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Why write I still all one, ever the same,
LXXXI. And keep invention in a noted weed, Or I shall live your epitaph to make, That every word doth almost tell my name; Or you survive when I in earth am rotten; Shewing their birth, and where they did From hence your memory death cannot take, proceed?
Although in me each part will be forgotten. O know, sweet love, I always write of you, Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
And you and love are still my argument; Though I, once gone, to all the world must die. So all my best is dressing old words new, The earth can yield me but a common grave,
Spending again what is already spent: When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie. For as the sun is daily new and old,
Your monument shall be my gentle verse, So is my love still telling what is told.
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read; LXXVII.
And tongues to be your being shall rehearse, Thy glass will shew thee how thy beauties wear, You still shall live (such virtue hath my pen.)
When all the breathers of this world are dead; Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste; The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
Where breath most breathes-- even in the
months of men. And of this book this learning may'st thou taste.
LXXXII. The wrinkles which thy glass will truly shew, I grant thou wert not married to my mise,
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory : And therefore may'st without attainto'er-look Thou by thy dial's shady stealth may'st know The dedicated words which writers use
Time's thievish progress to eternity. Of their fair subject, blessing every book. Look, what thy memory cannot contain, [find Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt Finding thy worth a limit past my praise; Those children nurs'd, deliver'd from thy brain, And therefore art enforc'd to seek anew
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind, Some fresher stampof the time-bettering days. These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
And do so, love; yet when they have devis'i Shall profit thee, and much enrich thy book. What strained touches rhetoric can lend, LXXVIII.
Thou truly fair wert truly sympathiz'd So oft have I invok'd thee for my muse,
In true plain words, by thy true-telling friend; And found such fair assistance in my verse, Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abusid.
And their gross painting might be better us'd
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly, (sing, And therefore to your fair no painting set; Have added feathers to the learned's wing, I found, or thought I found, you did exceed And given grace a double majesty;
The barren tender of a poet's debt: Yet be most proud of that which I compile, And therefore have I slept in your report,
Whose influence is thine, and born of thee: That you yourself, being extant, well might In others' works thou dost but mend the style, shew
And arts with thy sweet graces graced be; How far a modern quill doth come too short, But thou art all my art, and dost advance Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth As high as learning my rude ignorance.
This silence for my sin you did impute, Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,
Which shall be most my glory, being dumb; My verse alone had all thy gentle grace;
For I impair not beauty, being mute, [tomb. But now my gracious numbers are decay'd,
When others would give life, and bring a And my sick muse doth give another place. Than both your poets can in praise devise.
There lives more life in one of your fair eyes, I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument Deserves the travail of a worthier pen;
LXXXIV. Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent, Who is it that says most? which can say more,
He robs thee of, and pays it thee again. Than this rich praise-that you alone are you? He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word In whose confine immured is the store, (grew.
From thy behaviour; beauty doth he give, Which should example where your equal And found it in thy cheek; he can afford
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell, No praise to thee but what in thee doth live. That to his subject lends not some small glory; Then thank him not for that which he doth say, But he that writes of you, if he can tell Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay. That you are you, so dignifies his story, LXXX.
Let him but copy what in you is writ, 0, how I faint when I of you do write,
Not making worse what nature made so clear, Knowing a better spirit doth nse your name,
And such a counter-part shall fame his wit, And in the praise thereof spends all his
might, You to your beauteous
blessings add a curse,
Making his style admired every where. To make me tongue-ty'd, speaking of your Being fond on praise, which makes your praises fame;
worse. But since your worth (wide as the ocean is,) The humble as the proudest sail doth bear,
LXXXV. My saucy bark, inferior far to his,
My tongue-ty'd muse in manners holds her still, On your broad main doth wilfully appear.
While comments of your praise richly coniYour shallowest help will hold me up afloat, pil'd,
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride; Reserve their character with golden quill, Or, being wreck’d, I am a worthless boat, And precious phrase by all the muses fild.
İle of tall building, and of goodly pride: I think good thoughts whilst others write good Then if he thrive, and I be cast away,
words, The worst was this;-my love was my decay.
And, like unletter'd clerk, still cry Amen.
To every hymn that able spirit affords, For thee, against myself, I'll vow debate,
In polish'd form of well-refined pen. For I must ne'er love him whom thou dost hate. Hearing you prais'd, I say, 'lis so, 'tis true, And to the most of praise add something
more; Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever now :
Now while the world is bent my deeds tocross,
Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow, before. Then others for the breath of words respect,
And do not drop in, for an after-loss : Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in etfect.
Ah! do not, when my heart hath scap'd this
Come in the rearward of a conquer'd woe; Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow, Bound for the prize of all-too-precious you,
To linger out a purpos'd overthrow, That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inherse, if thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last, Making their tomb the womb wherein they
When other petty griefs have done their spite,
But in the onset come; so shall I taste grew ? Was it his spirit, by spirits tanght to write
At first the very worst of fortune's might; Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead? And other strains of woe, which now seem woe, No, neither he, nor his compeers by night
Compar'd with loss of thee, will not seem so. Giving him aid, my verse astonished.
XCI, He, nor that affable familiar ghost,
Some glory in their birth, some in their skill, Which nightly gulls him with intelligence ; Some in their wealth,some in their body's force, As victors, of my silence cannot boast; Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill; I was not sick of any fear from thence.
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in But when your countenance fill'd up his line,
their horse; Theo lack'd I matter; that enfeebled mine, And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest ;
But these particulars are not my measure, Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
All these I better in one general best. And like enough thou know'st thy estimate : Thy love is better than high birth to me, The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing; Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' My bonds in thee are all determinate.
cost, For how do I hold thee but by thy granting? Of more delight than hawks or horses be; And for that riches where is my deserving?
And having thee, of all men's pride I boast. The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
Wretched in this alone, that thou may'st take And so my patent back again is swerving. Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then nct
All this away, and me most wretched make. knowing,
For term of life thou art assured mine; Comes home again, on better judgment And life no longer than thy love will stay, making.
For it depends upon that love of thine.
I see a better state to me belongs
Than that which on thy humour doth depend: When thou shalt be dispos'd to set me light, Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind,
And place my merit in the eye of Scorn, Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie. Upon thy side against myself i'll fight, O, what a happy title do I find, And prove thee virtuous, though thou art for- Happy to have thy love, happy to die ! Sworn.
But what's so blessed-fair that fears no blot? With mine own weakness being best acquainted, Thou may'st be false, and yet I know it not: Upon thy part I can set down a story,
So shall I live, supposing thou art true,
Like a deceived husband ; so love's face For
bending all my loving thoughts on thee, May still seem love to me, though alter'd-new; The injuries that to myself I do,
Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place :
For there can live no hatred in thine eye, Doing the vantage, double-vantage me. Therefore in that I cannot know thy change. Such is my love, to thee I so belong,
In many's looks the false heart's history That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.
Is writ, in moods and frowns and wrinkles LXXXIX.
strange; Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault, But heaven in thy creation did decree, [dwell; And I will comment upon that offence :
That in thy face sweet love should ever Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt: Whate'er thy thoughts or thy heart's workings Against thy reasons making no defence.
(Dess tell, Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so ill,
Thy looks should nothing thence but sweetTo set a form upon desired change,
How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow, As I'll myself disgrace : knowing thy will,
If thy sweet virtue answer not thy shew! I will acquaintance strangle, and look strange;
XCIV. Be absent froni thy walks; and in my tongue' They that have power to hurt and will do none,
Thy sweet-beloved name no more shall dwell; That do not do the thing they most do sbew, Lest í (too much prufane) should do it wrong, Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Aud haply of our old acquaintance tell. Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow :
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces, They were hut sweet, but figures of delight,
And husband nature's riches from expense ; Drawn after you; you pattern of all those, They are the lords and owners of their faces, Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you, away,
Others but stewards of their excellence. As with your shadow I with these did play.
The forward violet thus did I chide :
Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells, xC).
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dy'd. How sweet and lovely dost thou make the The lily I condemned for thy hand, shame,
And buds of marjoram had stolen thy hair:
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
O, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose! A tbird, nor red nor white, had stolen of both,
Making lascivious comments on thy sport, But, for his theft, in pride of all his growth
More flowers I noted, yet I none could see,
Which for their habitation chose out thee?
To speak of that which gives thee all thy
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song, XCVI.
Darkening thy power, to lend base subjects Some say, thy fault is youth, some wantonness, light?
Some say, thy grace is youth, and gentle sport: Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
If Time have any wrinkles graven there; To truths translated, and for true things If any, be a satire to decay, deem'd.
And make 'Time's spoils despised everywhere. How many lambs might the stern wolf betray, Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life If like a lamb he could his looks translate !
So thou prevent'st his scythe, and crooked knife. llow many gazers might'st thou lead away, If thou would'st use the strength of all thy
O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends, But do not so; I love thee in such sort,
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy'd?
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer, Muse : wilt thou not haply say,
Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
But best is best, if never intermix'd ?
Excuse not silence so; for it lies in thee
And to be prais'd of ages yet to be.
Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how
To make him seem long hence as he shews now.
My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in
seeming; Or, if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer,
I love not less, though less the shew appear: That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's That love is merchandiz'd, whose rich esteemnear.
The owner's tongue doth publish everywhere.
When proud-pied April, dressid in all his trim, When I was wont to greet it with my lays;
Not that the summer is less pleasant now
delight. Nor did I wonder at the lilies white,
Therefore, like her, I sometime hold my tongue, Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
Because I would not dull you with my song.
Now with the drops of this most balmy time Alack! what poverty my muse brings forth, My love looks fresh, and death to me sub
That having such a scope to shew her pride, scribes,
Than when it hath my added praise beside. While he insults o'er dull and speechless 0, blame me not, if I no more can write!
tribes: Look in your glass, and there appears a face, And thou in this shalt find thy nionument, That over-goes my blunt invention quite, When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.
spent. Were it not sinful then, striving to mend,
CVIII. To mar the subject that before was well ? What's in the brain that ink may character, For to no ther pass my verses tend,
Which hath not figur'd to thee my true spirit? Than of your graces and your gifts to tell; What's new to speak, what new to register, And more, much more, than in my verse can sit, That may express my love, or thy dear merit? Your own glass shews you, when you look in it. Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers di
I must each day say o'er the very same; To me, fair friend, you never can be old, For as you were, when first your eye i ey'a, Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name. Such seems your beauty still. Three winters so that eternal love in love's fresh case cold
(pride; Have from the forests shook three summers' Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place,
Weighs not the dust an injury of age, Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn But makes antiquity for aye his page; turn'd,
Finding the first conceit of love there bred, In process of the seasons have I seen;
Where time and outward form would shew it Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd,
dead. Since first I saw you fresh, which yetare green,
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify. So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth As easy might I from myself depart, [lie : stand,
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth Hath motion, and mine eye may he deceiv'd: That is my home of love : if I have rang'd, For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred,
Like him that travels, I return again; Ere you were born, was beauty's summer dead. Just to the time, not with the time exchang'd,CV.
So that myself bring water for my stain. Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
Never believe, though in my nature reign'd Nor my beloved as an idol shew,
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood, Since all alike my songs and praises be, That it could so preposterously be stain'd,
To one, of one, still such, and ever so. To leave for nothing all thy sum of good; Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind, For nothing this wide universe I call,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence; Save thon, my rose : in it thou art my all. Therefore my verse to constancy confin'd,
CX. One thing expressing, leaves out difference. Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there, Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument. Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words; Gord mine own thoughts, sold cbeap what is
And made myself a motley to the view; And in this change is my invention spent,
most dear, Three themes in one, which wondrous scope
Made old offences of affections new: affords.
Most true it is, that I have look'd on truth Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone,
Askance and strangely; but, by all above, Which three, till now, never kept seat in one.
These blenches gave my heart another youth, CVI.
And worse essays prov'd thee my best of love. When in the chronicle of wasted time
Now all is done, save what shall have no end:
In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights, A God in love, to wliom I am confin'd.
best, I see their antique pen would have express'd Even to thy pure and most most loving breast. Even such a beauty as yon master now.
O, for my sake do you with fortune chide, And for they look'd but with divining eyes,
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
That did uot better for my life provide
Than public means, which public manners
breeds. Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise. Thence comes it that my name receives a brand; CVII.
And almost thence my nature is subdu'd Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul To what it works in, like the dyer's hand ;
of the wide world'dreaming on things to come, Pity me then, and wish I were renew'd; Can yet the lease of my true love control, Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Suppog'd as forfeit to a confin'd doom. Potions of eysell, 'gainst my strong infection; The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd, No bitterness that I will bitter think,
And the sad angurs mock their own presage; Nor double penance, to correct correction. Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd, Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye,
And peace proclaims olives of endless age. Even that your pity is enough to cure me.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark, Your love and pity doth the impression fill That looks on tempests, and is never shaken:
Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow; It is the star to every wandering bark, For what care I who calls me well or ill, Whose worth's unknown, although his height so you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?
(cheeks You are my all-the-world, and I must strive Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and
To know my shames and praises from your Within his bending sickle's compass come; None else to me, nor I to none alive. (tongue; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
That my steei'd sense or changes, right or But bears it out even to the edge of doom In so profound abysm I throw all care wrong. If this be error, and upon me prov'd,
Of others' voices, that my adder's sense I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.
Accuse me thus; that I have scanted all
Wherein I should your great deserts repay ;
Forgot upon your dearest love to call,
Where to all bonds do tie me day by day; Since I left yon, mine eye is in my mind; That I have frequent been with unknown and that which governs me to go about,
[right; Doth part his function, and is partly blind, And given to time your own dear-purchas'd
Seems seeing, but effectually is out: That I have hoisted sail to all the winds For it no form delivers to the heart [latch; Which should transport me farthest from Of bird, of flower, or shape, which it doth
your sight: Of his quick objects hath the mind no part, Book both my wilfulness and errors down,
Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch; And on just proof, surmise accumulate, For if it see the rud'st or gentlest sight, Bring me within the level of your frown, The most sweet favour, or deformed'st crea- But shoot not at me in your waken'd hate : ture,
Since my appeal says, I did strive to prove The mountain or the sea, the day or night, The constancy and virtue of your love.
The crow or dove, it shapes them to your feaIncapable of more, replete with you, (ture.
CXVIII. My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue. Like as, to make our appetites more keen, CXIV.
With eager compounds we our palate urge; Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with As, to prevent our maladies unseen,
We sicken to shun sickness, when we purge; you, Drink up the monarch's plague, this fattery, Even so, being full of your ne'er-cloying sweetOr whether shall I say, mine eye saith true,
ness, And that your love taught it this alchymy,
To bitter sances did I frame my feeding; To make, of monsters and things indigest,
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness Such cherubims as your sweet self resemble; Thus policy in love, to anticipate
To be diseas'd, ere that there was true needCreating every bad a perfect best,
(ing. As fast as objects to his beams assembls?
The ills that were not, grew to faults assurd, O, 'tis the first; 'tis flattery in my seeing,
And brought to medicine a healthful state, And my great mind most kingly drinks it up: But thence I learn, and find the lesson true,
Which rank of goodness, would by ill be cur'd; Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing,
Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you. And to his palate doth prepare the cup :
CXIX. If it be poison’d, 'tis the lesser sin
What potions have I drunk of syren tears, That mine eye loves it, and doth first begin.
Distilld from limbecks foul as hell within, CXV.
Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears, Those lines that I before have writ, do lie, Still losing when I saw myself to win! Even those that said I could not love you
What wretched errors hath myheartcommitted, dearer:
Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never! Yet then my judgment knew no reason why
How have mine eyes out of their spheres been My most full flame should afterwards burn fitted, clearer.
In the distraction of this madding fever! But reckoning time, whose million'd accidents O benefit of ill! now I find true, Creep in 'twixt vows, and change decrees of
That better is by evil still made better; kings,
And ruin'd love, when it is built anew, Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents,
Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far Divert strong minds to the course of alter- So I return rebuk'd to my content, [greater. ing things;
And gain by ill thrice more than I have spent. Alas! why, fearing of time's tyranny,
CXX Might I not then say, now I love you best, That you were once unkind, befriends me now, When I was certain o'er incertainty,
And for that sorrow, which I then did feel, Crowning the present, doubting of the rest? Needs must I under my transgression bow, Love is a babe; then might I not say so,
Unless my nerves were brass or hammer'd To give full growth to that which still doth
For if you were by my unkindness shaken, CXVI.
As I by yours, you have pass'd a hell of time, Let me not to the marriage of true minds And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken
Adrnit impediments. Love is not love, To weigh how once I suffer'd in your crime. Which alters when it alteration finds ;
O that our night of woe might have remember'd Or bends, with the remover to remove : My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits;