport me farthest from your sight.
Book both my wilfulness and errors down
And on just proof surmise accumulate;
Bring me within the level of your frown
But shoot not at me in your waken'd hate;
Since my appeal says I did strive to prove
The constancy and virtue of your love.
Like asto make our appetites more keen
With eager compounds we our palate urge
Asto prevent our maladies unseen
We sicken to shun sickness when we purge
Even sobeing tuff of your ne'er-cloying sweetness
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding
Andsick of welfarefound a kind of meetness
To be diseased ere that there was true needing.
Thus policy in loveto anticipate
The ills that were notgrew to faults assured
And brought to medicine a healthful state
Whichrank of goodnesswould by ill be cured:
But thence I learnand find the lesson true
Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you.
What potions have I drunk of Siren tears
Distill'd from limbecks foul as hell within
Applying fears to hopes and hopes to fears
Still losing when I saw myself to win!
What wretched errors hath my heart committed
Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never!
How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted
In the distraction of this madding fever!
O benefit of ill! now I find true
That better is by evil still made better;
And ruin'd lovewhen it is built anew
Grows fairer than at firstmore strongfar greater.
So I return rebuked to my content
And gain by ill thrice more than I have spent.
That you were once unkind befriends me now
And for that sorrow which I then did feel
Needs must I under my transgression bow
Unless my nerves were brass or hammer'd steel.
For if you were by my unkindness shaken
As I by yoursyou've pass'd a hell of time
And Ia tyranthave no leisure taken
To weigh how once I suffered in your crime.
Othat our night of woe might have remember'd
My deepest sensehow hard true sorrow hits
And soon to youas you to methen tender'd
The humble slave which wounded bosoms fits!
But that your trespass now becomes a fee;
Mine ransoms yoursand yours must ransom me.
'Tis better to be vile than vile esteem'd
When not to be receives reproach of being
And the just pleasure lost which is so deem'd
Not by our feeling but by others' seeing:
For why should others false adulterate eyes
Give salutation to my sportive blood?
Or on my frailties why are frailer spies
Which in their wills count bad what I think good?
NoI am that I amand they that level
At my abuses reckon up their own:
I may be straightthough they themselves be bevel;
By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown;
Unless this general evil they maintain
All men are badand in their badness reign.
Thy giftthy tablesare within my brain
Full character'd with lasting memory
Which shall above that idle rank remain
Beyond all dateeven to eternity;
Or at the leastso long as brain and heart
Have faculty by nature to subsist;
Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
Of theethy record never can be miss'd.
That poor retention could not so much hold
Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score;
Therefore to give them from me was I bold
To trust those tables that receive thee more:
To keep an adjunct to remember thee
Were to import forgetfulness in me.
NoTimethou shalt not boast that I do change:
Thy pyramids built up with newer might
To me are nothing novelnothing strange;
They are but dressings of a former sight.
Our dates are briefand therefore we admire
What thou dost foist upon us that is old
And rather make them born to our desire
Than think that we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both defy
Not wondering at the present nor the past
For thy records and what we see doth lie
Made more or less by thy continual haste.
This I do vow and this shall ever be;
I will be truedespite thy scythe and thee.
If my dear love were but the child of state
It might for Fortune's bastard be unfather'd'
As subject to Time's love or to Time's hate
Weeds among weedsor flowers with flowers gather'd.
Noit was builded far from accident;
It suffers not in smiling pompnor falls
Under the blow of thralled discontent
Whereto the inviting time our fashion calls:
It fears not policythat heretic
Which works on leases of short-number'd hours
But all alone stands hugely politic
That it nor grows with heat nor drowns with showers.
To this I witness call the fools of time
Which die for goodnesswho have lived for crime.
Were 't aught to me I bore the canopy
With my extern the outward honouring
Or laid great bases for eternity
Which prove more short than waste or ruining?
Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour
Lose alland moreby paying too much rent
For compound sweet forgoing simple savour
Pitiful thriversin their gazing spent?
Nolet me be obsequious in thy heart
And take thou my oblationpoor but free
Which is not mix'd with secondsknows no art
But mutual renderonly me for thee.
Hencethou suborn'd informer! a true soul
When most impeach'd stands least in thy control.
O thoumy lovely boywho in thy power
Dost hold Time's fickle glasshis sicklehour;
Who hast by waning grownand therein show'st
Thy lovers withering as thy sweet self grow'st;
If Naturesovereign mistress over wrack
As thou goest onwardsstill will pluck thee back
She keeps thee to this purposethat her skill
May time disgrace and wretched minutes kill.
Yet fear herO thou minion of her pleasure!
She may detainbut not still keepher treasure:
Her auditthough delay'danswer'd must be
And her quietus is to render thee.
In the old age black was not counted fair
Or if it wereit bore not beauty's name;
But now is black beauty's successive heir
And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame:
For since each hand hath put on nature's power
Fairing the foul with art's false borrow'd face
Sweet beauty hath no nameno holy bower
But is profanedif not lives in disgrace.
Therefore my mistress' brows are raven black
Her eyes so suitedand they mourners seem
At such whonot born fairno beauty lack
Slandering creation with a false esteem:
Yet so they mournbecoming of their woe
That every tongue says beauty should look so.
How oftwhen thoumy musicmusic play'st
Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds
With thy sweet fingerswhen thou gently sway'st
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand
Whilst my poor lipswhich should that harvest reap
At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand!
To be so tickledthey would change their state
And situation with those dancing chips
O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait
Making dead wood more blest than living lips.
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this
Give them thy fingersme thy lips to kiss.
The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till actionlust
Is perjuredmurderousbloodyfull of blame
Savageextremerudecruelnot to trust
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight
Past reason huntedand no sooner had
Past reason hatedas a swallow'd bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Hadhavingand in quest to haveextreme;
A bliss in proofand proveda very woe;
Beforea joy proposed; behinda dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be whitewhy then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wiresblack wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'dred and white
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speakyet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistresswhen she walkstreads on the ground:
And yetby heavenI think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
Thou art as tyrannousso as thou art
As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel;
For well thou know'st to my dear doting heart
Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel.
Yetin good faithsome say that thee behold
Thy face hath not the power to make love groan:
To say they err I dare not be so bold
Although I swear it to myself alone.
Andto be sure that is not false I swear
A thousand groansbut thinking on thy face
One on another's neckdo witness bear
Thy black is fairest in my judgment's place.
In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds
And thence this slanderas I thinkproceeds.
Thine eyes I loveand theyas pitying me
Knowing thy heart torments me with disdain
Have put on black and loving mourners be
Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain.
And truly not the morning sun of heaven
Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east
Nor that full star that ushers in the even
Doth half that glory to the sober west
As those two mourning eyes become thy face:
Olet it then as well beseem thy heart
To mourn for mesince mourning doth thee grace
And suit thy pity like in every part.
Then will I swear beauty herself is black
And all they foul that thy complexion lack.
Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me!
Is't not enough to torture me alone
But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must be?
Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken
And my next self thou harder hast engross'd:
Of himmyselfand theeI am forsaken;
A torment thrice threefold thus to be cross'd.
Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward
But then my friend's heart let my poor heart bail;
Whoe'er keeps melet my heart be his guard;
Thou canst not then use rigor in my gaol:
And yet thou wilt; for Ibeing pent in thee
Perforce am thineand all that is in me.
Sonow I have confess'd that he is thine
And I myself am mortgaged to thy will
Myself I'll forfeitso that other mine
Thou wilt restoreto be my comfort still:
But thou wilt notnor he will not be free
For thou art covetous and he is kind;
He learn'd but surety-like to write for me
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind.
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take
Thou usurerthat put'st forth all to use
And sue a friend came debtor for my sake;
So him I lose through my unkind abuse.
Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me:
He pays the wholeand yet am I not free.
Whoever hath her wishthou hast thy 'Will'
And 'Will' to bootand 'Will' in overplus;
More than enough am I that vex thee still
To thy sweet will making addition thus.
Wilt thouwhose will is large and spacious
Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine?
Shall will in others seem right gracious
And in my will no fair acceptance shine?
The sea all wateryet receives rain still
And in abundance addeth to his store;
So thoubeing rich in 'Will' add to thy 'Will'
One will of mineto make thy large 'Will' more.
Let no unkindno fair beseechers kill;
Think all but oneand me in that one 'Will.'
If thy soul cheque thee that I come so near
Swear to thy blind soul that I was thy 'Will'
And willthy soul knowsis admitted there;
Thus far for love my love-suitsweetfulfil.
'Will' will fulfil the treasure of thy love
Ayfill it full with willsand my will one.
In things of great receipt with ease we prove
Among a number one is reckon'd none:
Then in the number let me pass untold
Though in thy stores' account I one must be;
For nothing hold meso it please thee hold
That nothing mea something sweet to thee:
Make but my name thy loveand love that still
And then thou lovest mefor my name is 'Will.'
Thou blind foolLovewhat dost thou to mine eyes
That they beholdand see not what they see?
They know what beauty issee where it lies
Yet what the best is take the worst to be.
If eyes corrupt by over-partial looks
Be anchor'd in the bay where all men ride
Why of eyes' falsehood hast thou forged hooks
Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied?
Why should my heart think that a several plot
Which my heart knows the wide world's common place?
Or mine eyes seeing thissay this is not
To put fair truth upon so foul a face?
In things right true my heart and eyes have erred
And to this false plague are they now transferr'd.
When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe herthough I know she lies
That she might think me some untutor'd youth
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young
Although she knows my days are past the best
Simply I credit her false speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth suppress'd.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
Olove's best habit is in seeming trust
And age in love loves not to have years told:
Therefore I lie with her and she with me
And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be.
Ocall not me to justify the wrong
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart;
Wound me not with thine eye but with thy tongue;
Use power with power and slay me not by art.
Tell me thou lovest elsewherebut in my sight
Dear heartforbear to glance thine eye aside:
What need'st thou wound with cunning when thy might
Is more than my o'er-press'd defense can bide?
Let me excuse thee: ah! my love well knows
Her pretty looks have been mine enemies
And therefore from my face she turns my foes
That they elsewhere might dart their injuries:
Yet do not so; but since I am near slain
Kill me outright with looks and rid my pain.
Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press
My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain;
Lest sorrow lend me words and words express
The manner of my pity-wanting pain.
If I might teach thee witbetter it were
Though not to loveyetloveto tell me so;
As testy sick menwhen their deaths be near
No news but health from their physicians know;
For if I should despairI should grow mad
And in my madness might speak ill of thee:
Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad
Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be
That I may not be sonor thou belied
Bear thine eyes straightthough thy proud heart go wide.
In faithI do not love thee with mine eyes
For they in thee a thousand errors note;
But 'tis my heart that loves what they despise
Who in despite of view is pleased to dote;
Nor are mine ears with thy tongue's tune delighted
Nor tender feelingto base touches prone
Nor tastenor smelldesire to be invited
To any sensual feast with thee alone:
But my five wits nor my five senses can
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee
Who leaves unsway'd the likeness of a man
Thy proud hearts slave and vassal wretch to be:
Only my plague thus far I count my gain
That she that makes me sin awards me pain.
Love is my sin and thy dear virtue hate
Hate of my singrounded on sinful loving:
Obut with mine compare thou thine own state
And thou shalt find it merits not reproving;
Orif it donot from those lips of thine
That have profaned their scarlet ornaments
And seal'd false bonds of love as oft as mine
Robb'd others' beds' revenues of their rents.
Be it lawful I love theeas thou lovest those
Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee:
Root pity in thy heartthat when it grows
Thy pity may deserve to pitied be.
If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide
By self-example mayst thou be denied!
Lo! as a careful housewife runs to catch
One of her feather'd creatures broke away
Sets down her babe and makes an swift dispatch
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent
To follow that which flies before her face
Not prizing her poor infant's discontent;
So runn'st thou after that which flies from thee
Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind;
But if thou catch thy hopeturn back to me
And play the mother's partkiss mebe kind:
So will I pray that thou mayst have thy 'Will'
If thou turn backand my loud crying still.
Two loves I have of comfort and despair
Which like two spirits do suggest me still:
The better angel is a man right fair
The worser spirit a woman colour'd ill.
To win me soon to hellmy female evil
Tempteth my better angel from my side
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil
Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend
Suspect I maybut not directly tell;
But being both from meboth to each friend
I guess one angel in another's hell:
Yet this shall I ne'er knowbut live in doubt
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.
Those lips that Love's own hand did make
Breathed forth the sound that said 'I hate'
To me that languish'd for her sake;
But when she saw my woeful state
Straight in her heart did mercy come
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom
And taught it thus anew to greet:
'I hate' she alter'd with an end
That follow'd it as gentle day
Doth follow nightwho like a fiend
From heaven to hell is flown away;
'I hate' from hate away she threw
And saved my lifesaying 'not you.'
Poor soulthe centre of my sinful earth
[ ] these rebel powers that thee array;
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large costhaving so short a lease
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall wormsinheritors of this excess
Eat up thy charge? is this thy body's end?
Then soullive thou upon thy servant's loss
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fedwithout be rich no more:
So shalt thou feed on Deaththat feeds on men
And Death once deadthere's no more dying then.
My love is as a feverlonging still
For that which longer nurseth the disease
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill
The uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reasonthe physician to my love
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept
Hath left meand I desperate now approve
Desire is deathwhich physic did except.
Past cure I amnow reason is past care
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are
At random from the truth vainly express'd;
For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright
Who art as black as hellas dark as night.
O mewhat eyes hath Love put in my head
Which have no correspondence with true sight!
Orif they havewhere is my judgment fled
That censures falsely what they see aright?
If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote
What means the world to say it is not so?
If it be notthen love doth well denote
Love's eye is not so true as all men's 'No.'
How can it? Ohow can Love's eye be true
That is so vex'd with watching and with tears?
No marvel thenthough I mistake my view;
The sun itself sees not till heaven clears.
O cunning Love! with tears thou keep'st me blind
Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.
Canst thouO cruel! say I love thee not
When I against myself with thee partake?
Do I not think on theewhen I forgot
Am of myselfall tyrantfor thy sake?
Who hateth thee that I do call my friend?
On whom frown'st thou that I do fawn upon?
Nayif thou lour'st on medo I not spend
Revenge upon myself with present moan?
What merit do I in myself respect
That is so proud thy service to despise
When all my best doth worship thy defect
Commanded by the motion of thine eyes?
Butlovehate onfor now I know thy mind;
Those that can see thou lovestand I am blind.
Ofrom what power hast thou this powerful might
With insufficiency my heart to sway?
To make me give the lie to my true sight
And swear that brightness doth not grace the day?
Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill
That in the very refuse of thy deeds
There is such strength and warrantize of skill
Thatin my mindthy worst all best exceeds?
Who taught thee how to make me love thee more
The more I hear and see just cause of hate?
Othough I love what others do abhor
With others thou shouldst not abhor my state:
If thy unworthiness raised love in me
More worthy I to be beloved of thee.
Love is too young to know what conscience is;
Yet who knows not conscience is born of love?
Thengentle cheaterurge not my amiss
Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove:
Forthou betraying meI do betray
My nobler part to my gross body's treason;
My soul doth tell my body that he may
Triumph in love; flesh stays no father reason;
Butrising at thy namedoth point out thee
As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride
He is contented thy poor drudge to be
To stand in thy affairsfall by thy side.
No want of conscience hold it that I call
Her 'love' for whose dear love I rise and fall.
In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn
But thou art twice forswornto me love swearing
In act thy bed-vow broke and new faith torn
In vowing new hate after new love bearing.
But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee
When I break twenty? I am perjured most;
For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee
And all my honest faith in thee is lost
For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness
Oaths of thy lovethy truththy constancy
Andto enlighten theegave eyes to blindness
Or made them swear against the thing they see;
For I have sworn thee fair; more perjured I
To swear against the truth so foul a lie!
Cupid laid by his brandand fell asleep:
A maid of Dian's this advantage found
And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep
In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;
Which borrow'd from this holy fire of Love
A dateless lively heatstill to endure
And grew a seething bathwhich yet men prove
Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fired
The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;
Isick withalthe help of bath desired
And thither hieda sad distemper'd guest
But found no cure: the bath for my help lies
Where Cupid got new fire--my mistress' eyes.
The little Love-god lying once asleep
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand
Whilst many nymphs that vow'd chaste life to keep
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand
The fairest votary took up that fire
Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd;
And so the general of hot desire
Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarm'd.
This brand she quenched in a cool well by
Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual
Growing a bath and healthful remedy
For men diseased; but Imy mistress' thrall
Came there for cureand this by that I prove
Love's fire heats waterwater cools not love.