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Give warning to the world, that I am fled
From this vile world, with vileft worms to dwell.
Nay, if you read this line remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you fo,
That I in your fweet thoughts wou'd be forgot,
If thinking on me then, fhould make you woe.
O! if (I fay) you look upon this verfe,
When I (perhaps) compounded am with clay;
Do not fo much as my poor name rehearse,
But let love
'your even with my life decay:
Left the wife world fhould look into your moan,
after I am gone.
O! left the world fhould tafk you, to recite
What merit liv'd in me, that you fhould love;
After my death (dear love!) forget me quite,
For you in me can nothing worthy prove :
Unless you would devife fome virtuous lye,
To do more for me now, than mine own defert,
And hang more praise upon deceased I,
Than niggard truth would willingly impart.
O! left your true love may feem falfe in this,
That you for love fpeak well of me untrue;
My name be buried where my body is,
And live no more to fhame nor me, nor you:
For I am sham'd by that which I bring forth;
And fo fhould you, to love things nothing worth.
But be contented, when that fell arreft,
Without all bail, fhall carry me away;
My life hath in this line fome intereft,
Which for memorial ftill with thee shall stay.
When thou revieweft this, thou doft review
The very part was confecrate to thee:
The earth can have but earth, which is his due ;
My fprite is thine, the better part of me.
So then thou haft but loft the dregs of life,
The prey of worms, my body being dead;
The coward conqueft of a wretch's knife,
Too base of thee to be rememb❜red.
The worth of that, is that which it contains;
And that is this, and this with thee remains.
That thou art blam'd, fhall not be thy defect,
For flander's mark was ever yet the fair:
The ornament of beauty is fufpect;
A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air.
So thou be good, flander doth but approve
Their worth the greater, being woo'd of time;
For canker vice the fweeteft buds doth love,
And thou prefent'ft a pure unstained prime.
Thou haft paft by the ambush of young days,
Either not affail'd, or victor, being charg'd;
Yet this thy praise cannot be fo thy praife,
To tie up envy, evermore enlarg'd;
If fome fufpect of ill, mafk not thy fhow,
Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts should'ft owe.
O how I faint, when I of you do write!
Knowing a better fpirit doth ufe your name;
And in the praise thereof spends all his might,
To make me tongue-ty'd, fpeaking of your fame.
But fince your worth (wide as the ocean is)
The humble as the proudeft fail doth bear;
My faucy bark (inferior far to his)
On your broad main doth wilfully appear.
Your fhalloweft help will hold me up a-float,
Whilft he upon your foundless deep doth ride;
Or (being wreck'd) I am a worthless boat,
He of tall building, and of goodly pride.
Then if he thrive, and I be caft away,
The worst was this, my love was my decay.
Or fhall I live your epitaph to make?
Or you furvive, when I in earth am rotten?
From hence your memory death cannot take,
Altho' in me each part will be forgotten.
Your name from hence immortal life fhall have,
Tho' I (once gone) to all the world must die;
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
When you intombed in mens eyes fhall lie:
Your monument fhall be my gentle verfe,.
Which eyes not yet created fhall o'er-read;
And tongues to be, your being fhall rehearse,
When all the breathers of this world are dead;
You ftill fhall live (fuch virtue hath my pen)
Where breath most breathes, ev'n in the mouths of
The Picture of True Love.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments; love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempefts, and is never fhaken :
It is the ftar to every wand'ring bark,
Whofe worth's unknown, altho' his height be taken.
Love's not time's fool, tho' rofy lips and cheeks
Within his bending fickle's compass come :
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom,
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved,
I grant thou wert not marry'd to my muse,
And therefore may'ft without attaint o'er-look
The dedicated words which writers use
Of their fair fubject, bleffing every book:
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue;
Finding thy worth a limit paft my praise ;
And therefore art inforc'd to feek a-new
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days:
And do fo love, yet when they have devis'd
What ftrained touches rhetorick can lend,
Thou truly fair, wert truly fympathiz'd,
In true plain words, by thy true-telling friend.
And their grofs painting might be better us'd,
Where cheeks need blood, in thee it is abus'd.
I never faw that you did painting need,
And therefore to you fair no painting fet:
I found (or thought I found) you did exceed
The barren tender of a poet's debt:
And therefore have I slept in your report,
That you yourself being extant, well might show, How far a modern quill doth come too fhort, Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow. This filence of my fin you did impute,
Which fhall be most my glory, being dumb;
For I impair not beauty, being mute,
When others wou'd give life, and bring a tomb.
There lives more life in one of your fair eyes,
Than both your poets can in praise devise.
Who is it, that fays moft, which can fay more
Than this rich praife, that you alone are you?
In whofe confine immured is the ftore,
Which fhould example where your equal grew.
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell,
That to his fubject lends not fome small glory:
But he that writes of you, if he can tell
That you are you, fo dignifies his ftory.
Let him but copy what in you is writ,
Not making worfe what nature made fo clear;
And fuch a counterpart fhall fame his writ,
Making him ftill admir'd every where.
You to your beauteous bleffing add a curse, Being fond of praife, which makes your praises worfe.
My tongue ty'd mufe in manners holds her ftill,
While comments of your praife, richly compil'd,
Referve their character with golden quill,
And precious phrafe by all the muses fill'd.
I think good thoughts, whilft others write good words,
And, like unletter'd clerk, ftill cry Amen
To every hymn that able spirit affords,
In polifh'd form of well-refined pen.
Hearing you praised, I fay 'tis fo, 'tis true,
And to the most of praife add fomething more;
But that is in my thought, whofe love to you
(Tho' words come hindmoft) holds his ranks before:
Then others, for the breath of words, refpect;
Me for my dumb thoughts, fpeaking in effect.