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O TRUANT Muse, what shall be thy amends,
Both truth and beauty on my love depends; And yet this time remov'd was summer's time;
So dost thou too, and therein dignify'd. The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say, Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd, Like widow'd wornbs after their lords' decease :
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay: Yet this abandant issue seem'd to me
But best is best, if never intermir'd? But hope of orphans, and unfather'd fruit ;
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb? For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
Excuse not silence so; for it lies in thee And thou away, the very birds are mute;
To make him much outlive a gilded tomb, Or, if they sing, 't is with so dull a cheer,
And to be prais’d of ages yet to be.
Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how
O blame me not if I no more can write!
That over-goes my blunt invention quite,
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;
SONNET CVIII. To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
WHAT 's in the brain that ink may character, For as you were, when first your eye l ey'd, Which hath not figur'd to thee my true spirit ? Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold What 's new to speak, what new to register, Have from the forests shook three summers' pride; That may express my love, or thy dear merit? Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'd, Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine, In process of the seasons have I seen,
I must each day say o'er the very same; Three April perfumes in three bot Junes burn'd, Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine, Since first I saw you fresh which yet are green. Even as when first i hallow'd thy fair name. Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial hand,
So that eternal love in love's fresh case Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv’d, Weighs not the dust and injury of age, So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand, Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place, Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv’d. But makes antiquity for aye his page; For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred, Finding the first conceit of love there bred, Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead. Where time and outward form would show it dead.
SONNET CIX. Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
O NEVER say that I was false of heart, Nor my beloved as an idle show,
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify, Since all alike my songs and praises be,
As easy might I from myself depart, To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
As from my soul which in thy breast doth lie: Kind is my love to day, to morrow kind,
That is my home of love: if I have rang'd, Still constant in a wondrous excellence;
Like him that travels, I return again ; Therefore my verse to constancy confin'd, Just to the time, not with the time exchang'd, One thing expressing, leaves out difference. So that myself bring water for my stain. Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument,
Never believe, though in my nature reign'd Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words ; All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood, And in this change is my invention spent,
That it could so preposterously be staind, Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords. To leave for nothing all thy sum of good; Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone, For nothing this wide universe I call, Which three, till now, never kept seat in one. Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.
That did not better for my life provide,
Than public means, which public manners breeds. The mortal Moon hath her eclipse endurd, Thence comes it that my name receives a brand, And the sad augurs mock their own presage; And almost thence my nature subdu'd Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd, To what it works in, like the dyer's hand. And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
Pity me then, and wish I were renewid; Now with the drops of this most balmy time Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink My love looks fresh, and Death to me subscribes, Potions of eyesell, 'gainst my strong infection ; Since spite of him I'll live in this poor rhyme, No bitterness that I will bitter think, While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes. Nor double penance to correct correction. And thou in this sbalt find thy monument, Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye, When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent. Even that your pity is enough to cure me,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
It is the star to every wand bark, (taken. That my steel'd sense or changes, right or wrong. Whose worth's unknown, although his height 'be In so profound abysm I throw all care
Love 's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks of others' voices, that my adder's sense
Within bis bending sickle's compass come; To critic and to flatterer stopped are.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, Mark how with my neglect I do dispense:
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. You are so strongly in my purpose bred,
If this be errour, and upon me prov'd, That all the world besides methinks are dead. I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.
SONNET CXVII. Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind,
Accuse me thus; that I have scanted all And that which governs me to go about,
Wherein I should your great deserts repay; Doth part his function, and is partly blind, Forgot upon your dearest love to call, Seems seeing, but effectually is out ;
Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day; For it no form delivers to the heart
That I have frequent been with unknown minds,
Book both my wilfulness and errours down,
Bring me within the level of your frown,
Since my appeal says, I did strive to prove My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.
The constancy and virtue of your love.
We sicken to shun sickness, when we purge;
Even so, being full of your ne'er-cloying sweetness,
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness
To be diseas'd, ere that there was true needing.
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cured.
But thence I learn, and find the lesson true, That mine eye loves it, and doth first begin. Drugs poison' him that so fell sick of you.
What potions have I drunk of Syren tears,
O benefit of ill! now I find true
That better is by evil still made better;
And ruin'd love, when it is built anew,
So I return rebuk'd to my content,
SONNET CXXV. 'T is better to be vile, than vile esteem'd, When not to be receives reproach of being,
WERE it aught to me I bore the canopy,
With my extern thy outward honouring,
Or lay'd great bases for eternity,
Which prove more short than waste or ruining ?
Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour Give salutation to my sportive blood ?
Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent, Or on my frailties why are frailer spies, Which in their wills count bad what I think good? For compound sweet foregoing simple favour,
Pitiful tbrivers, in their gazing spent ?
No;- let me be obsequious in thy heart,
with seconds, knows no art,
And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
Hence, thou suborn'd informer! a true soul,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name;
But now is black beauty's successive heir, They are but dressings of a former sigbt.
And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame. Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire For since each hand hath put on nature's power, What thou dost foist upon us that is old,
Fairing the foul with art's false-borrow'd face, And rather make them born to our desire,
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy hour, Than think that we before have beard them told. But is profan'd, if not lives in disgrace. Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Therefore my mistress' eyes are raven black, Not wondering at the present nor the past ; Her eyes so suited; and they mourners seem For thy records and what we see doth lie,
At such, who not born fair, no beauty lack, Made more or less by thy continual baste:
Slandering creation with a false esteem: This I do vow, and this shall ever be,
Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe, I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee. That every tongue says, beauty should look so.
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds, Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain.
And truly not the morning Sun of Heaven
Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east, Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap, Nor that full star that ushers in the even, At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand! Doth half that glory to the sober west, To be so tickled, they would change their state As those two mourning eyes become thy face: And situation with those dancing chips,
O let it then as well beseem thy heart O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait, To mourn for me, since mourning doth thee grace, Making dead wood more bless'd than living lips. And suit thy pity like in every part. Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
Then will I swear beauty herself is black, Gire them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss. And all they foal that thy complexion lack.
SONNET CXXXIII. The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Beshrew that beart that makes my heart to groan Is last in action; and till action, lust
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me! Is perjur'd, murderous, bloody, full of blame, Is 't nut enough to torture me alone, Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must be ? Enjoy'd no sooner, but despised straight;
Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken, Past reason bunted ; and no sooner had,
And my next self thou harder hast engross'd; Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait,
Of him, myself, and thee, I am forsaken; On purpose laid to make the taker mad :
A torment thrice three-fold thus to be cross'd. Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;
Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward, Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme; But then my friend's heart let my poor heart bail; A bliss in proof,—and provid, a very woe; Whoe'er keeps me, let my heart be his guard; Before, a joy propos’d; behind, a dream: Thou canst not then use rigour in my jail: All this the world well knows; yet none knows well And yet thou wilt; for I, being pent in thee, To shun the Heaven that leads men to this Hell. Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.
And I myself am mortgag'd to thy will;
For thou art covetous, and he is kind;
And sue a friend, came debtor for my sake;
He pays the whole, and yet am I not free.
WHOEVER bath her wish, thou hast thy will,
Shall will in others seem right gracious,
And in my will no fair acceptance shine? And, to be sure that is not false I swear,
The sea, all water, yet receives rain still, A thousand groans, but thinking on thy face,
And in abundance addeth to his store; One on another's neck, do witness bear
So thou, being rich in will, add to thy will Thy black is fairest in my judgment's place. One will of mine, to make thy large will more. In pothing art thou black, save in thy deeds, Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill; And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds. Think all but one, and me in that one Will.