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So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,
LXXIX. The prey of worms, my body being dead;
Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,
My verse alone had all thy gentle grace;
But now my gracious numbers are decay'd,
And my sick muse doth give another place.
Deserves the travail of a worthier pen;
Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent,
He robs thee of, and pays it thee again. Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground; He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word And for the peace of you I hold such strife
From thy behaviour; beauty doth he give, As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found; And found it in thy cheek; he can afford Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
No praise to thee but what in thee doth live. Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure; Then thank him not for that which he doth say, Now counting best to be with you alone,
Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay. Then better'd that the world may see my pleasure : Some time all full with feasting on your sight,
LXXX. And by and by clean starved for a look
0, how I faint when I of you do write, Possessing or pursuing no delight,
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name, Save what is had or must from you be took.
And in the praise thereof spends all his might, Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
To make me tongue-ty'd, speaking of your fame Or gluttoning on all, or all away.
But since your worth (wide, as the ocean is,)
The humble as the proudest sail doth bear,
My saucy bark, inferior far to his, Why is my verse so barren of new pride ?
On your broad main doth wilfnlly appear. So far from variation or quick change ?
Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat, Why, with the time, do I not glance aside
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride; To new-found methods and to compounds strange ? Or, being wreck'd, I am a worthless boat, Why write I still all one, ever the same,
He of tall building, and of goodly pride : And keep invention in a noted weed,
Then if he thrive, and I be cast away,
The worst was this;—my love was my decay.
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten;
From hence your memory death cannot take, For as the sun is daily new and old,
Although in me each part will be forgotten So is my love still telling what is told.
Your name from hence immortal life shall hare,
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die LXXVII.
The earth can yield me but a cominon grave, Thy glass will shew thee how thy beauties wear,
When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie. Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
Your monument shall be my gentle verse, The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read; And of this book this learning may'st thou taste.
And tongues to be, your being shall rehearse, The wrinkles which thy glass will truly shew,
When all the breathers of this world are dead; Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
You still shall live (such virtue hath my peo,) Thou by thy dial's shady stealth may'st know
Where breath most breathes-even in the mouths of
And therefore may'st without attaint o'er-look These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
The dedicated words which writers use Shall profit thee, and much enrich thy book.
Of their fair subject, blessing every book.
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise;
And therefore art enforc'd to seek anew And found such fair assistance in my verse,
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days. As every alien pen hath got my use,
And do so, love ; yet when they have devis'd
What strained touches rhetoric can lend,
In true plain words, by thy true-telling frieag; Have added feathers to the learned's wing,
And their gross painting might be better
us'd And given grace a double majesty.
Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abus'd.
And therefore to your fair no painting set;
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed As high as learning ny rude ignorance.
1 The barren tender of a poet's debt:
And therefore have I slept in your report,
Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then nut knowing, That you yourself, being extant, well might shew Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, clse mistaking; How far a modern quill doth come too short, So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow Comes home again, on better judgment making. This silence for my sip you did impute,
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter,
And place my merit in the eye of Scorn,
Upon thy side against myself I'll fight,
And prove thee virtuous, though thou art for. Who is it that says most ? which can say more,
With mine own weakness being best acquainted, Than this rich praise that you alone are you ?
Upon thy part I can set down a story In whose confine immured is the store,
of faults conceal’d, wherein I am attainted; Which should example where your equal grew.
That thou, in losing me, shalt win much glory; Lean penury within that pen doth dwell,
And I by this will be a gainer too; That to his subject lends not some small glory;
For bending all my loving thoughts on thee, But he that writes of you, if he can tell
The injuries that to myself I do, That you are you, so dignifies his story,
Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me Let him but copy what in you is writ,
Such is my love, to thee I so belong,
That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.
Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt:
Against thy reasons making no defence,
Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so ill,
To set a form upon desired change, While comments of your praise, richly compila, As I'll myself disgrace: knowing thy will, Reserve their character with golden quill,
I will acquaintance strangle, and look strange ;
Be absent from thy walks; and in my tongue
Thy sweet-beloved name no more shall dwell;
Lest 1 (too much profane) should do it wrong,
And haply of our old acquaintance tell.
For thee, against myself, l'Il vow debate, Hearing you prais’d, I say, 'tis so, 'tis true,
For I must ne'er love him whom thou dost hate. And to the most of praise add something more ;
Now while the world is bent my deeds to cross,
And do not drop in, for an after-loss :
Ah! do not, when my heart hath scap'd this sorrow LXXXVI.
Come in the rearward of a conquer'd woe;
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow, Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,
To linger out a purpos'd overthrow, Bound for the prize of all-too-precious you, If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last, That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inherse,
When other petty griefs have done their spite, Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew? But in the onset come; so shall I taste Was it his spirit, by spirits taught 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
Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their body's force, was not sick of any fear from thence.
Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill; But when your countenance fild up his line,
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their Then lack'd I matter; that enfeebled mine.
horse ; LXXXVII.
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest;
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate : All these I better in one general best.
Řicher than wealth, prouder than garments' cost, For how au 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 tako
And so my patent back again is swerving. All this away, and me most wretched make
As on the finger of a throned queen But do thy worst to steal thyself away,
The basest jewel will be well esteem'd; For term of life thou art assured mine;
So are those errors that in thee are seen, And life no longer than thy love will stay,
To truths translated, and for true things deem'd. For it depends upon that love of thine.
How many lambs might the stern wolf betray, Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs,
If like a lamb he could his looks translate When in the leas, or them my life hath end.
How many gazers might'st thou lead away, I see a better state to me belongs
If thou would'st use the strength of all thy state. Than that which on thy bumour doth depend But do not so; I love thee in such sort, Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind,
As thcu being mine, mine is thy good report. Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie. 0, what a happy title do I find,
XCVII. Happy to have thy love, happy to die !
How like a winter hath my absence been But what's so blessed-fair that fears no blot ?
From thee, the pleasure of the feeting year! Thou may'st be false, and yet I know it not: What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen ?
What old December's bareness every where ! XCIII.
And yet this time remov'd! was summer's timc; So shall I live, supposing thou art true,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, Like a deceived husband; so love's face
Bearing the wanton hurden of the prime, May still seem love to me, though alter'd-new;
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease :
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me
But hope of orphans, and unfather'd fruit
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee, In many's looks the false heart's history
And, thou away, the very birds are mute; Is writ, in moods and frowns and
wrinkles sé rau ge; l'hat leaves look pale, dreading the wiater's near
Or, if they sing, 'tis mitb so dull a cheer, But heaven in thy creation did decree,
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell; Whate'er thy thoughts or thy heart's workings be,
xcvin. Thy looks should nothing thence but sweetness From you have I been absent in the spring, tell.
When proud-pied April, dress'd in all his trim, How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow, Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing; If thy sweet virtue answer not thy shew!
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell XCIV.
Of different flowers in odour and in hue, They that have power to hurt and will do none,
Could make me any summer's story tell, That do not do the thing they most do shew,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
grew: Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow;
Nor did I wonder at the lilies white, They rightly do inherit heaven's graces,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose; And husband nature's riches from expense;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight, They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Drawn after you; you pattern of all those. Others but stewards of their excellence.
Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you, away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.
The forward violet thus did I chide;For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds : Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.
If not from my love's breath ? The purple pride XCV
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells,
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dy'd.
And buds of marjoram had stolen thy hair: Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand, 0, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose!
One blushing shame, another white despair; That tongue that tells the story of thy days, A third, nur red nor white, had stolen of both, Making lascivious comments on thy sport,
And to his robbery had annex'd thy breath; Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise ;
But, for his theft, in pride of all his growth
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
More flowers I noted, yet I none could see,
But sweet or colour it had stolen from thee.
Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget'st so long
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might! XCVI.
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power, to lend base subjects light Some say, thy fault is youth, some wantonness; Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
Some say, thy grace is youth, and gentle sport; In gentle numbers time so idly spent; Both grace and faults are lov'd of more and less : Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem,
Thou mak'st faults graces that to thee resort. And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, restive Muse, my love's sweet face survey,
CV. If Time have any wrinkle graven there ;
Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idol shew,
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence ;
Therefore my verse to constancy confin'd,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference. For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy'd?
Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument, Both truth and beauty on my love depends ;
Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words, So dost thou too, and therein dignify'd.
And in this change is my invention spent, Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say, Three themes in one, which wondrous scope Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
affords. Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
Fair, kind, and true, have often lir'd alone, But best is best, if never intermix'd ?
Which three, till now, never kept seat in one. Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb ? Excuse not silence 80; for it lies in thee
When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme,
In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights, CII.
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow, My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in I see their antique pen would have express’d seeming;
Even such a beauty as you master now. I love not less, thoagh less the shew appear: So all their praises are but prophecies That love is merchandiz’d, whose rich esteeming Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
The owner's tongue doth publish every where. And for they look'd but with divining eyes, Our love was new, and then but in the spring, They had not skill enough your worth to sing .
When I was wont to greet it with my lays ; For we which now behold these present days, As Philomel in summer's front doth sing,
Have eves to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come,
Suppos'd as forfeit to a confin'd doom.
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd,
And the sad augurs mock their own presage ;
Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd, Alack! what poverty my muse brings forth,
And peace proclaims olives of endless age. That having such a scope to shew her pride,
Now with the drops of this most balmy time The argument, all bare, is of more worth,
My love looks fresh, and death to me subscribes Than when it hath my added praise beside.
Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme, O, blame me not, if I no more can write !
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes : Look in your glass, and there appears a face, And thou in this shalt find thy monument, That over-goes my blunt invention quite,
When tyrants' crests and combs of brass are spent.
What's in the brain that ink may character, Than of your graces and your gifts to tell; Which hath not figur'd to thee my true spirit ? And more, much more, than in my verse can sit,
What's new to speak, what new to register, Your own glass shews you, when you look in it. That may express my love, or thy dear merit ?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine, CIV.
I must each day say o'er the very same; To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name. For as you were, when first your eye I ey'd,
So that eternal love in love's fresh case
Weighs not the dust an injury of age,
But makes antiquity for aye his page;
Finding the first conceit of love there bred, Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Where time and outward form would shew it dead. Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial hand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd: Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify.
That is my home of love: if I have rang'd, For if it see the rud'st or gentlest sight,
The most sweet favour, or deformed'st creature,
The crow or dove, it shapes them to your feature Never believe, though in my nature reign'd Incapable of more, replete with you,
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood, My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.
Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.
Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery,
Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true,
And that your love taught it this alchymy,
To make, of monsters and things indigest, And made myself a motley to the view;
Such cherubims as your sweet self resemble ; Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most Creating every bad a perfect best, dear,
As fast as objects to his beams assemble ? -Made old offences of affections new :
0, 'tis the first; 'tis fattery in my seeing, Most trae it is, that I have look'd on truth
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up: Askance and strangely; but, by all above,
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing, These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And to his palate doth prepare the cup: And worse essays prov'd thee my best of love.
If it be poison'd, 'tis the lesser sin Now all is done, save what shall have no end :
That mine eye loves it, and doth first begin.
Those lines that I before have writ, do lie,
My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer CXI.
But reckoning time, whose million'd accidents O, for my sake do you with fortune chide,
Creep in 'twixt vows, and change decrees of kings,
Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents, The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds, That did not better for my life provide
Divert strong minds to the course of altering thiozs; Than public means, which public manners breeds. Alas! why, fearing of time's tyranny,
Might I not then say, now I love you best, Thence comes it that my name receives a brand ;
When I was certain o'er incertainty, And almost thence my nature is subdu'd
Crowning the present, doubting of the rest ? To what it works in, like the dyer's hand :
Love is a babe; then might I not say so, Pity me then, and wish I were renew'd;
To give full growth to that which still doth grow ?
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love, Even that your pity is enough to cure me.
Which alters when it alteration finds ;
Or bends, with the remover to remove :
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken ; Your love and pity doth the impression fill It is the star to every wandering bark,
Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow; Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be For what care I who calls me well or ill,
taken. So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow ? Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks You are my all-the-world, and I must strive
Within his bending sickle's compass come ; To know my shames and praises from your Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, tongue;
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. None else to me, nor I to none alive,
If this be error, and upon me prov'd, That my steel'd sense or changes, right or wrong. I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd. in so profound abysm I throw all care of others' voices, that my adder's sense
CXVII. To critic and to flatterer stopped are.
Accuse me thus; that I have scanted all Mark how with my neglect I do dispense :- Wherein I should your great deserts repay; You are so strongly in my purpose bred, l'hat all the world besides methinks they are dead. Forgot upon your dearest love to call,
Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day;
That I have frequent been with unknown minds, CXIII.
And given to time your own dear-purchas'd right Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind; That I have hoisted sail to all the winds And that which governs me to go about,
Which should transport me farthest from your sight: Doth part his function, and is partly blind, Book both my wilfulness and errors down, Seems seeing, but effectually is out:
And on just proof, surmise accumulate, For it no form delivers to the heart
Bring me within the level of your frown, Of bird, of flower, or shape, which it doth latch; But shoot not at me in your waken'd hate : of his quick objects hath the mind no part, Since my appeal says, I did strive to prove
Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch; The constancy and virtue of your love