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TO THE ONLIE BEGETTER OF
THESE INSUING SOVNETS
Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee From fairest creatures we desire increase, Calls back the lovely April of her prime: That thereby beauty's rose might never die, So thou through windows of thine age shalt see But as the riper should by time decease,
Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time. His tender heir might bear his memory:
But if thou live, remember'd not to be, But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes, Die single, and thine image dies with thee. Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
IV. Making a famine where abundance lies, Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel. Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament Upon thyself thy beauty's legacy? And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Nature's bequest gives nothing but doth lend, Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And being frank she lends to those are free. And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding. Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
The bounteous largess given thee to give ? To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee. Profitless usurer, why dost thou use
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live?
For having traffic with thyself alone, When forty winters shall besiege thy brow, Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive. And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field, Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone, Thy youth's proud livery, so gazed on now, What acceptable audit canst thou leave ? Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held: Thy unused beauty must be tomb'd with thee, Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies, Which, used, lives th' executor to be. Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,
V. To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes, Were an all-eating shame and thristless praise. Those hours, that with gentle work did frame How much more praise deserved thy beauty's use, The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell, If thou couldst answer "This fair child of mine Will play the tyrants to the very same Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,' And that unfair which fairly doth excel; Proving his beauty by succession thine!
For never-resting time leads summer on This were to be new made when thou art old, To hideous winter and confounds him there; And see thy blood warm when thou feelst it cold. | Sap check'd with frost and lusty leaves quite
Beauty o'ersnow'd and bareness every where : Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest Then, were not summer's distillation Test, Now is the time that face should form another; A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass, Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest, Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft, Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother. Nor it nor no remembrance what it was: For where is she so fair whose unear'd womb But fowers distill'd, though they with winter Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry ?
meet, Or who is he so fond will be the tomb
Leese but their show; their substance still lives Of his self-love, to stop posterity?
VI. Then let not winter's ragged hand deface For shame! deny that thou bear'st love to any, In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill'd: Who for thyself art so unprovident. Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many, With beauty's treasure, ere it be self-kill’d. But that thou none lovest is most evident; That iise is not forbidden usury
For thou art so possess'd with murderous hate Which happies those that pay the willing loan; That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to conspire, That's for thyself to breed another thee,
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;
Which to repair should be thy chief desire. Ten times thyself were happier than thou art, O, change thy thought, that I may change my If ten of thine ten times refigured thee:
mind ! Then what could death do, if thou shouldst depart, Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love? Leaving thee living in posterity ?
Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind, Be not self-will’d, for thou art much too fair Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove: To be death's conquest and makc worms thine Make thee another self, for love of me, heir. :
That beauty still may live in thine or thee.
XI. Lo! in the orient when the gracious light
As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou growest Lifts up his burning head, each under eye In one of thine, from that which thou departest; Doth homage to his new-appearing sight, And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestowest Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth conAnd having climb’d the steep-up heavenly hill,
vertest. Resembling strong youth in his middle age, Herein lives wisdom, beauty and increase; Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
Without this, folly, age and cold decay: Attending on his golden pilgrimage;
If all were minded so, the times should cease But when from highmost pitch, with weary car, And threescore year would make the world away. Like feeble age, he reeleth from the day,
Let those whom Nature hath not made for store, The eyes, 'fore duteous, now converted are Harsh featureless and rude, barrenly perish: From his low tract and look another way:
Look, whom she best endow'd she gave the more ; So thou, thyself out-going in thy noon,
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty Unlook'd on diest, unless thou get a son.
cherish: She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy
When I behold the violet past prime,
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds And summer's green all girded up in sheaves In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear. Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard, Mark how one string, sweet husband to another, | Then of thy beauty do I question make, Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
That thou among the wastes of time must go, Resembling sire and child and happy mother Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing: And die as fast as they see others grow; Whose speechless song, being many, seeming And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make one,
defence Sings this to thee: 'thou single wilt prove none.' Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee
Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye
No love toward others in that bosom sits
O, none but unthrifts! Dear my love, you kno!
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck; And summer's lease hath all too short a date: And yet methinks I have astronomy,
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, But not to tell of good or evil luck,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d; Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons' quality; And every fair from fair sometime declines, Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd; Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind, But thy eternal summer shall not fade Or say with princes if it shall go well,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; By oft predict that I in heaven find :
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest : And, constant stars, in them I read such art So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee. If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert; Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
XIX. Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.
Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood; XV.
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws, When I consider every thing that grows
And burn the long-lived phenix in her blood; Holds in perfection but a little moment,
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets, That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time, Whereon the stars in secret influence comment; To the wide world and all her fading sweets; When I perceive that men as plants increase, But I forbid thee one most heinous crime: Cheered and check'd even by the self-same sky, 0, carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow, Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen; And wear their brave state out of memory; Him in thy course untainted do allow Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men. Sets you most rich in youth before my sight, Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong, Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay, My love shall in my verse ever live young. To change your day of youth to sullied night;
XX. And all in war with Time for love of you, As he takes from you, I engraft you new. A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted
Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;
A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted But wherefore do not you a mightier way With shifting change, as is false women's fashion ; Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time? An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling, And fortify yourself in your decay
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth; With means more blessed than my barren rhyme? A man in hue, all ‘hues’in his controlling, Now stand you on the top of happy hours, Which steals men's eyes and women's souls And many maiden gardens yet unset
amazeth. With virtuous wish would bear your living flowers, | And for a woman wert thou first created; Much liker than your painted counterfeit:
Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fella-doting, So should the lines of life that life repair,
And by addition me of thee defeated, Which this, Time's pencil, or my pupil pen, By adding one thing to my purpose nothing. Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,
But since she prick'd thee out for women's Can make you live yourself in eyes of men.
pleasure, To give away yourself keeps yourself still, Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure. And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.
Stirr'd by a painted beauty to his verse,
With April's first-born flowers, and all things rare And in fresh numbers number all your graces, That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems. The age to come would say
0, let me, true in love, but truly write,
I will not praise that purpose not to sell.
My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
So long as youth and thou are of one date;
But when in thee time's furrows I behold, Thou art more lovely and more temperate :
Then look I death my days should expiate.
For all that beauty that doth cover thee
But that I hope some good conceit of thine Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,
In thy soul's thought, all naked, will bestow it; Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me : Till whatsoever star that guides my moving How can I then be elder than thou art?
Points on me graciously with fair aspect O, therefore, love, be of thyself so wary
And puts apparel on my tatter'd loving, As I, not for myself, but for thee will;
To show me worthy of thy sweet respect : Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee; As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
Till then not show my head where thou mayst Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain ;
prove me. Thou gavest me thine, not to give back again.
Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired ; Who with his fear is put besides his part,
But then begins a journey in my head, Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage, To work my mind, when body's work's expired: Whose strength's abundance weakens his own For then my thoughts, from far where I abide, heart,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee, So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide, The perfect ceremony of love's rite,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see: And in mine own love's strength seem to decay, Save that my soul's imaginary sight O’ercharged with burden of mine own love's might. Presents thy shadow to my sightless view, 0, let my books be then the eloquence
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night, And dumb presagers of my speaking breast, Makes black night beauteousand her old face new. Who plead for love and look for recompense Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind, More than that tongue that more hath more ex- For thee and for myself no quiet find.
That am debarr'd the benefit of rest?
When day's oppression is not eased by night, Mine eye hath play'd the painter and hath stelld But day by night, and night by day, oppress'd? Thy beauty's form in table of my heart;
And each, though enemies to either's reign, My body is the frame wherein 'tis held,
Do in consent shake hands to torture me; And perspective it is best painter's art.
The one by toil, the other to complain For through the painter must you see his skill, How far I toil, still farther off from thee. To find where your true image pictured lies; I tell the day, to please him thou art bright Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still, And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven: That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes. So flatter I the swart-complexion'd night, Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done: When sparkling stars twire not thou gild'st the Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee;
And night doth nightly make grief's strength Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art;
seem stronger. They draw but what they see, know not the heart,
When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state Let those who are in favour with their stars And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries Of public honour and proud titles boast,
And look upon myself and curse my fate, Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd, Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread Desiring this man's art and that man's scope, But as the marigold at the sun's eye,
With what I most enjoy contented least; And in themselves their pride lies buried, Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, For at a frown they in their glory die.
Haply I think on thee, and then my state, The painful warrior famoused for fight,
Like to the lark at break of day arising After a thousand victories once foil'd,
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate; Is from the book of honour razed quite,
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd :
brings Then happy I, that love and am beloved
That then I scorn to change my state with kings. Where I may not remove nor be removed. XXVI.
XXX. Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought Thy merit' hath my duty strongly knit,
I summon up remembrance of things past, To thee I send this written embassage,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, To witness duty, not to show my wit:
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste: Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it, For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe, Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief; And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight: Though thou repent, yet I have s ill the loss: Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
To him that bears the strong offence's cross. The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love Which I new pay as if not paid before.
sheds, But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds. All losses are restored and sorrows end.
No more be grieved at that which thou hast done: Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud; Which I by lacking have supposed dead,
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun, And there reigns love and all love's loving parts, And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud. And all those friends which I thought buried. All men make faults, and even I in this, How many a holy and obsequious tear
Authorizing thy trespass with compare, Hath dear religious love stol'n from mine eye Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss, As interest of the dead, which now appear Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are ; But things removed that hidden in thee lie! For to thy sensual fault I bring in senseThou art the grave where buried love doth live, Thy adverse party is thy advocateHung with the trophies of my lovers gone, And’gainst myself a lawful plea commence: Who all their parts of me to thee did give; Such civil war is in my love and hate That due of many now is thine alone :
That I an accessary needs must be Their images I loved I view in thee,
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me. And thou, all they, hast all the all of me.
Let me confess that we two must be twain,
Although our undivided loves are one: When that churl Death my bones with dust shall So shall those blots that do with me remain cover,
Without thy help by me be borne alone. And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
In our two loves there is but one respect, These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover, Though in our lives a separable spite, Compare them with the bettering of the time, Which though it alter not love's sole effect, And though they be outstripp'd by every pen, Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight. Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme, I may not evermore acknowledge thee, Exceeded by the height of happier men.
Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame, 0, then vouchsafe me but this loving thought: Nor thou with public kindness honour me, Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing Unless thou take that honour from thy name: age,
But do not so; I love thee in such sort
To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So I, made lame by fortune's dearest spite,
I make my love engrafted to this store: With ugly rack on his celestial face,
So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised, And from the forlorn world his visage hide, Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace: That I in thy abundance am sufficed Even so my sun one early morn did shine
And by a part of all thy glory live. With all-triumphant splendour on my brow; Look, what is best, that best I wish in thee : But out, alack! he was but one hour mine;
This wish I have; then ten times happy me! The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now.
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
For every vulgar paper to rehearse?