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Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won ;
143.* That thou hast her, it is not all my grief; And yet it may be said I lov'd her dearly : That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief; A loss in love that touches me more nearly. Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye: Thou dost love her, because thou know'st I love her, And for my sake even šo doth she abuse me, Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her. If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain; And losing her, my friend hath found that loss; Both find each other, and I lose both twain, And both for my sake lay on me this cross. But here's the joy, my friend and I are one: Sweet flattery! then, she loves but me alone.
** This Sonnet finishes Knight's series of six on “Injury."
+ This and the next two Sonnets are placed by Knight in con: tinuation of the Lxl., in the series of nine, entitled “Absence," and beginning with the L.
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
42. If the dull substance of my flesh were thought, Injurious distance should not stop my way; For then, despite of space, I would be brought From limits far remote where thou dost stay. No matter then, although my foot did stand Upon the farthest earth remov'd from thee; For nimble thought can jump both sea and land, As soon as think the place where he would be. But, ah! thought kills me, that I am not thought, To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone But that, so much of earth and water wrought, I must attend time's leisure with my moan; Receiving nought, by elements so slow, But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.23
23 The Poet here has in view the old doctrine of philosopby that all things were composed of the four elements, earth, water air, and fire. See our Introduction to Julius Cæsar.
XLV. The other two, slight air and purging fire, Are both with thee, wherever I abide; The first my thought, the other my desire, These present-absent with swift motion slide : For when these quicker elements are gone In tender embassy of love to thee, My life, being made of four, with two alone Sinks down to death, oppress'd with melancholy; Until life's composition be recur'd By those swift messengers return'd from thee, Who even but now come back again, assur'd Of thy fair health, recounting it to me: This told, I joy; but then, no longer glad, I send them back again, and straight grow sad.
54.+ Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war, How to divide the conquest of thy sight; Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would bar, My heart mine eye the freedom of that right. My heart doth plead, that thou in him dost lie, A closet never pierc'd with crystal eyes; But the defendant doth that plea deny, And says in him thy fair appearance lies. To 'cide this title is impannelled A quest of thoughts, a4 all tenants to the heart;
• This Sonnet closes Knight's series of nine beginning with the Le, and entitled “ Absence."
† Knight places ibis Sonnet and the next in continuation of the XXIV., in « The Picture."
24 That is, to decide this title an inquest or jury of thoughts is impannelled. - We have repeatedly seen that moiety was used for any part of a thing. So in the dedication of Lucrece, note 1
And by their verdict is determined
55.* Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took, And each doth good turns now unto the other: When that mine eye is famish'd for a look, Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother, With my love's picture then my eye doth feast, And to the painted banquet bids my heart; Another time mine eye is my heart's guest, And in his thoughts of love doth share a part: So, either by thy picture or my love, Thyself away art present still with me; For thou not further than my thoughts canst move, And I am still with them, and they with thee; Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight Awakes my heart to heart's and eye's delight.
44. . How careful was I, when I took my way, Each trifle under truest bars to thrust; That to my use it might unused stay From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust! But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are, Most worthy comfort, now my greatest grief, Thou, best of dearest, and mine only care, Art left the prey of every vulgar thief.
* This Sonnet closes Knight's series of three, beginning with the XXIV., and called “ The Picture."
+ Knight makes this Sünnet the first in a series of nine, entitled " Estrangement."
Thee have I not lock'd up in any chest,
XLIX. 46.* Against that time, if ever that time come, When I shall see thee frown on my defects, Whenas thy love hath cast his utmost sum, Call’d to that audit by advis'd respects ; Against that time, when thou shalt strangely pass, And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye; When love, converted from the thing it was, Shall reasons find of settled gravity ;Against that time do I ensconce me here Within the knowledge of mine own desert, And this my hand against myself uprear, To guard the lawful reasons on thy part: To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws, Since, why to love, I can allege no cause.
35.7 How heavy do I journey on the way, When what I seek (my weary travels' end) Doth teach that ease and that repose to say, “ Thus far the miles are measur'd from thy friend !" The beast that bears me, tired with my woe, Plods dully on, to bear that weight in me;
* Knight makes this Sonnet continuate with the Lxxv., in the series on “ Estrangement," beginning with the xxvIII.
+ This Sonnet is placed by Knight as the first in the series of nine, entitled “ Absence.”