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But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee,
When I break twenty? I am perjur'd most;
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 à 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' eyesó.

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:

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- more perjur'd 1,] There is no doubt that this is the true reading; but the quarto, 1609, has “ more perjur'd eye.

the help of Batu desired And thither hied,] As Steevens observes, it may be a question whether “ bath” ought not to be printed with a capital letter, the poet referring to the city so called.

my mistress' EYES.] The original copy has eye, in the singular.

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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.

6 — water cools not love.] These two last sonnets have no connection with those that precede them. They are, in fact, only to be looked upon as one sonnet, the same thought running through both, as if the author had first composed one, and not quite pleasing himself, had afterwards written the other.





From off a hill whose concave womb re-worded
A plaintful story from a sistering vale,
My spirits t' attend this double voice accorded,
And down I laid to list the sad-tun'd tale;
Ere long espy'd a fickle maid full pale,
Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain,
Storming her world with sorrow's wind and rain.

Upon her head a platted hive of straw,
Which fortified her visage from the sun,
Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
The carcase of a beauty spent and done :
Time had not scythed all that youth begun,
Nor youth all quit; but, spite of heaven's fell rage,
Some beauty peep'd through lattice of sear'd age.

Oft did she heave her napkin to her eyne,
Which on it had conceited characters,
Laundering the silken figures in the brine
That season'd woe had pelleted in tears,
And often reading what contents it bears ;
As often shrieking undistinguish'd woe
In clamours of all size, both high and low.

Sometimes her leveld eyes their carriage ride,
As they did battery to the spheres intend ;
Sometime, diverted, their poor balls are tied
To the orbed earth; sometimes they do extend

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Their view right on; anon their gazes lend
To every place at once, and no where fix'd,
The mind and sight distractedly commix’d.

Her hair, nor loose, nor tied in formal plat,
Proclaim'd in her a careless hand of pride ;
For some, untuck’d, descended her sheav'd hat,
Hanging her pale and pined cheek beside;
Some in her threaden fillet still did bide,
And, true to bondage, would not break from thence,
Though slackly braided in loose negligence.

A thousand favours from a maund she drew1
Of amber, crystal, and of bedded jet”,
Which one by one she in a river threw,
Upon whose weeping margent she was set;
Like usury, applying wet to wet,
Or monarchs' hands, that let not bounty fall
Where want cries “some,” but where excess begs all.

Of folded schedules had she many a one,
Which she perus’d, sighd, tore, and gave the flood ;
Crack'd many a ring of posied gold and bone,
Bidding them find their sepulchres in mud;
Found yet more letters sadly pen'd in blood,
With sleided silk feat and affectedly
Enswath'd, and seal'd to curious secrecy.

These often bath'd she in her fluxive eyes,
And often kiss'd, and often 'gan to tear+;
Cry’d, 0 false blood ! thou register of lies,
What unapproved witness dost thou bear!
Ink would have seem'd more black and damned here.

1 — from a maund she drew] The word “maund” for a basket is still in use in several parts of the country, particularly in the north. See Holloway's Gen. Prov. Dict. 8vo. 1838.

2 — and of BEDDED jet,] Possibly a misprint for “ beaded jet," and so, Malone remarks, it was formerly printed; but as the original may mean jet set in metal, we do not alter it.

3 With SLEIDED silk feat and affectedly] i. e. “ Sleided silk” is stated by Percy to be untwisted silk. See this Vol. p. 323. “Feat” is of course neat, nice, and sometimes clever. See this Vol. p. 428.

– and often ’gan to tear ;] The old copy, “and often gare to tear"-an evident misprint

This said, in top of rage the lines she rents,
Big discontent so breaking their contents.

A reverend man that graz'd his cattle nigh,
Sometime a blusterer, that the ruffle knew
Of court, of city, and had let go by
The swiftest hours, observed as they flew,
Towards this afflicted fancy: fastly drew;
And, privileged by age, desires to know,
In brief, the grounds and motives of her woe.

So slides he down upon his grained bat,
And comely-distant sits he by her side;
When he again desires her, being sat,
Her grievance with his hearing to divide :
If that from him there may be aught applied,
Which may her suffering ecstasy assuage,
'Tis promis’d in the charity of age.
Father, she says, though in me you behold
The injury of many a blasting hour,
Let it not tell your judgment I am old;

sorrow, over me hath power :
I might as yet have been a spreading flower,
Fresh to myself, if I had self-applied
Love to myself, and to no love beside.

But woe is me! too early I attended
A youthful suit, it was to gain my grace ;
0! one by nature's outwards so commended,
That maidens' eyes stuck over all his face:
Love lack'd a dwelling, and made him her place ;
And when in his fair parts she did abide,
She was new lodg’d, and newly deified.

His browny locks did hang in crooked curls,
And every light occasion of the wind
Upon his lips their silken parcels hurls :
What's sweet to do, to do will aptly find;

eye that saw him did enchant the mind,

3 Toward this afflicted Fancy-] “Fancy,” in Shakespeare, is often used for love, and here is applied to the subject of the passion. The adverb fastly" in this line is of uncommon occurrence.

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