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<h2>by William Shakespeare</h2>
From fairest creatures we desire increase,<br/>
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,<br/>
But as the riper should by time decease,<br/>
His tender heir might bear his memory:<br/>
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,<br/>
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,<br/>
Making a famine where abundance lies,<br/>
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:<br/>
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,<br/>
And only herald to the gaudy spring,<br/>
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,<br/>
And tender churl mak'st waste in niggarding:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Pity the world, or else this glutton be,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.<br/>
When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,<br/>
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,<br/>
Thy youth's proud livery so gazed on now,<br/>
Will be a tatter'd weed of small worth held: <br/>
Then being asked, where all thy beauty lies,<br/>
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days; <br/>
To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes,<br/>
Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise.<br/>
How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use,<br/>
If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine<br/>
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,'<br/>
Proving his beauty by succession thine!<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;This were to be new made when thou art old,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.<br/>
Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest<br/>
Now is the time that face should form another;<br/>
Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,<br/>
Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.<br/>
For where is she so fair whose unear'd womb<br/>
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?<br/>
Or who is he so fond will be the tomb,<br/>
Of his self-love to stop posterity? <br/>
Thou art thy mother's glass and she in thee<br/>
Calls back the lovely April of her prime;<br/>
So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,<br/>
Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But if thou live, remember'd not to be,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Die single and thine image dies with thee.<br/>
Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend<br/>
Upon thy self thy beauty's legacy?<br/>
Nature's bequest gives nothing, but doth lend,<br/>
And being frank she lends to those are free:<br/>
Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse<br/>
The bounteous largess given thee to give?<br/>
Profitless usurer, why dost thou use<br/>
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live?<br/>
For having traffic with thy self alone,<br/>
Thou of thy self thy sweet self dost deceive:<br/>
Then how when nature calls thee to be gone,<br/>
What acceptable audit canst thou leave?<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Thy unused beauty must be tombed with thee,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Which, used, lives th' executor to be.<br/>
Those hours, that with gentle work did frame<br/>
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,<br/>
Will play the tyrants to the very same<br/>
And that unfair which fairly doth excel;<br/>
For never-resting time leads summer on<br/>
To hideous winter, and confounds him there;<br/>
Sap checked with frost, and lusty leaves quite gone,<br/>
Beauty o'er-snowed and bareness every where:<br/>
Then were not summer's distillation left,<br/>
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,<br/>
Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft,<br/>
Nor it, nor no remembrance what it was:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But flowers distill'd, though they with winter meet,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.<br/>
Then let not winter's ragged hand deface,<br/>
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill'd:<br/>
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place<br/>
With beauty's treasure ere it be self-kill'd.<br/>
That use is not forbidden usury,<br/>
Which happies those that pay the willing loan;<br/>
That's for thy self to breed another thee,<br/>
Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;<br/>
Ten times thy self were happier than thou art,<br/>
If ten of thine ten times refigur'd thee:<br/>
Then what could death do if thou shouldst depart,<br/>
Leaving thee living in posterity?<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Be not self-will'd, for thou art much too fair<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To be death's conquest and make worms thine heir.<br/>
Lo! in the orient when the gracious light<br/>
Lifts up his burning head, each under eye<br/>
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,<br/>
Serving with looks his sacred majesty; <br/>
And having climb'd the steep-up heavenly hill,<br/>
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,<br/>
Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,<br/>
Attending on his golden pilgrimage:<br/>
But when from highmost pitch, with weary car,<br/>
Like feeble age, he reeleth from the day,<br/>
The eyes, 'fore duteous, now converted are<br/>
From his low tract, and look another way:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So thou, thyself outgoing in thy noon:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Unlook'd, on diest unless thou get a son.<br/>
Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?<br/>
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy:<br/>
Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly,<br/>
Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy?<br/>
If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,<br/>
By unions married, do offend thine ear,<br/>
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds<br/>
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear. <br/>
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,<br/>
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering;<br/>
Resembling sire and child and happy mother,<br/>
Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Whose speechless song being many, seeming one,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Sings this to thee: 'Thou single wilt prove none.'<br/>
Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye,<br/>
That thou consum'st thy self in single life?<br/>
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die,<br/>
The world will wail thee like a makeless wife;<br/>
The world will be thy widow and still weep<br/>
That thou no form of thee hast left behind,<br/>
When every private widow well may keep<br/>
By children's eyes, her husband's shape in mind:<br/>
Look! what an unthrift in the world doth spend<br/>
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;<br/>
But beauty's waste hath in the world an end,<br/>
And kept unused the user so destroys it.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;No love toward others in that bosom sits<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That on himself such murd'rous shame commits.<br/>
For shame! deny that thou bear'st love to any,<br/>
Who for thy self art so unprovident.<br/>
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art belov'd of many,<br/>
But that thou none lov'st is most evident:<br/>
For thou art so possess'd with murderous hate,<br/>
That 'gainst thy self thou stick'st not to conspire,<br/>
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate<br/>
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.<br/>
O! change thy thought, that I may change my mind:<br/>
Shall hate be fairer lodg'd than gentle love?<br/>
Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind,<br/>
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Make thee another self for love of me,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That beauty still may live in thine or thee.<br/>
As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow'st,<br/>
In one of thine, from that which thou departest;<br/>
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow'st,<br/>
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth convertest,<br/>
Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase;<br/>
Without this folly, age, and cold decay:<br/>
If all were minded so, the times should cease<br/>
And threescore year would make the world away.<br/>
Let those whom nature hath not made for store,<br/>
Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish:<br/>
Look, whom she best endow'd, she gave thee more;<br/>
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;She carv'd thee for her seal, and meant thereby,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.<br/>
When I do count the clock that tells the time,<br/>
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;<br/>
When I behold the violet past prime,<br/>
And sable curls, all silvered o'er with white; <br/>
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,<br/>
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,<br/>
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves,<br/>
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,<br/>
Then of thy beauty do I question make,<br/>
That thou among the wastes of time must go,<br/>
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake<br/>
And die as fast as they see others grow;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.<br/>
O! that you were your self; but, love you are<br/>
No longer yours, than you your self here live:<br/>
Against this coming end you should prepare,<br/>
And your sweet semblance to some other give:<br/>
So should that beauty which you hold in lease<br/>
Find no determination; then you were<br/>
Yourself again, after yourself's decease,<br/>
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear. <br/>
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,<br/>
Which husbandry in honour might uphold,<br/>
Against the stormy gusts of winter's day<br/>
And barren rage of death's eternal cold?<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;O! none but unthrifts. Dear my love, you know,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;You had a father: let your son say so.<br/>
Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck;<br/>
And yet methinks I have astronomy,<br/>
But not to tell of good or evil luck,<br/>
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons' quality;<br/>
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,<br/>
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,<br/>
Or say with princes if it shall go well<br/>
By oft predict that I in heaven find:<br/>
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,<br/>
And constant stars in them I read such art<br/>
As 'Truth and beauty shall together thrive,<br/>
If from thyself, to store thou wouldst convert'; <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Or else of thee this I prognosticate:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;'Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.'<br/>
When I consider every thing that grows<br/>
Holds in perfection but a little moment,<br/>
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows<br/>
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;<br/>
When I perceive that men as plants increase,<br/>
Cheered and checked even by the self-same sky,<br/>
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,<br/>
And wear their brave state out of memory;<br/>
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay<br/>
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,<br/>
Where wasteful Time debateth with decay<br/>
To change your day of youth to sullied night,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And all in war with Time for love of you,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;As he takes from you, I engraft you new.<br/>
But wherefore do not you a mightier way<br/>
Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?<br/>
And fortify your self in your decay<br/>
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?<br/>
Now stand you on the top of happy hours,<br/>
And many maiden gardens, yet unset,<br/>
With virtuous wish would bear you living flowers,<br/>
Much liker than your painted counterfeit:<br/>
So should the lines of life that life repair,<br/>
Which this, Time's pencil, or my pupil pen,<br/>
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,<br/>
Can make you live your self in eyes of men.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To give away yourself, keeps yourself still,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.<br/>
Who will believe my verse in time to come,<br/>
If it were fill'd with your most high deserts?<br/>
Though yet heaven knows it is but as a tomb<br/>
Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts. <br/>
If I could write the beauty of your eyes,<br/>
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,<br/>
The age to come would say 'This poet lies;<br/>
Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.'<br/>
So should my papers, yellow'd with their age,<br/>
Be scorn'd, like old men of less truth than tongue,<br/>
And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage<br/>
And stretched metre of an antique song:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But were some child of yours alive that time,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;You should live twice,&#151;in it, and in my rhyme.<br/>
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?<br/>
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:<br/>
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,<br/>
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:<br/>
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,<br/>
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd,<br/>
And every fair from fair sometime declines,<br/>
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd: <br/>
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,<br/>
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,<br/>
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,<br/>
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.<br/>
Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,<br/>
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;<br/>
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws,<br/>
And burn the long-liv'd phoenix, in her blood;<br/>
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,<br/>
And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,<br/>
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;<br/>
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:<br/>
O! carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow,<br/>
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;<br/>
Him in thy course untainted do allow<br/>
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men. <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Yet, do thy worst old Time: despite thy wrong,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;My love shall in my verse ever live young.<br/>
A woman's face with nature's own hand painted,<br/>
Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion;<br/>
A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted<br/>
With shifting change, as is false women's fashion:<br/>
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,<br/>
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;<br/>
A man in hue all 'hues' in his controlling,<br/>
Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth.<br/>
And for a woman wert thou first created;<br/>
Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,<br/>
And by addition me of thee defeated,<br/>
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.<br/>
So is it not with me as with that Muse,<br/>
Stirr'd by a painted beauty to his verse,<br/>
Who heaven itself for ornament doth use<br/>
And every fair with his fair doth rehearse,<br/>
Making a couplement of proud compare'<br/>
With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems,<br/>
With April's first-born flowers, and all things rare,<br/>
That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems.<br/>
O! let me, true in love, but truly write,<br/>
And then believe me, my love is as fair<br/>
As any mother's child, though not so bright<br/>
As those gold candles fix'd in heaven's air:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Let them say more that like of hearsay well;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I will not praise that purpose not to sell.<br/>
My glass shall not persuade me I am old,<br/>
So long as youth and thou are of one date;<br/>
But when in thee time's furrows I behold,<br/>
Then look I death my days should expiate. <br/>
For all that beauty that doth cover thee,<br/>
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,<br/>
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me:<br/>
How can I then be elder than thou art?<br/>
O! therefore love, be of thyself so wary<br/>
As I, not for myself, but for thee will;<br/>
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary<br/>
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Thou gav'st me thine not to give back again.<br/>
As an unperfect actor on the stage,<br/>
Who with his fear is put beside his part,<br/>
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,<br/>
Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart;<br/>
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say<br/>
The perfect ceremony of love's rite,<br/>
And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,<br/>
O'ercharg'd with burthen of mine own love's might. <br/>
O! let my looks be then the eloquence<br/>
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,<br/>
Who plead for love, and look for recompense,<br/>
More than that tongue that more hath more express'd.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;O! learn to read what silent love hath writ:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.<br/>
Mine eye hath play'd the painter and hath stell'd,<br/>
Thy beauty's form in table of my heart;<br/>
My body is the frame wherein 'tis held,<br/>
And perspective it is best painter's art.<br/>
For through the painter must you see his skill,<br/>
To find where your true image pictur'd lies,<br/>
Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still,<br/>
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes.<br/>
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done:<br/>
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me<br/>
Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun<br/>
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee; <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;They draw but what they see, know not the heart.<br/>
Let those who are in favour with their stars<br/>
Of public honour and proud titles boast,<br/>
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars<br/>
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.<br/>
Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread<br/>
But as the marigold at the sun's eye,<br/>
And in themselves their pride lies buried,<br/>
For at a frown they in their glory die.<br/>
The painful warrior famoused for fight,<br/>
After a thousand victories once foil'd,<br/>
Is from the book of honour razed quite,<br/>
And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd:<br/>
Then happy I, that love and am belov'd,<br/>
Where I may not remove nor be remov'd.<br/>
Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage<br/>
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit,<br/>
To thee I send this written embassage,<br/>
To witness duty, not to show my wit:<br/>
Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine<br/>
May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it,<br/>
But that I hope some good conceit of thine<br/>
In thy soul's thought, all naked, will bestow it:<br/>
Till whatsoever star that guides my moving,<br/>
Points on me graciously with fair aspect,<br/>
And puts apparel on my tatter'd loving,<br/>
To show me worthy of thy sweet respect:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Till then, not show my head where thou mayst prove me.<br/>
Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,<br/>
The dear respose for limbs with travel tir'd;<br/>
But then begins a journey in my head<br/>
To work my mind, when body's work's expired: <br/>
For then my thoughts&#151;from far where I abide&#151;<br/>
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,<br/>
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,<br/>
Looking on darkness which the blind do see:<br/>
Save that my soul's imaginary sight<br/>
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,<br/>
Which, like a jewel (hung in ghastly night,<br/>
Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.<br/>
How can I then return in happy plight,<br/>
That am debarre'd the benefit of rest?<br/>
When day's oppression is not eas'd by night,<br/>
But day by night and night by day oppress'd,<br/>
And each, though enemies to either's reign,<br/>
Do in consent shake hands to torture me,<br/>
The one by toil, the other to complain<br/>
How far I toil, still farther off from thee. <br/>
I tell the day, to please him thou art bright,<br/>
And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven:<br/>
So flatter I the swart-complexion'd night,<br/>
When sparkling stars twire not thou gild'st the even.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And night doth nightly make grief's length seem stronger.<br/>
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes<br/>
I all alone beweep my outcast state,<br/>
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,<br/>
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,<br/>
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,<br/>
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,<br/>
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,<br/>
With what I most enjoy contented least;<br/>
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,<br/>
Haply I think on thee,&#151; and then my state,<br/>
Like to the lark at break of day arising<br/>
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate,;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That then I scorn to change my state with kings.<br/>
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought<br/>
I summon up remembrance of things past,<br/>
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,<br/>
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:<br/>
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,<br/>
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,<br/>
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,<br/>
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:<br/>
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,<br/>
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er<br/>
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,<br/>
Which I new pay as if not paid before.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;All losses are restor'd and sorrows end.<br/>
Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,<br/>
Which I by lacking have supposed dead;<br/>
And there reigns Love, and all Love's loving parts,<br/>
And all those friends which I thought buried.<br/>
How many a holy and obsequious tear<br/>
Hath dear religious love stol'n from mine eye,<br/>
As interest of the dead, which now appear<br/>
But things remov'd that hidden in thee lie!<br/>
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,<br/>
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,<br/>
Who all their parts of me to thee did give,<br/>
That due of many now is thine alone:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Their images I lov'd, I view in thee,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And thou&#151;all they&#151;hast all the all of me.<br/>
If thou survive my well-contented day,<br/>
When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover<br/>
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey<br/>
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,<br/>
Compare them with the bett'ring of the time,<br/>
And though they be outstripp'd by every pen,<br/>
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,<br/>
Exceeded by the height of happier men.<br/>
O! then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:<br/>
'Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing age,<br/>
A dearer birth than this his love had brought,<br/>
To march in ranks of better equipage:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But since he died and poets better prove,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love'.<br/>
Full many a glorious morning have I seen<br/>
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,<br/>
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,<br/>
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;<br/>
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride<br/>
With ugly rack on his celestial face,<br/>
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,<br/>
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace: <br/>
Even so my sun one early morn did shine,<br/>
With all triumphant splendour on my brow;<br/>
But out! alack! he was but one hour mine,<br/>
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.<br/>
Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,<br/>
And make me travel forth without my cloak,<br/>
To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way,<br/>
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?<br/>
'Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,<br/><br/>
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,<br/>
For no man well of such a salve can speak,<br/>
That heals the wound, and cures not the disgrace:<br/>
Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;<br/>
Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss:<br/>
The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief<br/>
To him that bears the strong offence's cross. <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.<br/>
No more be griev'd at that which thou hast done:<br/>
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud:<br/>
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,<br/>
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.<br/>
All men make faults, and even I in this,<br/>
Authorizing thy trespass with compare,<br/>
Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,<br/>
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are;<br/>
For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense,&#151;<br/>
Thy adverse party is thy advocate,&#151;<br/>
And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence:<br/>
Such civil war is in my love and hate,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That I an accessary needs must be,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.<br/>
Let me confess that we two must be twain,<br/>
Although our undivided loves are one:<br/>
So shall those blots that do with me remain,<br/>
Without thy help, by me be borne alone.<br/>
In our two loves there is but one respect,<br/>
Though in our lives a separable spite,<br/>
Which though it alter not love's sole effect,<br/>
Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight.<br/>
I may not evermore acknowledge thee,<br/>
Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame,<br/>
Nor thou with public kindness honour me,<br/>
Unless thou take that honour from thy name:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But do not so, I love thee in such sort,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.<br/>
As a decrepit father takes delight<br/>
To see his active child do deeds of youth,<br/>
So I, made lame by Fortune's dearest spite,<br/>
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth; <br/>
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,<br/>
Or any of these all, or all, or more,<br/>
Entitled in thy parts, do crowned sit,<br/>
I make my love engrafted, to this store:<br/>
So then I am not lame, poor, nor despis'd,<br/>
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give<br/>
That I in thy abundance am suffic'd,<br/>
And by a part of all thy glory live.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Look what is best, that best I wish in thee:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;This wish I have; then ten times happy me!<br/>
How can my muse want subject to invent,<br/>
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse<br/>
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent<br/>
For every vulgar paper to rehearse?<br/>
O! give thy self the thanks, if aught in me<br/>
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;<br/>
For who's so dumb that cannot write to thee,<br/>
When thou thy self dost give invention light? <br/>
Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth<br/>
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;<br/>
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth<br/>
Eternal numbers to outlive long date.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;If my slight muse do please these curious days,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.<br/>
O! how thy worth with manners may I sing,<br/>
When thou art all the better part of me?<br/>
What can mine own praise to mine own self bring?<br/>
And what is't but mine own when I praise thee?<br/>
Even for this, let us divided live,<br/>
And our dear love lose name of single one,<br/>
That by this separation I may give<br/>
That due to thee which thou deserv'st alone.<br/>
O absence! what a torment wouldst thou prove,<br/>
Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave,<br/>
To entertain the time with thoughts of love,<br/>
Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive, <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And that thou teachest how to make one twain,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;By praising him here who doth hence remain.<br/>
Take all my loves, my love, yea take them all;<br/>
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?<br/>
No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;<br/>
All mine was thine, before thou hadst this more.<br/>
Then, if for my love, thou my love receivest,<br/>
I cannot blame thee, for my love thou usest;<br/>
But yet be blam'd, if thou thy self deceivest<br/>
By wilful taste of what thyself refusest.<br/>
I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief,<br/>
Although thou steal thee all my poverty:<br/>
And yet, love knows it is a greater grief<br/>
To bear love's wrong, than hate's known injury.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Kill me with spites yet we must not be foes.<br/>
Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits,<br/>
When I am sometime absent from thy heart,<br/>
Thy beauty, and thy years full well befits,<br/>
For still temptation follows where thou art.<br/>
Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won,<br/>
Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assail'd;<br/>
And when a woman woos, what woman's son<br/>
Will sourly leave her till he have prevail'd?<br/>
Ay me! but yet thou mightst my seat forbear,<br/>
And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth,<br/>
Who lead thee in their riot even there<br/>
Where thou art forced to break a twofold truth:&#151;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Hers by thy beauty tempting her to thee,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Thine by thy beauty being false to me.<br/>
That thou hast her it is not all my grief,<br/>
And yet it may be said I loved her dearly;<br/>
That she hath thee is of my wailing chief,<br/>
A loss in love that touches me more nearly. <br/>
Loving offenders thus I will excuse ye:<br/>
Thou dost love her, because thou know'st I love her;<br/>
And for my sake even so doth she abuse me,<br/>
Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her.<br/>
If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain,<br/>
And losing her, my friend hath found that loss;<br/>
Both find each other, and I lose both twain,<br/>
And both for my sake lay on me this cross:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But here's the joy; my friend and I are one;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Sweet flattery! then she loves but me alone.<br/>
When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,<br/>
For all the day they view things unrespected;<br/>
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,<br/>
And darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.<br/>
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,<br/>
How would thy shadow's form form happy show<br/>
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,<br/>
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so! <br/>
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made<br/>
By looking on thee in the living day,<br/>
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade<br/>
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;All days are nights to see till I see thee,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.<br/>
If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,<br/>
Injurious distance should not stop my way;<br/>
For then despite of space I would be brought,<br/>
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay.<br/>
No matter then although my foot did stand<br/>
Upon the farthest earth remov'd from thee;<br/>
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land,<br/>
As soon as think the place where he would be.<br/>
But, ah! thought kills me that I am not thought,<br/>
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,<br/>
But that so much of earth and water wrought,<br/>
I must attend, time's leisure with my moan;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Receiving nought by elements so slow<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.<br/>
The other two, slight air, and purging fire<br/>
Are both with thee, wherever I abide;<br/>
The first my thought, the other my desire,<br/>
These present-absent with swift motion slide.<br/>
For when these quicker elements are gone<br/>
In tender embassy of love to thee,<br/>
My life, being made of four, with two alone<br/>
Sinks down to death, oppress'd with melancholy;<br/>
Until life's composition be recur'd<br/>
By those swift messengers return'd from thee,<br/>
Who even but now come back again, assur'd,<br/>
Of thy fair health, recounting it to me:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I send them back again, and straight grow sad.<br/>
Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war,<br/>
How to divide the conquest of thy sight;<br/>
Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would bar,<br/>
My heart mine eye the freedom of that right.<br/>
My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie,&#151;<br/>
A closet never pierc'd with crystal eyes&#151;<br/>
But the defendant doth that plea deny,<br/>
And says in him thy fair appearance lies.<br/>
To side this title is impannelled<br/>
A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart;<br/>
And by their verdict is determined<br/>
The clear eye's moiety, and the dear heart's part:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;As thus; mine eye's due is thy outward part,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And my heart's right, thy inward love of heart.<br/>
Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,<br/>
And each doth good turns now unto the other:<br/>
When that mine eye is famish'd for a look,<br/>
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,<br/>
With my love's picture then my eye doth feast,<br/>
And to the painted banquet bids my heart;<br/>
Another time mine eye is my heart's guest,<br/>
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:<br/>
So, either by thy picture or my love,<br/>
Thy self away, art present still with me;<br/>
For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,<br/>
And I am still with them, and they with thee;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Awakes my heart, to heart's and eye's delight.<br/>
How careful was I when I took my way,<br/>
Each trifle under truest bars to thrust,<br/>
That to my use it might unused stay<br/>
From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust!<br/>
But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are,<br/>
Most worthy comfort, now my greatest grief,<br/>
Thou best of dearest, and mine only care,<br/>
Art left the prey of every vulgar thief. <br/>
Thee have I not lock'd up in any chest,<br/>
Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art,<br/>
Within the gentle closure of my breast,<br/>
From whence at pleasure thou mayst come and part;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And even thence thou wilt be stol'n I fear,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear.<br/>
Against that time, if ever that time come,<br/>
When I shall see thee frown on my defects,<br/>
When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum,<br/>
Call'd to that audit by advis'd respects;<br/>
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass,<br/>
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye,<br/>
When love, converted from the thing it was,<br/>
Shall reasons find of settled gravity;<br/>
Against that time do I ensconce me here,<br/>
Within the knowledge of mine own desert,<br/>
And this my hand, against my self uprear,<br/>
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part: <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Since why to love I can allege no cause.<br/>
How heavy do I journey on the way,<br/>
When what I seek, my weary travel's end,<br/>
Doth teach that ease and that repose to say,<br/>
'Thus far the miles are measured from thy friend!'<br/>
The beast that bears me, tired with my woe,<br/>
Plods dully on, to bear that weight in me,<br/>
As if by some instinct the wretch did know<br/>
His rider lov'd not speed, being made from thee:<br/>
The bloody spur cannot provoke him on,<br/>
That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide,<br/>
Which heavily he answers with a groan,<br/>
More sharp to me than spurring to his side;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For that same groan doth put this in my mind,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;My grief lies onward, and my joy behind.<br/>
Thus can my love excuse the slow offence<br/>
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:<br/>
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?<br/>
Till I return, of posting is no need.<br/>
O! what excuse will my poor beast then find,<br/>
When swift extremity can seem but slow?<br/>
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind,<br/>
In winged speed n:motion shall I know,<br/>
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;<br/>
Therefore desire, of perfect'st love being made,<br/>
Shall neigh&#151;no dull flesh&#151;in his fiery race;<br/>
But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade,&#151;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;'Since from thee going, he went wilful-slow,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Towards thee I'll run, and give him leave to go.'<br/>
So am I as the rich, whose blessed key,<br/>
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure,<br/>
The which he will not every hour survey,<br/>
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure. <br/>
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare,<br/>
Since, seldom coming in that long year set,<br/>
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,<br/>
Or captain jewels in the carcanet.<br/>
So is the time that keeps you as my chest,<br/>
Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide,<br/>
To make some special instant special-blest,<br/>
By new unfolding his imprison'd pride.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Blessed are you whose worthiness gives scope,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Being had, to triumph; being lacked, to hope.<br/>
What is your substance, whereof are you made,<br/>
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?<br/>
Since every one, hath every one, one shade,<br/>
And you but one, can every shadow lend.<br/>
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit<br/>
Is poorly imitated after you;<br/>
On Helen's cheek all art of beauty set,<br/>
And you in Grecian tires are painted new: <br/>
Speak of the spring, and foison of the year,<br/>
The one doth shadow of your beauty show,<br/>
The other as your bounty doth appear;<br/>
And you in every blessed shape we know.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In all external grace you have some part,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But you like none, none you, for constant heart.<br/>
O! how much more doth beauty beauteous seem<br/>
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give.<br/>
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem<br/>
For that sweet odour, which doth in it live.<br/>
The canker blooms have full as deep a dye<br/>
As the perfumed tincture of the roses.<br/>
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly<br/>
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses:<br/>
But, for their virtue only is their show,<br/>
They live unwoo'd, and unrespected fade;<br/>
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;<br/>
Of their sweet deaths, are sweetest odours made: <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;When that shall vade, by verse distills your truth.<br/>
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments<br/>
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;<br/>
But you shall shine more bright in these contents<br/>
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time.<br/>
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,<br/>
And broils root out the work of masonry,<br/>
Nor Mars his sword, nor war's quick fire shall burn<br/>
The living record of your memory.<br/>
'Gainst death, and all-oblivious enmity<br/>
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room<br/>
Even in the eyes of all posterity<br/>
That wear this world out to the ending doom.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So, till the judgment that yourself arise,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.<br/>
Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said<br/>
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite,<br/>
Which but to-day by feeding is allay'd,<br/>
To-morrow sharpened in his former might:<br/>
So, love, be thou, although to-day thou fill<br/>
Thy hungry eyes, even till they wink with fulness,<br/>
To-morrow see again, and do not kill<br/>
The spirit of love, with a perpetual dulness.<br/>
Let this sad interim like the ocean be<br/>
Which parts the shore, where two contracted new<br/>
Come daily to the banks, that when they see<br/>
Return of love, more blest may be the view;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Or call it winter, which being full of care,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Makes summer's welcome, thrice more wished, more rare.<br/>
Being your slave what should I do but tend,<br/>
Upon the hours, and times of your desire?<br/>
I have no precious time at all to spend;<br/>
Nor services to do, till you require. <br/>
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour,<br/>
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,<br/>
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour,<br/>
When you have bid your servant once adieu;<br/>
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought<br/>
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,<br/>
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought<br/>
Save, where you are, how happy you make those.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So true a fool is love, that in your will,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.<br/>
That god forbid, that made me first your slave,<br/>
I should in thought control your times of pleasure,<br/>
Or at your hand the account of hours to crave,<br/>
Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure!<br/>
O! let me suffer, being at your beck,<br/>
The imprison'd absence of your liberty;<br/>
And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check,<br/>
Without accusing you of injury. <br/>
Be where you list, your charter is so strong<br/>
That you yourself may privilage your time<br/>
To what you will; to you it doth belong<br/>
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I am to wait, though waiting so be hell,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Not blame your pleasure be it ill or well.<br/>
If there be nothing new, but that which is<br/>
Hath been before, how are our brains beguil'd,<br/>
Which labouring for invention bear amiss<br/>
The second burthen of a former child!<br/>
O! that record could with a backward look,<br/>
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,<br/>
Show me your image in some antique book,<br/>
Since mind at first in character was done!<br/>
That I might see what the old world could say<br/>
To this composed wonder of your frame;<br/>
Wh'r we are mended, or wh'r better they,<br/>
Or whether revolution be the same. <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;O! sure I am the wits of former days,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To subjects worse have given admiring praise.<br/>
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,<br/>
So do our minutes hasten to their end;<br/>
Each changing place with that which goes before,<br/>
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.<br/>
Nativity, once in the main of light,<br/>
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,<br/>
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,<br/>
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.<br/>
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth<br/>
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,<br/>
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,<br/>
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And yet to times in hope, my verse shall stand.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.<br/>
Is it thy will, thy image should keep open<br/>
My heavy eyelids to the weary night?<br/>
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,<br/>
While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?<br/>
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee<br/>
So far from home into my deeds to pry,<br/>
To find out shames and idle hours in me,<br/>
The scope and tenure of thy jealousy?<br/>
O, no! thy love, though much, is not so great:<br/>
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake:<br/>
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,<br/>
To play the watchman ever for thy sake:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;From me far off, with others all too near.<br/>
Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye<br/>
And all my soul, and all my every part;<br/>
And for this sin there is no remedy,<br/>
It is so grounded inward in my heart.<br/>
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,<br/>
No shape so true, no truth of such account;<br/>
And for myself mine own worth do define,<br/>
As I all other in all worths surmount.<br/>
But when my glass shows me myself indeed<br/>
Beated and chopp'd with tanned antiquity,<br/>
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;<br/>
Self so self-loving were iniquity.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;'Tis thee,&#151;myself,&#151;that for myself I praise,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Painting my age with beauty of thy days.<br/>
Against my love shall be as I am now,<br/>
With Time's injurious hand crush'd and o'erworn;<br/>
When hours have drain'd his blood and fill'd his brow<br/>
With lines and wrinkles; when his youthful morn<br/>
Hath travell'd on to age's steepy night;<br/>
And all those beauties whereof now he's king<br/>
Are vanishing, or vanished out of sight,<br/>
Stealing away the treasure of his spring; <br/>
For such a time do I now fortify<br/>
Against confounding age's cruel knife,<br/>
That he shall never cut from memory<br/>
My sweet love's beauty, though my lover's life:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And they shall live, and he in them still green.<br/>
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd<br/>
The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age;<br/>
When sometime lofty towers I see down-raz'd,<br/>
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;<br/>
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain<br/>
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,<br/>
And the firm soil win of the watery main,<br/>
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store;<br/>
When I have seen such interchange of state,<br/>
Or state itself confounded, to decay;<br/>
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate&#151;<br/>
That Time will come and take my love away. <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;This thought is as a death which cannot choose<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But weep to have, that which it fears to lose.<br/>
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,<br/>
But sad mortality o'ersways their power,<br/>
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,<br/>
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?<br/>
O! how shall summer's honey breath hold out,<br/>
Against the wrackful siege of battering days,<br/>
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,<br/>
Nor gates of steel so strong but Time decays?<br/>
O fearful meditation! where, alack,<br/>
Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?<br/>
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?<br/>
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;O! none, unless this miracle have might,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That in black ink my love may still shine bright.<br/>
Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,<br/>
As to behold desert a beggar born,<br/>
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,<br/>
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,<br/>
And gilded honour shamefully misplac'd,<br/>
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,<br/>
And right perfection wrongfully disgrac'd,<br/>
And strength by limping sway disabled<br/>
And art made tongue-tied by authority,<br/>
And folly&#151;doctor-like&#151;controlling skill,<br/>
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,<br/>
And captive good attending captain ill:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Tir'd with all these, from these would I be gone,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.<br/>
Ah! wherefore with infection should he live,<br/>
And with his presence grace impiety,<br/>
That sin by him advantage should achieve,<br/>
And lace itself with his society? <br/>
Why should false painting imitate his cheek,<br/>
And steel dead seeming of his living hue?<br/>
Why should poor beauty indirectly seek<br/>
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?<br/>
Why should he live, now Nature bankrupt is,<br/>
Beggar'd of blood to blush through lively veins?<br/>
For she hath no exchequer now but his,<br/>
And proud of many, lives upon his gains.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;O! him she stores, to show what wealth she had<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In days long since, before these last so bad.<br/>
Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn,<br/>
When beauty lived and died as flowers do now,<br/>
Before these bastard signs of fair were born,<br/>
Or durst inhabit on a living brow;<br/>
Before the golden tresses of the dead,<br/>
The right of sepulchres, were shorn away,<br/>
To live a second life on second head;<br/>
Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay: <br/>
In him those holy antique hours are seen,<br/>
Without all ornament, itself and true,<br/>
Making no summer of another's green,<br/>
Robbing no old to dress his beauty new;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And him as for a map doth Nature store,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To show false Art what beauty was of yore.<br/>
Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth view<br/>
Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend;<br/>
All tongues&#151;the voice of souls&#151;give thee that due,<br/>
Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend.<br/>
Thy outward thus with outward praise is crown'd;<br/>
But those same tongues, that give thee so thine own,<br/>
In other accents do this praise confound<br/>
By seeing farther than the eye hath shown.<br/>
They look into the beauty of thy mind,<br/>
And that in guess they measure by thy deeds;<br/>
Then&#151;churls&#151;their thoughts, although their eyes were kind,<br/>
To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds: <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But why thy odour matcheth not thy show,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The soil is this, that thou dost common grow.<br/>
That thou art blam'd shall not be thy defect,<br/>
For slander's mark was ever yet the fair;<br/>
The ornament of beauty is suspect,<br/>
A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air.<br/>
So thou be good, slander doth but approve<br/>
Thy worth the greater being woo'd of time;<br/>
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,<br/>
And thou present'st a pure unstained prime.<br/>
Thou hast passed by the ambush of young days<br/>
Either not assail'd, or victor being charg'd;<br/>
Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,<br/>
To tie up envy, evermore enlarg'd,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;If some suspect of ill mask'd not thy show,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.<br/>
No longer mourn for me when I am dead<br/>
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell<br/>
Give warning to the world that I am fled<br/>
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell:<br/>
Nay, if you read this line, remember not<br/>
The hand that writ it, for I love you so,<br/>
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,<br/>
If thinking on me then should make you woe.<br/>
O! if,&#151;I say you look upon this verse,<br/>
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,<br/>
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse;<br/>
But let your love even with my life decay;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Lest the wise world should look into your moan,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And mock you with me after I am gone.<br/>
O! lest the world should task you to recite<br/>
What merit lived in me, that you should love<br/>
After my death,&#151;dear love, forget me quite,<br/>
For you in me can nothing worthy prove;<br/>
Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,<br/>
To do more for me than mine own desert,<br/>
And hang more praise upon deceased I<br/>
Than niggard truth would willingly impart:<br/>
O! lest your true love may seem false in this<br/>
That you for love speak well of me untrue,<br/>
My name be buried where my body is,<br/>
And live no more to shame nor me nor you.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For I am shamed by that which I bring forth,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And so should you, to love things nothing worth.<br/>
That time of year thou mayst in me behold<br/>
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang<br/>
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,<br/>
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.<br/>
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day<br/>
As after sunset fadeth in the west;<br/>
Which by and by black night doth take away,<br/>
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. <br/>
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,<br/>
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,<br/>
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,<br/>
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.<br/>
But be contented: when that fell arrest<br/>
Without all bail shall carry me away,<br/>
My life hath in this line some interest,<br/>
Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.<br/>
When thou reviewest this, thou dost review<br/>
The very part was consecrate to thee:<br/>
The earth can have but earth, which is his due;<br/>
My spirit is thine, the better part of me:<br/>
So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,<br/>
The prey of worms, my body being dead;<br/>
The coward conquest of a wretch's knife,<br/>
Too base of thee to be remembered,.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The worth of that is that which it contains,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And that is this, and this with thee remains.<br/>
So are you to my thoughts as food to life,<br/>
Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground;<br/>
And for the peace of you I hold such strife<br/>
As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found.<br/>
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon<br/>
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure;<br/>
Now counting best to be with you alone,<br/>
Then better'd that the world may see my pleasure:<br/>
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight,<br/>
And by and by clean starved for a look;<br/>
Possessing or pursuing no delight,<br/>
Save what is had, or must from you be took.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Or gluttoning on all, or all away.<br/>
Why is my verse so barren of new pride,<br/>
So far from variation or quick change?<br/>
Why with the time do I not glance aside<br/>
To new-found methods, and to compounds strange?<br/>
Why write I still all one, ever the same,<br/>
And keep invention in a noted weed,<br/>
That every word doth almost tell my name,<br/>
Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?<br/>
O! know sweet love I always write of you,<br/>
And you and love are still my argument;<br/>
So all my best is dressing old words new,<br/>
Spending again what is already spent:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For as the sun is daily new and old,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So is my love still telling what is told.<br/>
Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,<br/>
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;<br/>
These vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,<br/>
And of this book, this learning mayst thou taste. <br/>
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show<br/>
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;<br/>
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know<br/>
Time's thievish progress to eternity.<br/>
Look! what thy memory cannot contain,<br/>
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find<br/>
Those children nursed, deliver'd from thy brain,<br/>
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Shall profit thee and much enrich thy book.<br/>
So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse,<br/>
And found such fair assistance in my verse<br/>
As every alien pen hath got my use<br/>
And under thee their poesy disperse.<br/>
Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing<br/>
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,<br/>
Have added feathers to the learned's wing<br/>
And given grace a double majesty.<br/>
Yet be most proud of that which I compile,<br/>
Whose influence is thine, and born of thee:<br/>
In others' works thou dost but mend the style,<br/>
And arts with thy sweet graces graced be;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But thou art all my art, and dost advance<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;As high as learning, my rude ignorance.<br/>
Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,<br/>
My verse alone had all thy gentle grace;<br/>
But now my gracious numbers are decay'd,<br/>
And my sick Muse doth give an other place.<br/>
I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument<br/>
Deserves the travail of a worthier pen;<br/>
Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent<br/>
He robs thee of, and pays it thee again.<br/>
He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word<br/>
From thy behaviour; beauty doth he give,<br/>
And found it in thy cheek: he can afford<br/>
No praise to thee, but what in thee doth live. <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Then thank him not for that which he doth say,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Since what he owes thee, thou thyself dost pay.<br/>
O! how I faint when I of you do write,<br/>
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name,<br/>
And in the praise thereof spends all his might,<br/>
To make me tongue-tied speaking of your fame!<br/>
But since your worth&#151;wide as the ocean is,&#151;<br/>
The humble as the proudest sail doth bear,<br/>
My saucy bark, inferior far to his,<br/>
On your broad main doth wilfully appear.<br/>
Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat,<br/>
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride;<br/>
Or, being wrack'd, I am a worthless boat,<br/>
He of tall building, and of goodly pride:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Then if he thrive and I be cast away,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The worst was this,&#151;my love was my decay.<br/>
Or I shall live your epitaph to make,<br/>
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten;<br/>
From hence your memory death cannot take,<br/>
Although in me each part will be forgotten.<br/>
Your name from hence immortal life shall have,<br/>
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:<br/>
The earth can yield me but a common grave,<br/>
When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie.<br/>
Your monument shall be my gentle verse,<br/>
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read;<br/>
And tongues to be, your being shall rehearse,<br/>
When all the breathers of this world are dead;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;You still shall live,&#151;such virtue hath my pen,&#151;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.<br/>
I grant thou wert not married to my Muse,<br/>
And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook<br/>
The dedicated words which writers use<br/>
Of their fair subject, blessing every book. <br/>
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,<br/>
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise;<br/>
And therefore art enforced to seek anew<br/>
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days.<br/>
And do so, love; yet when they have devis'd,<br/>
What strained touches rhetoric can lend,<br/>
Thou truly fair, wert truly sympathiz'd<br/>
In true plain words, by thy true-telling friend;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And their gross painting might be better us'd<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abus'd.<br/>
I never saw that you did painting need,<br/>
And therefore to your fair no painting set;<br/>
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed<br/>
That barren tender of a poet's debt:<br/>
And therefore have I slept in your report,<br/>
That you yourself, being extant, well might show<br/>
How far a modern quill doth come too short,<br/>
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow. <br/>
This silence for my sin you did impute,<br/>
Which shall be most my glory being dumb;<br/>
For I impair not beauty being mute,<br/>
When others would give life, and bring a tomb.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There lives more life in one of your fair eyes<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Than both your poets can in praise devise.<br/>
Who is it that says most, which can say more,<br/>
Than this rich praise,&#151;that you alone, are you?<br/>
In whose confine immured is the store<br/>
Which should example where your equal grew.<br/>
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell<br/>
That to his subject lends not some small glory;<br/>
But he that writes of you, if he can tell<br/>
That you are you, so dignifies his story,<br/>
Let him but copy what in you is writ,<br/>
Not making worse what nature made so clear,<br/>
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit,<br/>
Making his style admired every where.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;You to your beauteous blessings add a curse,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse.<br/>
My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still,<br/>
While comments of your praise richly compil'd,<br/>
Reserve their character with golden quill,<br/>
And precious phrase by all the Muses fil'd.<br/>
I think good thoughts, whilst others write good words,<br/>
And like unlettered clerk still cry 'Amen'<br/>
To every hymn that able spirit affords,<br/>
In polish'd form of well-refined pen.<br/>
Hearing you praised, I say ''tis so, 'tis true,'<br/>
And to the most of praise add something more;<br/>
But that is in my thought, whose love to you,<br/>
Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Then others, for the breath of words respect,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect.<br/>
Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,<br/>
Bound for the prize of all too precious you,<br/>
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,<br/>
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?<br/>
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write,<br/>
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?<br/>
No, neither he, nor his compeers by night<br/>
Giving him aid, my verse astonished.<br/>
He, nor that affable familiar ghost<br/>
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence,<br/>
As victors of my silence cannot boast;<br/>
I was not sick of any fear from thence:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But when your countenance fill'd up his line,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Then lacked I matter; that enfeebled mine.<br/>
Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,<br/>
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate,<br/>
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;<br/>
My bonds in thee are all determinate.<br/>
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?<br/>
And for that riches where is my deserving?<br/>
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,<br/>
And so my patent back again is swerving.<br/>
Thy self thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing,<br/>
Or me to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking;<br/>
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,<br/>
Comes home again, on better judgement making.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.<br/>
When thou shalt be dispos'd to set me light,<br/>
And place my merit in the eye of scorn,<br/>
Upon thy side, against myself I'll fight,<br/>
And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn.<br/>
With mine own weakness, being best acquainted,<br/>
Upon thy part I can set down a story<br/>
Of faults conceal'd, wherein I am attainted;<br/>
That thou in losing me shalt win much glory: <br/>
And I by this will be a gainer too;<br/>
For bending all my loving thoughts on thee,<br/>
The injuries that to myself I do,<br/>
Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Such is my love, to thee I so belong,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That for thy right, myself will bear all wrong.<br/>
Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,<br/>
And I will comment upon that offence:<br/>
Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt,<br/>
Against thy reasons making no defence.<br/>
Thou canst not love disgrace me half so ill,<br/>
To set a form upon desired change,<br/>
As I'll myself disgrace; knowing thy will,<br/>
I will acquaintance strangle, and look strange;<br/>
Be absent from thy walks; and in my tongue<br/>
Thy sweet beloved name no more shall dwell,<br/>
Lest I, too much profane, should do it wrong,<br/>
And haply of our old acquaintance tell. <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For thee, against my self I'll vow debate,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For I must ne'er love him whom thou dost hate.<br/>
Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;<br/>
Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross,<br/>
Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,<br/>
And do not drop in for an after-loss:<br/>
Ah! do not, when my heart hath 'scap'd this sorrow,<br/>
Come in the rearward of a conquer'd woe;<br/>
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,<br/>
To linger out a purpos'd overthrow.<br/>
If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last,<br/>
When other petty griefs have done their spite,<br/>
But in the onset come: so shall I taste<br/>
At first the very worst of fortune's might;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And other strains of woe, which now seem woe,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Compar'd with loss of thee, will not seem so.<br/>
Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,<br/>
Some in their wealth, some in their body's force,<br/>
Some in their garments though new-fangled ill;<br/>
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;<br/>
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,<br/>
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:<br/>
But these particulars are not my measure,<br/>
All these I better in one general best.<br/>
Thy love is better than high birth to me,<br/>
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' costs,<br/>
Of more delight than hawks and horses be;<br/>
And having thee, of all men's pride I boast:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;All this away, and me most wretchcd make.<br/>
But do thy worst to steal thyself away,<br/>
For term of life thou art assured mine;<br/>
And life no longer than thy love will stay,<br/>
For it depends upon that love of thine. <br/>
Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs,<br/>
When in the least of them my life hath end.<br/>
I see a better state to me belongs<br/>
Than that which on thy humour doth depend:<br/>
Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind,<br/>
Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie.<br/>
O! what a happy title do I find,<br/>
Happy to have thy love, happy to die!<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But what's so blessed-fair that fears no blot?<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Thou mayst be false, and yet I know it not.<br/>
So shall I live, supposing thou art true,<br/>
Like a deceived husband; so love's face<br/>
May still seem love to me, though alter'd new;<br/>
Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place:<br/>
For there can live no hatred in thine eye,<br/>
Therefore in that I cannot know thy change.<br/>
In many's looks, the false heart's history<br/>
Is writ in moods, and frowns, and wrinkles strange. <br/>
But heaven in thy creation did decree<br/>
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;<br/>
Whate'er thy thoughts, or thy heart's workings be,<br/>
Thy looks should nothing thence, but sweetness tell.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show!<br/>
They that have power to hurt, and will do none,<br/>
That do not do the thing they most do show,<br/>
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,<br/>
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow;<br/>
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces,<br/>
And husband nature's riches from expense;<br/>
They are the lords and owners of their faces,<br/>
Others, but stewards of their excellence.<br/>
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,<br/>
Though to itself, it only live and die,<br/>
But if that flower with base infection meet,<br/>
The basest weed outbraves his dignity: <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.<br/>
How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame<br/>
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,<br/>
Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!<br/>
O! in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose.<br/>
That tongue that tells the story of thy days,<br/>
Making lascivious comments on thy sport,<br/>
Cannot dispraise, but in a kind of praise;<br/>
Naming thy name, blesses an ill report.<br/>
O! what a mansion have those vices got<br/>
Which for their habitation chose out thee,<br/>
Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot<br/>
And all things turns to fair that eyes can see!<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Take heed, dear heart, of this large privilege;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The hardest knife ill-us'd doth lose his edge.<br/>
Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness;<br/>
Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport;<br/>
Both grace and faults are lov'd of more and less:<br/>
Thou mak'st faults graces that to thee resort.<br/>
As on the finger of a throned queen<br/>
The basest jewel will be well esteem'd,<br/>
So are those errors that in thee are seen<br/>
To truths translated, and for true things deem'd.<br/>
How many lambs might the stern wolf betray,<br/>
If like a lamb he could his looks translate!<br/>
How many gazers mightst thou lead away,<br/>
If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state!<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But do not so; I love thee in such sort,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report.<br/>
How like a winter hath my absence been<br/>
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!<br/>
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!<br/>
What old December's bareness everywhere! <br/>
And yet this time removed was summer's time;<br/>
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,<br/>
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,<br/>
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease:<br/>
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me<br/>
But hope of orphans, and unfather'd fruit;<br/>
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,<br/>
And, thou away, the very birds are mute:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Or, if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.<br/>
From you have I been absent in the spring,<br/>
When proud-pied April, dress'd in all his trim,<br/>
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,<br/>
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.<br/>
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell<br/>
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,<br/>
Could make me any summer's story tell,<br/>
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew: <br/>
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,<br/>
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;<br/>
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,<br/>
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Yet seem'd it winter still, and you away,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;As with your shadow I with these did play.<br/>
The forward violet thus did I chide:<br/>
Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,<br/>
If not from my love's breath? The purple pride<br/>
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells<br/>
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dy'd.<br/>
The lily I condemned for thy hand,<br/>
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair;<br/>
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,<br/>
One blushing shame, another white despair;<br/>
A third, nor red nor white, had stol'n of both,<br/>
And to his robbery had annex'd thy breath;<br/>
But, for his theft, in pride of all his growth <br/>
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;More flowers I noted, yet I none could see,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But sweet, or colour it had stol'n from thee.<br/>
Where art thou Muse that thou forget'st so long,<br/>
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?<br/>
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song,<br/>
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?<br/>
Return forgetful Muse, and straight redeem,<br/>
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;<br/>
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem<br/>
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.<br/>
Rise, resty Muse, my love's sweet face survey,<br/>
If Time have any wrinkle graven there;<br/>
If any, be a satire to decay,<br/>
And make time's spoils despised every where.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife.<br/>
O truant Muse what shall be thy amends<br/>
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy'd?<br/>
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;<br/>
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.<br/>
Make answer Muse: wilt thou not haply say,<br/>
'Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;<br/>
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;<br/>
But best is best, if never intermix'd'?<br/>
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?<br/>
Excuse not silence so, for't lies in thee<br/>
To make him much outlive a gilded tomb<br/>
And to be prais'd of ages yet to be.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To make him seem long hence as he shows now.<br/>
My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seeming;<br/>
I love not less, though less the show appear;<br/>
That love is merchandiz'd, whose rich esteeming,<br/>
The owner's tongue doth publish every where.<br/>
Our love was new, and then but in the spring,<br/>
When I was wont to greet it with my lays;<br/>
As Philomel in summer's front doth sing,<br/>
And stops her pipe in growth of riper days:<br/>
Not that the summer is less pleasant now<br/>
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night,<br/>
But that wild music burthens every bough,<br/>
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Therefore like her, I sometime hold my tongue:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Because I would not dull you with my song.<br/>
Alack! what poverty my Muse brings forth,<br/>
That having such a scope to show her pride,<br/>
The argument, all bare, is of more worth<br/>
Than when it hath my added praise beside!<br/>
O! blame me not, if I no more can write!<br/>
Look in your glass, and there appears a face<br/>
That over-goes my blunt invention quite, <br/>
Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.<br/>
Were it not sinful then, striving to mend,<br/>
To mar the subject that before was well?<br/>
For to no other pass my verses tend<br/>
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And more, much more, than in my verse can sit,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Your own glass shows you when you look in it.<br/>
To me, fair friend, you never can be old,<br/>
For as you were when first your eye I ey'd,<br/>
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,<br/>
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride,<br/>
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'd,<br/>
In process of the seasons have I seen,<br/>
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd,<br/>
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.<br/>
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,<br/>
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv'd;<br/>
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,<br/>
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.<br/>
Let not my love be call'd idolatry,<br/>
Nor my beloved as an idol show,<br/>
Since all alike my songs and praises be<br/>
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.<br/>
Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,<br/>
Still constant in a wondrous excellence;<br/>
Therefore my verse to constancy confin'd,<br/>
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.<br/>
'Fair, kind, and true,' is all my argument,<br/>
'Fair, kind, and true,' varying to other words;<br/>
And in this change is my invention spent,<br/>
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Which three till now, never kept seat in one.<br/>
When in the chronicle of wasted time<br/>
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,<br/>
And beauty making beautiful old rime,<br/>
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights,<br/>
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,<br/>
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,<br/>
I see their antique pen would have express'd<br/>
Even such a beauty as you master now.<br/>
So all their praises are but prophecies<br/>
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;<br/>
And for they looked but with divining eyes,<br/>
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For we, which now behold these present days,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.<br/>
Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul<br/>
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come,<br/>
Can yet the lease of my true love control, <br/>
Supposed as forfeit to a confin'd doom.<br/>
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd,<br/>
And the sad augurs mock their own presage;<br/>
Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd,<br/>
And peace proclaims olives of endless age.<br/>
Now with the drops of this most balmy time,<br/>
My love looks fresh, and Death to me subscribes,<br/>
Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rime,<br/>
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And thou in this shalt find thy monument,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent.<br/>
What's in the brain, that ink may character,<br/>
Which hath not figur'd to thee my true spirit?<br/>
What's new to speak, what now to register,<br/>
That may express my love, or thy dear merit?<br/>
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,<br/>
I must each day say o'er the very same;<br/>
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine, <br/>
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.<br/>
So that eternal love in love's fresh case,<br/>
Weighs not the dust and injury of age,<br/>
Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place,<br/>
But makes antiquity for aye his page;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Finding the first conceit of love there bred,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Where time and outward form would show it dead.<br/>
O! never say that I was false of heart,<br/>
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify,<br/>
As easy might I from my self depart<br/>
As from my soul which in thy breast doth lie:<br/>
That is my home of love: if I have rang'd,<br/>
Like him that travels, I return again;<br/>
Just to the time, not with the time exchang'd,<br/>
So that myself bring water for my stain.<br/>
Never believe though in my nature reign'd,<br/>
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,<br/>
That it could so preposterously be stain'd, <br/>
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For nothing this wide universe I call,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Save thou, my rose, in it thou art my all.<br/>
Alas! 'tis true, I have gone here and there,<br/>
And made my self a motley to the view,<br/>
Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,<br/>
Made old offences of affections new;<br/>
Most true it is, that I have look'd on truth<br/>
Askance and strangely; but, by all above,<br/>
These blenches gave my heart another youth,<br/>
And worse essays prov'd thee my best of love.<br/>
Now all is done, save what shall have no end:<br/>
Mine appetite I never more will grind<br/>
On newer proof, to try an older friend,<br/>
A god in love, to whom I am confin'd.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.<br/>
O! for my sake do you with Fortune chide,<br/>
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,<br/>
That did not better for my life provide<br/>
Than public means which public manners breeds.<br/>
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,<br/>
And almost thence my nature is subdu'd<br/>
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand:<br/>
Pity me, then, and wish I were renew'd;<br/>
Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink,<br/>
Potions of eisel 'gainst my strong infection;<br/>
No bitterness that I will bitter think,<br/>
Nor double penance, to correct correction.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Even that your pity is enough to cure me.<br/>
Your love and pity doth the impression fill,<br/>
Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow;<br/>
For what care I who calls me well or ill, <br/>
So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?<br/>
You are my all-the-world, and I must strive<br/>
To know my shames and praises from your tongue;<br/>
None else to me, nor I to none alive,<br/>
That my steel'd sense or changes right or wrong.<br/>
In so profound abysm I throw all care<br/>
Of others' voices, that my adder's sense<br/>
To critic and to flatterer stopped are.<br/>
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;You are so strongly in my purpose bred,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That all the world besides methinks are dead.<br/>
Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind;<br/>
And that which governs me to go about<br/>
Doth part his function and is partly blind,<br/>
Seems seeing, but effectually is out;<br/>
For it no form delivers to the heart<br/>
Of bird, of flower, or shape which it doth latch:<br/>
Of his quick objects hath the mind no part, <br/>
Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch;<br/>
For if it see the rud'st or gentlest sight,<br/>
The most sweet favour or deformed'st creature,<br/>
The mountain or the sea, the day or night:<br/>
The crow, or dove, it shapes them to your feature.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Incapable of more, replete with you,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.<br/>
Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you,<br/>
Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery?<br/>
Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true,<br/>
And that your love taught it this alchemy,<br/>
To make of monsters and things indigest<br/>
Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble,<br/>
Creating every bad a perfect best,<br/>
As fast as objects to his beams assemble?<br/>
O! 'tis the first, 'tis flattery in my seeing,<br/>
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up:<br/>
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing, <br/>
And to his palate doth prepare the cup:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;If it be poison'd, 'tis the lesser sin<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That mine eye loves it and doth first begin.<br/>
Those lines that I before have writ do lie,<br/>
Even those that said I could not love you dearer:<br/>
Yet then my judgment knew no reason why<br/>
My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer.<br/>
But reckoning Time, whose million'd accidents<br/>
Creep in 'twixt vows, and change decrees of kings,<br/>
Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents,<br/>
Divert strong minds to the course of altering things;<br/>
Alas! why fearing of Time's tyranny,<br/>
Might I not then say, 'Now I love you best,'<br/>
When I was certain o'er incertainty,<br/>
Crowning the present, doubting of the rest?<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Love is a babe, then might I not say so,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To give full growth to that which still doth grow?<br/>
Let me not to the marriage of true minds<br/>
Admit impediments. Love is not love<br/>
Which alters when it alteration finds,<br/>
Or bends with the remover to remove:<br/>
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,<br/>
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;<br/>
It is the star to every wandering bark,<br/>
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.<br/>
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks<br/>
Within his bending sickle's compass come;<br/>
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,<br/>
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;If this be error and upon me prov'd,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.<br/>
Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all,<br/>
Wherein I should your great deserts repay,<br/>
Forgot upon your dearest love to call, <br/>
Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day;<br/>
That I have frequent been with unknown minds,<br/>
And given to time your own dear-purchas'd right;<br/>
That I have hoisted sail to all the winds<br/>
Which should transport me farthest from your sight.<br/>
Book both my wilfulness and errors down,<br/>
And on just proof surmise, accumulate;<br/>
Bring me within the level of your frown,<br/>
But shoot not at me in your waken'd hate;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Since my appeal says I did strive to prove<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The constancy and virtue of your love.<br/>
Like as, to make our appetite more keen,<br/>
With eager compounds we our palate urge;<br/>
As, to prevent our maladies unseen,<br/>
We sicken to shun sickness when we purge;<br/>
Even so, being full of your ne'er-cloying sweetness,<br/>
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding;<br/>
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness<br/>
To be diseas'd, ere that there was true needing.<br/>
Thus policy in love, to anticipate<br/>
The ills that were not, grew to faults assur'd,<br/>
And brought to medicine a healthful state<br/>
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cur'd;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But thence I learn and find the lesson true,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you.<br/>
What potions have I drunk of Siren tears,<br/>
Distill'd from limbecks foul as hell within,<br/>
Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears,<br/>
Still losing when I saw myself to win!<br/>
What wretched errors hath my heart committed,<br/>
Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never!<br/>
How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted,<br/>
In the distraction of this madding fever!<br/>
O benefit of ill! now I find true<br/>
That better is, by evil still made better;<br/>
And ruin'd love, when it is built anew,<br/>
Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So I return rebuk'd to my content,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And gain by ill thrice more than I have spent.<br/>
That you were once unkind befriends me now,<br/>
And for that sorrow, which I then did feel,<br/>
Needs must I under my transgression bow,<br/>
Unless my nerves were brass or hammer'd steel.<br/>
For if you were by my unkindness shaken,<br/>
As I by yours, you've pass'd a hell of time;<br/>
And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken<br/>
To weigh how once I suffer'd in your crime.<br/>
O! that our night of woe might have remember'd<br/>
My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits,<br/>
And soon to you, as you to me, then tender'd<br/>
The humble salve, which wounded bosoms fits!<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But that your trespass now becomes a fee;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me.<br/>
'Tis better to be vile than vile esteem'd,<br/>
When not to be receives reproach of being;<br/>
And the just pleasure lost, which is so deem'd<br/>
Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing:<br/>
For why should others' false adulterate eyes<br/>
Give salutation to my sportive blood?<br/>
Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,<br/>
Which in their wills count bad what I think good?<br/>
No, I am that I am, and they that level<br/>
At my abuses reckon up their own:<br/>
I may be straight though they themselves be bevel;<br/>
By their rank thoughts, my deeds must not be shown;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Unless this general evil they maintain,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;All men are bad and in their badness reign.<br/>
Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain<br/>
Full character'd with lasting memory,<br/>
Which shall above that idle rank remain,<br/>
Beyond all date; even to eternity:<br/>
Or, at the least, so long as brain and heart<br/>
Have faculty by nature to subsist;<br/>
Till each to raz'd oblivion yield his part<br/>
Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.<br/>
That poor retention could not so much hold,<br/>
Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score;<br/>
Therefore to give them from me was I bold,<br/>
To trust those tables that receive thee more:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To keep an adjunct to remember thee<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Were to import forgetfulness in me.<br/>
No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change:<br/>
Thy pyramids built up with newer might<br/>
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;<br/>
They are but dressings of a former sight.<br/>
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire<br/>
What thou dost foist upon us that is old;<br/>
And rather make them born to our desire<br/>
Than think that we before have heard them told.<br/>
Thy registers and thee I both defy,<br/>
Not wondering at the present nor the past,<br/>
For thy records and what we see doth lie,<br/>
Made more or less by thy continual haste.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;This I do vow and this shall ever be;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I will be true despite thy scythe and thee.<br/>
If my dear love were but the child of state,<br/>
It might for Fortune's bastard be unfather'd,<br/>
As subject to Time's love or to Time's hate,<br/>
Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gather'd.<br/>
No, it was builded far from accident;<br/>
It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls<br/>
Under the blow of thralled discontent,<br/>
Whereto th' inviting time our fashion calls:<br/>
It fears not policy, that heretic,<br/>
Which works on leases of short-number'd hours,<br/>
But all alone stands hugely politic, <br/>
That it nor grows with heat, nor drowns with showers.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To this I witness call the fools of time,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Which die for goodness, who have lived for crime.<br/>
Were't aught to me I bore the canopy,<br/>
With my extern the outward honouring,<br/>
Or laid great bases for eternity,<br/>
Which proves more short than waste or ruining?<br/>
Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour<br/>
Lose all and more by paying too much rent<br/>
For compound sweet; forgoing simple savour,<br/>
Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent?<br/>
No; let me be obsequious in thy heart,<br/>
And take thou my oblation, poor but free,<br/>
Which is not mix'd with seconds, knows no art,<br/>
But mutual render, only me for thee.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Hence, thou suborned informer! a true soul<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;When most impeach'd, stands least in thy control.<br/>
O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power<br/>
Dost hold Time's fickle glass, his fickle hour;<br/>
Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st<br/>
Thy lovers withering, as thy sweet self grow'st.<br/>
If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack,<br/>
As thou goest onwards, still will pluck thee back,<br/>
She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill<br/>
May time disgrace and wretched minutes kill.<br/>
Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure!<br/>
She may detain, but not still keep, her treasure:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Her audit (though delayed) answered must be,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And her quietus is to render thee.<br/>
In the old age black was not counted fair,<br/>
Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name;<br/>
But now is black beauty's successive heir,<br/>
And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame:<br/>
For since each hand hath put on Nature's power, <br/>
Fairing the foul with Art's false borrowed face,<br/>
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower,<br/>
But is profan'd, if not lives in disgrace.<br/>
Therefore my mistress' eyes are raven black,<br/>
Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem<br/>
At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,<br/>
Sland'ring creation with a false esteem:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Yet so they mourn becoming of their woe,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That every tongue says beauty should look so.<br/>
How oft when thou, my music, music play'st,<br/>
Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds<br/>
With thy sweet fingers when thou gently sway'st<br/>
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,<br/>
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap,<br/>
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,<br/>
Whilst my poor lips which should that harvest reap,<br/>
At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand!<br/>
To be so tickled, they would change their state <br/>
And situation with those dancing chips,<br/>
O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait,<br/>
Making dead wood more bless'd than living lips.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.<br/>
The expense of spirit in a waste of shame<br/>
Is lust in action: and till action, lust<br/>
Is perjur'd, murderous, bloody, full of blame,<br/>
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;<br/>
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight;<br/>
Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,<br/>
Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait,<br/>
On purpose laid to make the taker mad:<br/>
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;<br/>
Had, having, and in quest, to have extreme;<br/>
A bliss in proof,&#151; and prov'd, a very woe;<br/>
Before, a joy propos'd; behind a dream.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;All this the world well knows; yet none knows well<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.<br/>
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;<br/>
Coral is far more red, than her lips red:<br/>
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;<br/>
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.<br/>
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,<br/>
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;<br/>
And in some perfumes is there more delight<br/>
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.<br/>
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know<br/>
That music hath a far more pleasing sound:<br/>
I grant I never saw a goddess go,&#151;<br/>
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;As any she belied with false compare.<br/>
Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art, <br/>
As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel;<br/>
For well thou know'st to my dear doting heart<br/>
Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel.<br/>
Yet, in good faith, some say that thee behold,<br/>
Thy face hath not the power to make love groan;<br/>
To say they err I dare not be so bold,<br/>
Although I swear it to myself alone.<br/>
And to be sure that is not false I swear,<br/>
A thousand groans, but thinking on thy face,<br/>
One on another's neck, do witness bear<br/>
Thy black is fairest in my judgment's place.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds.<br/>
Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me,<br/>
Knowing thy heart torment me with disdain,<br/>
Have put on black and loving mourners be,<br/>
Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain.<br/>
And truly not the morning sun of heaven <br/>
Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east,<br/>
Nor that full star that ushers in the even,<br/>
Doth half that glory to the sober west,<br/>
As those two mourning eyes become thy face:<br/>
O! let it then as well beseem thy heart<br/>
To mourn for me since mourning doth thee grace,<br/>
And suit thy pity like in every part.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Then will I swear beauty herself is black,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And all they foul that thy complexion lack.<br/>
Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan<br/>
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me!<br/>
Is't not enough to torture me alone,<br/>
But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must be?<br/>
Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken,<br/>
And my next self thou harder hast engross'd:<br/>
Of him, myself, and thee I am forsaken;<br/>
A torment thrice three-fold thus to be cross'd:<br/>
Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward, <br/>
But then my friend's heart let my poor heart bail;<br/>
Whoe'er keeps me, let my heart be his guard;<br/>
Thou canst not then use rigour in my jail:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And yet thou wilt; for I, being pent in thee,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.<br/>
So, now I have confess'd that he is thine,<br/>
And I my self am mortgag'd to thy will,<br/>
Myself I'll forfeit, so that other mine<br/>
Thou wilt restore to be my comfort still:<br/>
But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free,<br/>
For thou art covetous, and he is kind;<br/>
He learn'd but surety-like to write for me,<br/>
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind.<br/>
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take,<br/>
Thou usurer, that putt'st forth all to use,<br/>
And sue a friend came debtor for my sake;<br/>
So him I lose through my unkind abuse.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;He pays the whole, and yet am I not free.<br/>
Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy 'Will,'<br/>
And 'Will' to boot, and 'Will' in over-plus;<br/>
More than enough am I that vex'd thee still,<br/>
To thy sweet will making addition thus.<br/>
Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious,<br/>
Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine?<br/>
Shall will in others seem right gracious,<br/>
And in my will no fair acceptance shine?<br/>
The sea, all water, yet receives rain still,<br/>
And in abundance addeth to his store;<br/>
So thou, being rich in 'Will,' add to thy 'Will'<br/>
One will of mine, to make thy large will more.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Let no unkind 'No' fair beseechers kill;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Think all but one, and me in that one 'Will.'<br/>
If thy soul check thee that I come so near, <br/>
Swear to thy blind soul that I was thy 'Will',<br/>
And will, thy soul knows, is admitted there;<br/>
Thus far for love, my love-suit, sweet, fulfil.<br/>
'Will', will fulfil the treasure of thy love,<br/>
Ay, fill it full with wills, and my will one.<br/>
In things of great receipt with ease we prove<br/>
Among a number one is reckon'd none:<br/>
Then in the number let me pass untold,<br/>
Though in thy store's account I one must be;<br/>
For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold<br/>
That nothing me, a something sweet to thee:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Make but my name thy love, and love that still,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And then thou lov'st me for my name is 'Will.'<br/>
Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,<br/>
That they behold, and see not what they see?<br/>
They know what beauty is, see where it lies,<br/>
Yet what the best is take the worst to be.<br/>
If eyes, corrupt by over-partial looks, <br/>
Be anchor'd in the bay where all men ride,<br/>
Why of eyes' falsehood hast thou forged hooks,<br/>
Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied?<br/>
Why should my heart think that a several plot,<br/>
Which my heart knows the wide world's common place?<br/>
Or mine eyes, seeing this, say this is not,<br/>
To put fair truth upon so foul a face?<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In things right true my heart and eyes have err'd,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And to this false plague are they now transferr'd.<br/>
When my love swears that she is made of truth,<br/>
I do believe her though I know she lies,<br/>
That she might think me some untutor'd youth,<br/>
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.<br/>
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,<br/>
Although she knows my days are past the best,<br/>
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:<br/>
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed:<br/>
But wherefore says she not she is unjust? <br/>
And wherefore say not I that I am old?<br/>
O! love's best habit is in seeming trust,<br/>
And age in love, loves not to have years told:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be.<br/>
O! call not me to justify the wrong<br/>
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart;<br/>
Wound me not with thine eye, but with thy tongue:<br/>
Use power with power, and slay me not by art,<br/>
Tell me thou lov'st elsewhere; but in my sight,<br/>
Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside:<br/>
What need'st thou wound with cunning, when thy might<br/>
Is more than my o'erpress'd defence can bide?<br/>
Let me excuse thee: ah! my love well knows<br/>
Her pretty looks have been mine enemies;<br/>
And therefore from my face she turns my foes,<br/>
That they elsewhere might dart their injuries:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Yet do not so; but since I am near slain, <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Kill me outright with looks, and rid my pain.<br/>
Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press<br/>
My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain;<br/>
Lest sorrow lend me words, and words express<br/>
The manner of my pity-wanting pain.<br/>
If I might teach thee wit, better it were,<br/>
Though not to love, yet, love to tell me so;&#151;<br/>
As testy sick men, when their deaths be near,<br/>
No news but health from their physicians know;&#151;<br/>
For, if I should despair, I should grow mad,<br/>
And in my madness might speak ill of thee;<br/>
Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad,<br/>
Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That I may not be so, nor thou belied,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go wide.<br/>
In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes, <br/>
For they in thee a thousand errors note;<br/>
But 'tis my heart that loves what they despise,<br/>
Who, in despite of view, is pleased to dote.<br/>
Nor are mine ears with thy tongue's tune delighted;<br/>
Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone,<br/>
Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited<br/>
To any sensual feast with thee alone:<br/>
But my five wits nor my five senses can<br/>
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,<br/>
Who leaves unsway'd the likeness of a man,<br/>
Thy proud heart's slave and vassal wretch to be:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Only my plague thus far I count my gain,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That she that makes me sin awards me pain.<br/>
Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,<br/>
Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving:<br/>
O! but with mine compare thou thine own state,<br/>
And thou shalt find it merits not reproving;<br/>
Or, if it do, not from those lips of thine, <br/>
That have profan'd their scarlet ornaments<br/>
And seal'd false bonds of love as oft as mine,<br/>
Robb'd others' beds' revenues of their rents.<br/>
Be it lawful I love thee, as thou lov'st those<br/>
Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee:<br/>
Root pity in thy heart, that, when it grows,<br/>
Thy pity may deserve to pitied be.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;By self-example mayst thou be denied!<br/>
Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch<br/>
One of her feather'd creatures broke away,<br/>
Sets down her babe, and makes all swift dispatch<br/>
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay;<br/>
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,<br/>
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent<br/>
To follow that which flies before her face,<br/>
Not prizing her poor infant's discontent;<br/>
So runn'st thou after that which flies from thee, <br/>
Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind;<br/>
But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me,<br/>
And play the mother's part, kiss me, be kind;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So will I pray that thou mayst have thy 'Will,'<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;If thou turn back and my loud crying still.<br/>
Two loves I have of comfort and despair,<br/>
Which like two spirits do suggest me still:<br/>
The better angel is a man right fair,<br/>
The worser spirit a woman colour'd ill.<br/>
To win me soon to hell, my female evil,<br/>
Tempteth my better angel from my side,<br/>
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,<br/>
Wooing his purity with her foul pride.<br/>
And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend,<br/>
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell;<br/>
But being both from me, both to each friend,<br/>
I guess one angel in another's hell:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt, <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Till my bad angel fire my good one out.<br/>
Those lips that Love's own hand did make,<br/>
Breathed forth the sound that said 'I hate',<br/>
To me that languish'd for her sake:<br/>
But when she saw my woeful state,<br/>
Straight in her heart did mercy come,<br/>
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet<br/>
Was us'd in giving gentle doom;<br/>
And taught it thus anew to greet;<br/>
'I hate' she alter'd with an end,<br/>
That followed it as gentle day,<br/>
Doth follow night, who like a fiend<br/>
From heaven to hell is flown away.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;'I hate', from hate away she threw,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And sav'd my life, saying 'not you'.<br/>
Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth, <br/>
My sinful earth these rebel powers array,<br/>
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,<br/>
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?<br/>
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,<br/>
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?<br/>
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,<br/>
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body's end?<br/>
Then soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,<br/>
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;<br/>
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;<br/>
Within be fed, without be rich no more:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So shall thou feed on Death, that feeds on men,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And Death once dead, there's no more dying then.<br/>
My love is as a fever longing still,<br/>
For that which longer nurseth the disease;<br/>
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,<br/>
The uncertain sickly appetite to please.<br/>
My reason, the physician to my love, <br/>
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,<br/>
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve<br/>
Desire is death, which physic did except.<br/>
Past cure I am, now Reason is past care,<br/>
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;<br/>
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are,<br/>
At random from the truth vainly express'd;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.<br/>
O me! what eyes hath Love put in my head,<br/>
Which have no correspondence with true sight;<br/>
Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled,<br/>
That censures falsely what they see aright?<br/>
If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote,<br/>
What means the world to say it is not so?<br/>
If it be not, then love doth well denote<br/>
Love's eye is not so true as all men's: no,<br/>
How can it? O! how can Love's eye be true, <br/>
That is so vexed with watching and with tears?<br/>
No marvel then, though I mistake my view;<br/>
The sun itself sees not, till heaven clears.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;O cunning Love! with tears thou keep'st me blind,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.<br/>
Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not,<br/>
When I against myself with thee partake?<br/>
Do I not think on thee, when I forgot<br/>
Am of my self, all tyrant, for thy sake?<br/>
Who hateth thee that I do call my friend,<br/>
On whom frown'st thou that I do fawn upon,<br/>
Nay, if thou lour'st on me, do I not spend<br/>
Revenge upon myself with present moan?<br/>
What merit do I in my self respect,<br/>
That is so proud thy service to despise,<br/>
When all my best doth worship thy defect,<br/>
Commanded by the motion of thine eyes?<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind,;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Those that can see thou lov'st, and I am blind.<br/>
O! from what power hast thou this powerful might,<br/>
With insufficiency my heart to sway?<br/>
To make me give the lie to my true sight,<br/>
And swear that brightness doth not grace the day?<br/>
Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill,<br/>
That in the very refuse of thy deeds<br/>
There is such strength and warrantise of skill,<br/>
That, in my mind, thy worst all best exceeds?<br/>
Who taught thee how to make me love thee more,<br/>
The more I hear and see just cause of hate?<br/>
O! though I love what others do abhor,<br/>
With others thou shouldst not abhor my state:<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;If thy unworthiness rais'd love in me,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;More worthy I to be belov'd of thee.<br/>
Love is too young to know what conscience is, <br/>
Yet who knows not conscience is born of love?<br/>
Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,<br/>
Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove:<br/>
For, thou betraying me, I do betray<br/>
My nobler part to my gross body's treason;<br/>
My soul doth tell my body that he may<br/>
Triumph in love; flesh stays no farther reason,<br/>
But rising at thy name doth point out thee,<br/>
As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride,<br/>
He is contented thy poor drudge to be,<br/>
To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;No want of conscience hold it that I call<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Her 'love,' for whose dear love I rise and fall.<br/>
In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn,<br/>
But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing;<br/>
In act thy bed-vow broke, and new faith torn,<br/>
In vowing new hate after new love bearing:<br/>
But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee, <br/>
When I break twenty? I am perjur'd most;<br/>
For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee,<br/>
And all my honest faith in thee is lost:<br/>
For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness,<br/>
Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy;<br/>
And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness,<br/>
Or made them swear against the thing they see;<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For I have sworn thee fair; more perjur'd I,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To swear against the truth so foul a lie.!<br/>
Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep:<br/>
A maid of Dian's this advantage found,<br/>
And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep<br/>
In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;<br/>
Which borrow'd from this holy fire of Love,<br/>
A dateless lively heat, still to endure,<br/>
And grew a seeting bath, which yet men prove<br/>
Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.<br/>
But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fired, <br/>
The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;<br/>
I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,<br/>
And thither hied, a sad distemper'd guest,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But found no cure, the bath for my help lies<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Where Cupid got new fire; my mistress' eyes.<br/>
The little Love-god lying once asleep,<br/>
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,<br/>
Whilst many nymphs that vow'd chaste life to keep<br/>
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand<br/>
The fairest votary took up that fire<br/>
Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd;<br/>
And so the general of hot desire<br/>
Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarm'd.<br/>
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,<br/>
Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual,<br/>
Growing a bath and healthful remedy,<br/>
For men diseas'd; but I, my mistress' thrall,<br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Came there for cure and this by that I prove, <br/>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.<br/>
<p><a href='/'>Monadnock Press</a> &gt; <a href='/shakespeare/'>Shakespeare</a></p>