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Those lines that I before have writ do lie,
Even those that said I could not love you dearer;
Yet then my judgment knew no reason why
My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer.
But reckoning time, whose million'd accidents
Creep in 'twixt vows, and change decrees of kings,
Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents,
Divert strong minds t' the course of altering things;
Alas! why, fearing of time's tyranny,
Might I not then say, now I love you best,"
When I was certain o'er incertainty,
Crowning the present, doubting of the rest?
Love is a babe; then, might I not say so,
To give full growth to that which still doth grow?
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments: love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempest, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark, [taken.
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all
Wherein I should your great deserts repay;
Forgot upon your dearest love to call,
Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day;
That I have frequent been with unknown minds,
And given to time your own dear-purchas'd right;
That I have hoisted sail to all the winds
Which should transport me farthest from your sight:
Book both my wilfulness and errors down,
And on just proof surmise accumulate;
Bring me within the level of your frown,
But shoot not at me in your waken'd hate,
Since my appeal says, I did strive to prove
The constancy and virtue of your love.
Like as, to make our appetites more keen,
With eager compounds we our palate urge;
As, to prevent our maladies unseen,
We sicken to shun sickness when we purge;
Even so, being full of your ne'er-cloying sweetness,
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding;
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness
To be diseas'd, ere that there was true needing.
Thus policy in love, t' anticipate
The ills that were not, grew to faults assur'd,
And brought to medicine a healthful state,
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cur'd;
But thence I learn, and find the lesson true,
Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you.
What potions have I drunk of syren tears,
Distill'd from limbecks foul as hell within,
Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears,
Still losing when I saw myself to win!
What wretched errors hath my heart committed,
"Eager," (Fr. aigre), i. e., sour.-b" Limbecks," i. e., alembics.
At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand. If my dear love were but the child of state,
To be so tickled, they would change their state It might for fortune's bastard be unfathered,
And situation with those dancing chips, As subject to time's love, or to time's hate,
O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait, Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gathered. Making dead wood more blesa'd than living lips. No, it was builded far from accident;
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls
Give them thiy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.
Under the blow of thralled discontent,
Whereto th' inviting time our fashion calls:
It fears not policy, that heretic,
Tli' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Which works on leases of short number'd hours, Is lust in action; and till action, lust
But all alone stands hugely politic,
Is perjur'd, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Thal it nor grows with heat, nor drowns with showers. Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
To this I witness call the fools of time,
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight;
Which die for goodness, who have liv'd for crime. Past reason hunted, and no sooner had,
Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait,
On purpose laid to make the taker mad:
Were't aught to me I bore the canopy,
Mad in pursuit, and in possession so; With my extern the outward honoring,
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme: Or laid great bases for eternily,
A bliss in proof,—and prov'd, a very woe; Which prove more short than waste or ruining? Before, a joy propos'd; behind, a dream. Have I not seen dwellers on form and favor
All this the world well knows, yet none knows Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent;
well For compound sweet fore-going simple savor,
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent ? No; let me be obsequious in thy heart, And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Which is not mix'd with seconds, knows no art, Coral is far more red than her lips' red: But mutual render, only me for thee.
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; Hence, thou suborn'd informer! a true soul,
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. When most impeach'd, stonds least in thy control. I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
O thou, my lovely boy! who in thy power
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
Dost hold Time's fickle glass, his sickle, hour; I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
Thy lovers withering, as thy sweet self grow'st; I grant I never saw a goddess go;
If nature, sovereign mistress over wrack,
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
As thou goest onwards still will pluck thee back, And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill
As any she belied with fulse compare.
May time disgrace, and wretched minutes kill.
Yet fear her, 0 thou minion of her pleasure !
Sbe may detain, but not still keep her treasure:
Her audit, though delay'd, answer'd must be,
Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,
And her quietus is to render thee.
As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel;
For well thou know'st, to my dear doting heart
Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel.
Yet, in good faith, some say that thee behold,
In the old age black was not counted fair,
Thy fuce hath not the power to make love groan: Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name ;
To say they err I dare not be so bold,
But now is black beauty's successive heir,
Although I swear it to myself alone.
And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame; And, to be sure that is not false I swear,
For since each hand hath put on nature's power, A thousand groans, but thinking on thy face,
Fairing the foul with art's false borrow'd face,
One on another's neck, do witness bear,
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower, Thy black is fairest in my judgment's place.
But is profan'd, if not lives in disgrace.
In nothing art thou black, save in thy deeds,
Therefore, my mistress' eyes are raven black,
And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds.
Her eyes so suited ; and they mourners seem
At such, who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
Slandering creation with a false esteem:
Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe,
Tline eyes I love, and they, as pitying me,
That every tongue says, beauty should look so.
Knowing thy heart tormenis me with disdain,
Have put on black, and loving mouiders be,
Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain.
How oft, when thou, my music, music playest,
And, truly, not the morning sun of heaven Upon that blessed wood, whose motion sounds
Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east, With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently swayest
Nor that full star that ushers in the even The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,
Doth half that glory to the sober west, Do I envy those a jacks, that nimble leap
As those two mourning eyes become thy face. To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,
0! let it, then, as well beseem thy heart Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap, And suit thy pity like in every part;
To mourn for me, since mourning doth thee grace,
Then will I swear, beauty herself is black, • Jacks are keys of the virginal
And all they foul that ihy complexion lack.
Beshrew that heart, that makes my heart to groan
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me!
Is 't not enough to torture me alone,
But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must be?
Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken,
And my next self thou harder hast engrossed:
Of him, myself, and thee, I am forsaken;
A torment thrice threefold thus to be crossed.
Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward,
But, then, my friend's heart let my poor heart bail;
Whoe'er keeps me, let my heart be his guard;
Thou canst not then use rigor in my jail:
And yet thou wilt; for I, being pent in thee,
Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.
So, now I have confess'd that he is thine,
And I myself am mortgag'd to thy will;
Myself I'll forfeit, so that other mine
Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still:
But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free,
For thou art covetous, and he is kind;
He learn'd but, surety-like, to write for me,
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind.
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take,
Thou usurer, that put'st forth all to use,
And sue a friend, came debtor for my sake;
So him I lose through my unkind abuse.
Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me:
He pays the whole, and yet am I not free.
Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will,
And Will to boot, and Will in over-plus;
More than enough am I, that vex thee still,
To thy sweet will making addition thus.
Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious,
Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine?
Shall will in others seem right gracious,
And in my will no fair acceptance shine?
The sea, all water, yet receives rain still,
And in abundance addeth to his store;
So thou, being rich in Will, add to thy Will
One will of mine, to make thy large Will more.
Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill;
Think all but one, and me in that one Will.
If thy soul check thee that I come so near,
Swear to thy blind soul that I was thy Will,
And will, thy soul knows, is admitted there;
Thus far for love, my love-suit, sweet, fulfil.
Will will fulfil the treasure of thy love,
Ay, fill it full with wills, and my will one,
In things of great receipt with ease we prove,
Among a number one is reckon'd none:
Then, in the number let me pass untold,
Though in thy stores' account I one must be;
For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold
That nothing me, a something sweet to thee:
Make but my name thy love, and love that still,
And then thou lov'st me,-for my name is Will.
Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes, That they behold, and see not what they see?
"The statute." i. e., the security.-b"Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will:" As there is in this and the next sonnet, as well as in Sonnet cxliii, an obvious play upon the Christian name of the poet, we have printed it exactly as it stands in the quarto, 1609, and as it probably stood in the manuscript from which it was printed.
They know what beauty is, see where it lies,
Yet what the best is, take the worst to be.
If eyes, corrupt by over-partial looks,
Be anchor'd in the bay where all men ride,
Why of eyes' falsehood hast thou forged books,
Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied?
Why should my heart think that a several plot,
Which my heart knows the wide world's common
Or mine eyes seeing this, say, this is not, [place?
To put fair truth upon so foul a face?
In things right true my heart and eyes have erred, And to this false plague are they now transferred.
When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutor'd youth,
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth supprest.
But wherefore says she not, she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I, that I am old?
O! love's best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told:
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me.
And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be.
Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press
My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain;
Lest sorrow lend me words, and words express
The manner of my pity-wanting pain.
If I might teach thee wit, better it were,
Though not to love, yet, love, to tell me so;
As testy sick men, when their deaths be near.
No news but health from their physicians know:
For, if I should despair, I should grow mad,
And in my madness might speak ill of thee;
Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad,
Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be.
That I may not be so, nor thou belied, [wide.
Bear thine eye straight, though thy proud heart go
From heaven to hell is flown away:
"I hate" from hate away she threw,
And sav'd my life, saying-" not you."
Nor are mine ears with thy tongue's tune delighted; | Doth follow night, who, like a fiend,
Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone,
Nor taste, nor swell, desire to be invited
any sensual feast with thee alone:
But my five wits, nor my five senses can
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,
Who leave unsway'd the likeness of a man,
Thy proud heart's slave and vassal wretch to be:
Only my plague thus far I count my gain,
That she that makes me sin awards me pain.
Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,
Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving.
O! but with mine compare thou thine own state,
And thou shalt find it merits not reproving;
Or, if it do, not from those lips of thine,
That have profan'd their scarlet ornaments,
And seal'd false bonds of love as oft as mine,
Robb'd others' beds revenues of their rents.
Be it lawful I love thee, as thou lov'st those
Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee:
Root pity in thy heart, that when it grows,
Thy pity may deserve to pitied be.
If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide,
By self-example may'st thou be denied!
Lo! as a careful housewife runs to catch
One of her feather'd creatures broke away,
Sets down her babe, and makes all swift dispatch
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay;
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent
To follow that which flies before her face,
Not prizing her poor infant's discontent:
So run'st thou after that which flies from thee,
Whilst I, thy babe, chase thee afar behind;
But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me,
And play the mother's part, kiss me, be kind:
So will I pray that thou may'st have thy Will,
If thou turn back, and my loud crying still.
Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
Which like two spirits do suggest me still:
The better angel is a man, right fair,
The worser spirit a woman, color'd ill.
To win me soon to hell, my female evil
Tempteth my better angel from my side,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend,
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell;
But being both from me, both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another's hell:
Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt,
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.
Those lips that Love's own hand did make,
Breath'd forth the sound that said, "I hate,"
To me that languish'd for her sake;
But when she saw my woeful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue, that ever sweet
Was us'd in giving gentle doom,
And taught it thus anew to greet.
"I hate," she alter'd with an end,
That follow'd it as gentle day
This sonnet, with some variations, will be found hereafter in "The Passionate Pilgrim."-b" Suggest," i. e., tempt.
Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth,
Fool'd by those rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within, and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay 1
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge is this thy body's end?
Then, soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more:
So shalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men,
And, death once dead, there's no more dying then
My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease;
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
Th' uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve,
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
And frantic mad with evet-more unrest:
My thoughts and my discourse as mad men's are,
At random from the truth vainly express'd;
For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
O me! what eyes hath love put in my head,
Which have no correspondence with true sight!
Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled,
That censures falsely what they see aright?
If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote,
What means the world to say it is not so?
If it be not, then love doth well denote
Love's eye is not so true as all men's: no,
How can it? O! how can love's eye be true,
That is so vex'd with watching and with tears?
No marvel, then, though I mistake my view;
The sun itself sees not, till heaven clears.
O cunning love! with tears thou keep'st me blind,
Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.
Canst thou, O Cruel! say, I love thee not,
When I, against myself, with thee partake?
Do I not think on thee, when I forgot
Am of myself, all tyrant, for thy sake?
Who hateth thee that I do call my friend?
On whom frown'st thou that I do fawn upon?
Nay, if thou low'rst on me, do I not spend
Revenge upon myself with present moan?
What merit do I in myself respect,
That is so proud thy service to despise,
When all my best doth worship thy defect,
Commanded by the motion of thine eyes?
But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind:
Those that can see thou lov'st, and I am blind.
O! from what power hast thou this powerful might,
With insufficiency my heart to sway?
"Partake," i e,, take part,
To make me give the lie to my true sight,
And swear that brightness doth not grace the day?
Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill,
That in the very refuse of thy deeds
There is such strength and a warrantise of skill,
That in my mind thy worst all best exceeds ?
Who taught thee how to make me love thee more,
The more I hear and see just cause of hate?
O! though I love what others do abhor,
With others thou shouldst not abhor my state:
If thy unworthiness rais'd love in me,
More worthy I to be belov'd of thee.
Love is too young to know what conscience is;
Yet who knows not, conscience is born of love?
Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss.
Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove:
For, thou betraying me, I do betray
My nobler part to my gross body's treason;
My soul doth tell my body that he may
Triumph in love; flesh stays no farther reason,
But rising at thy name, doth point out thee
As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride,
He is contented thy poor drudge to be,
To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.
No want of conscience hold it, that I call
Her love, for whose dear love I rise and fall.
In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn,
But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing;
In act thy bed-vow broke, and new faith torn,
In vowing new hate after new love bearing.
But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee,
When I break twenty? I am perjur'd most;
"Warrantise," i. e., authority; security.h" Amiss," i. e., fault.
For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee,
And all my honest faith in thee is lost:
For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness,
Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy;
And to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness,
Or made them swear against the thing they see;
For I have sworn thee fair: more perjur'd I,
To swear against the truth so foul a lie!
Cupid laid by his brand, and fell asleep:
A maid of Dian's this advantage found,
And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep
In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;
Which borrow'd from this holy fire of love
A dateless lively heat, still to endure,
And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove,
Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
But at my mistress' eye love's brand new-fired,
The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;
I sick withal, the help of bath desired,
And thither hied, a sad distemper'd guest,
But found no cure: the bath for my help lies
Where Cupid got new fire, my mistress' eyes.
The little Love-god lying once asleep,
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
Whilst many nymphs, that vow'd chaste life to keep,
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand
The fairest votary took up that fire
Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd:
And so the general of hot desire
Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarm'd.
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
Which from love's fire took heat perpetual,
Growing a bath, and healthful remedy
For men diseas'd; but I, my mistress' thrall,
Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,
Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.