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From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dress'd in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him :
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they

- grew :
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you; you pattern of all those.
Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play:

XCIX.. 71. The forward violet thus did I chide : “Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that

If not from my love's breath? the purple pride,
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells,
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dy'd.”
The lily I condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol’n thy hair :
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another wbite despair ;
A third, nor red nor white, had stol'n of both,
And to this robbery had annex'd thy breath;
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 stol'n from thee.


98.* Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget'st so long To speak of that which gives thee all thy might? Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song," Darkening thy power, to lend base subjects light? Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem In gentle numbers time so idly spent ; Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem, And gives thy pen both skill and argument. Rise, resty Muse! my love's sweet face survey, . If Time have any wrinkle graven there; If any, be a satire to decay, And make Time's spoils despised every where. Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life ; So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife.

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0, truant Muse! what shall be thy amends,
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy'd ?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends ;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer, Muse : wilt thou not haply say,
• Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay ;
But best is best, if never intermix'd?"

* This and the eight following are classed in a series of eleven, addressed, probably, to the same friend as the first nineteen. ló our figuring, they come next after the CXLV.

42 Fury was often thus used for poetic inspiration. So in some verses signed “ Hobynoll,” written in praise of The Faerie Queene :

Collyn, I see, by thy new-taken taske,

Some sacred fury hath enricht thy braynes,
That leades thy Muse in baughty verse to maske,
And loath the layes that 'longs to lowly swaynes ;
That liftes thy notes from Shepheardes unto Kinges :
So like the lively Larke that mounting singes."

Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?
Excuse not silence so; for't lies in thee
To make him much outlive a gilded tomb,
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 shows now.


CIL. My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seem

ing; I love not less, though less the show appear : That love is merchandiz'd, whose rich esteeming The owner's tongue dcth publish every where. Our love was new, and inen but in the spring, When I was wont to greet it with my lays ; As Philomel in summer's front doth sing, And stops her pipe in growth of riper days: Not that the summer is less pleasant now, Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night But that wild music burdens every bough, And sweets grown common lose their dear delight : Therefore, like her, I sometime hold my tongue, Because I would not dull you with my song.


Alack ! what poverty my Muse brings forth,
That, having such a scope to show her pride,
The argument, all bare, is of more worth,
Than when it hath my added praise beside.
O! blame me not, if I no more can write :
Look in your glass, and there appears a face
That over-goes my blunt invention quite,
Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.
Were it not sinful, then, striving to mend,
To mar the subject that before was well ?

For to no other pass my verses tend,
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell ;
And more, much more, than in my verse can sit,
Your own glass shows you, when you look in it.


102. To me, fair friend, you never can be old ; For as you were, when first your eye I ey'd, Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold Have from the forests shook three summers' pride; Three beauteous springs to yellow autumu turn'd In process of the seasons have I seen; Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd, Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green. Ah! yet doth beanty, like a dial hand, Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv’d; So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand, Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd : For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred, Ere you were born, was beauty's summer dead.


CV. Let not my love be call'd idolatry, Nor my beloved as an idol show, Since all alike my songs and praises be, 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. Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument, Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words ; And in this change is my invention spent, Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords

Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone;
Which three, till now, never kept seat in ono.

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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 ;
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of fout, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have express'd
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring ;
And, for they look'd but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing
For we, which now behold these present days,
Elave eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

CVII. 105. Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul Of the wide world, dreaming on things to come, Can yet the lease of my true love control, 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, And peace proclaims olives of endless age. Now with the drops of this most balmy time My love looks fresh, and death to me subscribes ; " Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme, While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes :

43 That is, resigns or submits. See King Lear, Act i. sc. 2, note 4.


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