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XCIX. The forward violet thus did I chide:Street thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that
smells, 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 o blushing shame, another white despair ; A third, nor red nor white, had stol'n of both, And to his 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.
c. Where art thou, Muse, that thou forgett'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 satired to decay, And make Time's spoils despised everywhere. Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life; So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife.
Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how
seeming; I love not less, though less the show appear ; That love is merchandiz'd whose rich esteeming The owner's tongue doth publish everywhere. Our love was new, and then but in the spring, When I was wont to greet it with my lays; As Philomel in summer's fronté doth sing, And stops her 8 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,
sit, Your own glass shows you when you look in it.
CIV. 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 perfurnes in three hot Junes burn'd, Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
0, truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
• The lily I condemned for thy hand,-) That is, for stealing the whiteness of thy hand.
One blushing shame, &c.] The quarto reads, evidently by mistake, "Our blushing," &c.
< Rise, resty Muse,-) “Resty" here means idle, torpid, &c. So in "Cymbeline," Act III. Sc. 6,
not Though some have thought that, in the latter example, "resty" | signifies uneasy, restive.
- a satire ) A satirist. So in Ben Jonson's Masque called * Time Vindicated," &c.
Pame. Who's this?
The owner's tongue doth publish everywhere.)
" — my beauty, though but mean, Needs not the painted flourish of your praise,
Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye,
Not utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues." 1 - summer's front-) Summer's beginning. So, in the “ Winter's Tale," Act IV. Sc. 3,
"- no shepherdess; but Flora
Peering in April's front." 8 - her pipe-] The old copy has, "his pipe," but see in the subsequent lines, "- her mournful hymns," and "Therefore like her," &c.
h But that wild music burdens every bough, &c.] So, in the " Merchant of Venice," Act V. Sc. 1,
“ The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
— striving to mend,
Ah, yet doth beauty, like a dial-band,
And thou in this shalt find thy monument, Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv'd!
When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent, So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
CVIII. Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd:
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred, - What's in the brain, that ink may character, Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead. Which hath not figur'd to thee my true spirit ?
What's new to speak, what now to register, cy.
That may express my love, or thy dear merit? Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
Nothing, sweet boy ; but yet, like prayers divine, Nor my beloved as an idol show,
I must each day say o'er the very same; Since all alike my songs and praises be
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine, To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name. Kind is my love to day, to-morrow kind,
So that eternal love in love's fresh case Still constant in a wondrous excellence;
Weighs not the dust and injury of age, Therefore my verse to constancy confin'd,
Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place, One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
But makes antiquity for aye his page ; Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument,
Finding the first conceit of love there bred. Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words ;
Where time and outward form would show it And in this change is my invention spent,
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify!
As easy might I from myself depart, When in the chronicle of wasted time
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie: I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
That is my home of love: if I have rangd, And beauty making beautiful old rhyme
Like him that travels, I return again ; ? In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights,
Just to the time, not with the time exchang'dThen in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
So that myself bring water for my stain. Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
Never believe, though in my nature reign'd I see their antique pen would have express'd All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood, Even such a beauty as you master now.
That it could so preposterously be stain'd, So all their praises are but prophecies
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good; Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
For nothing this wide universe I call And, for they look'd but with divining eyes,
Save thou, my rose ; in it thou art my all. They had not skill enough your worth to sing : For we, which now behold these present days,
cx. Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise. Alas, 't is true I have gone here and there, CVII.
And made myself a motleys to the view,
Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
dear, Of the wide world dreaming on things to come, Made old offences of affections new. Can yet the lease of my true love control,
Most true it is that I have look'd on truth Suppos'd as forfeit to a confin'd doom.
Askance and strangely ; but, by all above, The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd,
These blenches gave my heart another youth, And the sad augurs mock their own presage ; And worse essays prov'd thee my best of love. Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd,
Now all is done, have h what shall have no end: And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
Mine appetite I never more will grind Now with the drops of this most balmy time On newer proof, to try an older friend, My love looks fresh, and Death to me subscribes, A god in love, to whom I am confin'd. Since, spite of him, I 'll live in this poor rhyme, Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best, While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes :
Even to thy pure and most-most loving breast.
" like a dial- hand, Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv'd! So in Sonnet LXXVII.
“Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
Time's thietish progress to eternity.
or hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,-) So in "Twelfth Night," Act I. Sc. 5,
" Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and spirit,
What's new to speak, tchat new to register - So Malone, and perhaps rightly though some editors still follow the quarto is reading," what now to register."
That is my home of love: if I have rang'd,
Like him that travels, I return again ;)
“ My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourn'à
And now to Helen is it home return'd." & And made myself a motley-) As a motley dress was the usual garb of a jester, motley became in time the synonym for a fuol.
Do give thee five-fold blazon." o - skill enough--) An emendation due to Tyrwhitt, the old oopy having, "still enough."
d- and Death to me subscribes,-) That is, succumbs. So in
For Hector, in his blaze of wrath, subscribes
h Now all is done, have what shall have no end :) Malone, adopting a suggestion of Tyrwhitt, prints," - sare what shall have no end," to the manifest improvement of the sense; but as the old reading is intelligible, we are hardly warranted in making any change.
Incapable of more, replete with you, ), for my sake do you with a Fortune chide,
My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.h The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
CXIV. hat did not better for my life provide,
| Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with Chan public means, which public manners breeds. 'hence comes it that my name receives a brand;
Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery? und almost thence my nature is subdu'd
Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true, 'o what it works in, like the dyer's hand :
And that your love taught it this alchemy, 'ity me, then, and wish I were renew'd ;
To make of monsters and things indigest Vhilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble, 'otions of eisel,b 'gainst my strong infection;
Creating every bad a perfect best, so bitterness that I will bitter think,
As fast as objects to his beams assemble ? for double penance, to correct correction.
O, 'tis the first ; 't is flattery in my seeing, Pity me, then, dear friend, and I assure ye,
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up: Even that your pity is enough to cure me.
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing, CXII.
And to his palate doth prepare the cup:
If it be poison'd, 't is the lesser sin ‘our love and pity doth th' impression fill
That mine eye loves it, and doth first begin. Thich vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow; or what care I who calls me well or ill,
cxv. o you o'er-green my bad, my good allow ?
Those lines that I before have writ do lie; ou are my all-the-world, and I must strive
Even those that said I could not love you dearer : o know my shaines and praises from your tongue; Yet then my judgment knew no reason why one else to me, nor I to none alive,
My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer. hat my steel'd sense' or changes right or wrong.
But reckoning Time, whose million'd accidents I so profound abysm I throw all care
Creep in 'twixt vows, and change decrees of kings, f others' voices, that my adder's sense'
Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents, critic d and to flatterer stopped are.
Divert strong minds to the course of altering ark how with my neglect I do dispense:
things; You are so strongly in my purpose bred,
Alas, why, fearing of Time's tyranny, That all the world besides methinks are dead.
Might I not then say, “Now I love you best,"
When I was certain o'er incertainty,
Crowning the present, doubting of the rest ? nce I left you, mine eye is in my mind;
Love is a babe; then might I not say so, ad that which governs me to go about
To give full growth to that which still doth grow? oth part his function, and is partly blind, ems seeing, but effectually is out; ir it no form delivers to the heart
Let me not to the marriage of true minds 'bird, of flower, or shape, which it doth latch : 8 Admit impediments. Love is not love ' his quick objects hath the mind no part, Which alters when it alteration finds, or his own vision holds what it doth catch; Or bends with the remover to remove : r if it see the rud'st or gentlest sight,
0, no! it is an ever-fixed mark, le most sweet favour or deformed'st creature, That looks on tempests, and is never shaken; k te mountain or the sea, the day or night,
It is the star to every wandering bark, le crow or dove, it shapes them to your fea | Whose worth's unknown, although his height be
- do you with Fortune chide,-) The quarto corruptly reads, ish,” for “with.” To chide with is to quarrel with. So, in ymbeline," Act V. Sc. 4;
"With Mars fall out, with Juno chide," &c. uin, in “ Othello," Act IV. Sc. 3,
" The business of the state does him offence,
And he does chide with you." eisel,-) "Eisel" is vinegar, which, as Malone remarks, estearned very eflicacious in preventing the communication of itious distempers.
None else to me, nor I to none alive,
That my steel'd sense' or changes right or wrong. ) vens explains this, -"You are the only person who has power hange my stubborn resolution, either to what is right, or to it is wrong." - critic-] Cynic. - methinks are dead.) In the old copy, “Methinks y'are Doth part his function,-] Performs part of his office. - which it doth latch :) To latch is to seize, or catch. The rto in error reads, "doth lack." My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.] “I once sus
My most true mind thus makes mine eye untrue.'
" Thy most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.'
"Love's not lore
- it is an ever-fixed mark,
" and stick i' the wars
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and O, benefit of ill! now I find true cheeks
That better is by evil still made better Within his bending sickle's compass come;
And ruin'd love, when it is built anew, Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, Grows fairer than at first, more strong, for 3 But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
So I return rebukid to my content, If this be error, and upon me prov'd,
And gain by ill' thrice more than I bare sI never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.
That you were once unkind befriends me dor, Accuse me thus :-that I have scanted all
And for that sorrow which I then did feel Wherein I should your great deserts repay;
Needs must I under my transgression bos, Forgot upon your dearest love to call,
Unless my nerves were brass or hammer'd sta. Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day;
For if you were by my unkindness sbaten, That I have frequent been with unknown minds, As I by yours, you 've pass'd a hell of time: And given to time your own dear-purchas'd right; And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken That I have hoisted sail to all the winds
To weigh how once I suffer'd in your cride Which should transport me farthest from your 0, that our night of woe might have rerne sight.
My deepest sense, how hard true sorrox bizi Book both my wilfulness and errors down,
And soon to you, as you to me then, tende'. And on just proof surmise accumulate;
The humble salve which wounded bosons i Bring me within the level of your frown,
But that your trespass now becomes a tee; But shoot not at me in your waken'd bete;
Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ranse Since my appeal says I did strive to prove
CXXI. The constancy and virtue of your love.
'Tis better to be vile than vile-esteem'd, CXVIII.
When not to be receives reproach of being, Like as, to make our appetites more keen,
And the just pleasure lost, which is so deer" With eager compounds we our palate urge; Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing: As, to prevent our maladies unseen,
For why should others' false-adulterate eyes We sicken to shun sickness when we purge; Give salutation to my sportive blood ? Even so, being full of your ne'er cloying sweetness, Or on my frailties why are frailer spies, To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding;
Which in their wills count bad wbat I . And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness
good ? To be diseas'd, ere that there was true needing. No.--I am that I am ; and they that level Thus policy in love, to anticipate
At my abuses reckon up their own : The ills that were not, grew to faults assurd, I may be straight, though they themselves And brought to medicine a healthful state,
bevel ; i Which, rank d of goodness, would by ill be cur'd. By their rank thoughts my deeds must 1.t But thence I learn, and find the lesson true,
shown; Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you.
Unless this general evil they maintain,
All men are bad, and in their badness reigCXIX. What potions have I drunk of Siren tears,
CXXII. Distilld from limbecs foul as hell within,
Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears,
Full character'd with lasting memory, Still losing when I saw myself to win!
Which shall above that idle rank remain, What wretched errors hath my heart committed, Beyond all date, even to eternity: Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never ! Or, at the least, so long as brain and heart How have mine eyes out of their spheres been Have faculty by nature to subsist; fitted,
Till each to raz'd oblivion yield his part In the distraction of this madding fever !
Of thee, thy record never can be miss d.
That poor retention could not so much hold,
To keep an adjunct to remember thee,
This I do vow, and this shall ever be,
gather'd. No, it was builded far from accident; It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls Under the blow of thralled discontent, Whereto th' inviting time our fashion calls : It fears not policy, that heretic, Which works on leases of short-number'd hours, But all alone stands hugely politic, That it nor grows with heat nor drowns with
showers. To this I witness call the fools of time, Which die for goodness, who have liv'd for crime.
cxxv. Were 't aught to me I bore the canopy, With my extern the outward honouring, Or laid great bases for eternity, Which prove more short than waste or ruining? Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent, For compound sweet forgoing simple savour, Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent ? No ;-let me bo obsequious in thy heart, And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
Which is not mix'd with seconds, knows no art, But mutual render, only me for thee.
Hence, thou suborn'd informer ! a true soul When most impeach'd stands least in thy control.
CXXVI. O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power Dost hold Time's fickle glass, his sickle-hour ; Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st Thy lovers withering, as thy sweet self grow'st; If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack, As thou goest onwards, still will pluck theo
back, She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill May time disgrace, and wretched minutes kill. Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure! She may detain, but not still keep, her treasure : Her audit, though delay'd, answer'd must be, And her quietus ° is to render thee.
Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe,
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
& That poor retention could not so much hold,-) “That poor retention is the table-book given to him by his friend, incapable of retaining, or rather of containing, so much as the tablet of the brain."- MALONE.
bo thou, my lovely boy,-) " This sonnet differs from all the others in the present collection, not being written in alternate rhymes."-MALONE.
e- quietus-) Discharge, acquittance, release. So in Webster's "Duchess of Mall," Act Ill. Sc.2,
" You had the trick in audit-time to be sick,
Till I had sign'd your quietus. d In the old age black was not counted fair,-] This and all the remaining Sonnets are addressed to a woman.
Therefore my mistress' eyes are rapen black
Here we suspect the repetition of “eyes” to have been a slip of the compositor, and that the poet wrote,
“ my mistress' brows are raven black," &c. '. " my mistress' eyes are raven black,
Her brows so suited,” &c.
“ O, if in black my lady's brows be deck'd,
It movrns, that painting, and usurping hair,
And therefore is she born to make black fair." f - those jacks,-) The keys of a spinnet or virginal were termed "jacks."
8 — thy fingers-] In this, as in the last line, the old copy misprints their for “thy."