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For hearts of truest mettle
Absence doth join, and Time doth settle.

Who loves a mistress of such quality,

He soon hath found

Affection's ground
Beyond time, place, and all mortality.

To hearts that cannot vary
Absence is present, Time doth tarty.



By absence this good means I gain,

That I can catch her,

Where none can watch her,
In some close corner of my brain :

There I embrace and kiss her ;
And so I both enjoy and miss her.



Being your slave, what should I do but tend

Upon the hours and times of your desire ?
I have no precious time at all to spend

Nor services to do, till you require :

Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour 5

Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you, Nor think the bitterness of absence sour

When you have bid your servant once adieu :


Nor dare I question with my jealous thought

Where you may be, or your affairs suppose, But like a sad slave, stay and think of nought Save, where you are, how happy you make

those ;

So true a fool is love, that in your will,
Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.


11 How like a winter hath my absence been

From Thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen,

What old December's bareness everywhere ! And yet this time removed was summer's time ; 5

The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, Bearing the wanton burden of the prime

Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease : Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me

But hope of orphans, and unfather'd fruit ; For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,

And, thou away, the very birds are mute ; Or if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer, That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.





When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes

I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

And look upon myself, and curse my fate ; Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him with friends possest, Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least ; Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on Thee—and then my state, 10 Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate ; For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings, That then I scorn to change my state with kings.





O never say that I was false of heart,

Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify : As easy might I from myself depart

As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie; That is my home of love ; if I have ranged,

Like him that travels, I return again, Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,

So that myself bring water for my stain. Never believe, though in my nature reign'd

All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stain'd

To leave for nothing all thy sum of good :
For nothing this wide universe I call,
Save thou, my rose : in it thou art my all.



14 To me, fair Friend, you never can be old,

For as you were when first your eye I eyed Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold Have from the forests shook three summers'

pride ; Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'd 5

In process of the seasons have I seen, Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd,

Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green. Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-hand,

Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived ; 10 So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,

Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived : For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred, Ere you were born, was beauty's summer dead.





Diaphenia like the daffadowndilly,

White as the sun, fair as the lily, Heigh ho, how I do love thee !

I do love thee as my lambs

Are beloved of their dams ; How blest were I if thou would'st prove me.

Diaphenia like the spreading roses,

That in thy sweets all sweets encloses, Fair sweet, how I do love thee !

I do love thee as each flower

Loves the sun's life-giving power ; For dead, thy breath to life might move me.

Diaphenia like to all things blessed

When all thy praises are expresséd, Dear joy, how I do love thee!

As the birds do love the spring,

Or the bees their careful king :
Then in requite, sweet virgin, love me !





Like to the clear in highest sphere

Where all imperial glory shines,
Of selfsame colour is her hair
Whether unfolded, or in twines :

Heigh ho, fair Rosalynde! Her eyes are sapphires set in snow,

Resembling heaven by every wink ; The Gods do fear whenas they glow, And I do tremble when I think

Heigh ho, would she were mine!


10 15

Her cheeks are like the blushing cloud

That beautifies Aurora's face,
Or like the silver crimson shroud
That Phoebus' smiling looks doth grace ;

Heigh ho, fair Rosalynde !
Her lips are like two budded roses

Whom ranks of lilies neighbour nigh,
Within which bounds she balm encloses
Apt to entice a deity :

Heigh ho, would she were mine !




Her neck is like a stately tower

Where Love himself imprison'd lies,
To watch for glances every hour
From her divine and sacred eyes :

Heigh ho, for Rosalynde!
Her paps are centres of delight,

Her breasts are orbs of heavenly frame,
Where Nature moulds the dew of light
To feed perfection with the same :

Heigh ho, would she were mine!
With orient pearl, with ruby red,

With marble white, with sapphire blue
Her body every way is sed,
Yet soft in touch and sweet in view :

Heigh ho, fair Rosalynde !
Nature herself her shape admires ;

The Gods are wounded in her sight;
And Love forsakes his heavenly fires
And at her eyes his brand doth light :

Heigh ho, would she were mine !
Then muse not, Nymphs, though I bemoan

The absence of fair Rosalynde,
Since for a fair there's fairer none,
Nor for her virtues so divine :

Heigh ho, fair Rosalynde; Heigh ho, my heart! would God that she were mine!





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