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And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-ty'd by authority,
And folly (doctor-like) controling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
And captive Good attending captive Ill:
Tird with all these, from these would I begone,
Save that to die, I leave my love alone.
What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
Since every one, hath every one, one shade,
And you but one, can every shadow lend ?
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit
Is poorly imitated after you;
On Helen's cheek all art of beauty set,
And you in Grecian tires are painted new.
Speak of the spring and foyzen of the year
The one doth shadow of your beauty show,
The other as your bounty doth appear,
And you in every blessed shape we know :
In all external grace you have some part,
But you like none, none you, for constant heart.
O! how much more doth beauty beauteous seem,
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give !
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye,
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly,
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses :
But, for their virtue's only in their show,
They live unmov'd, and unrespected fade,
Die to themselves : sweet roses do not so ;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made.
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall fade, by verse distils your truth,
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.
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,
(Tho' you do any thing) he thinks no ill.
That God forbid, that made me first your slave,
I should in thought control your times of pleasure ;
Or at your hand the account of hours to crave,
Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure.
O let me suffer (being at your beck)
Th’imprison'd absence of your liberty ;
And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check,
Without accusing you of injury !
Be where you list, your charter is so strong,
That you yourself may privilege your time
To what you will ; 'to you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime.
I am to wait, tho' waiting so be hell :
Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or well.
If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguild?
Whiclı labouring for invention, bear amiss
The second burden of a former child?
O! that record could with a backward look,
Ev'n of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mine at first in character was done !
That I might see what the old world could say
To this composed wonder of your frame ;
Whether we're mended, or where better they,
Or whether revolution be the saine,
O ! sure I am, the wits of former days
To subjects worse have given admiring praise.
From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose may never die ;
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender air might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel :
Making a famine where abundance lies :
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding..
Pity the world, or else this glutton be
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.
When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery, so gaz'd on now,
Will be a tatter'd weed of small worth held :
Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days ;
To say within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise :
How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use,
If thou could'st answer, this fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,
Proving his beauty by succession thine ?
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm, when thou feel'st it cold.
Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest,
Now is the time that face should form another;
Whose fresh repair, if now thou not renewest,
'Thou dost beguile the world, unless some mother.
For where is she so fair, whose un-ear'd womb.
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry ?
Or who is he so fond, will be the tomb
Of his self-love, to stop posterity ?
Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime:
So thou thro’ windows of thine age shalt see,
Despite of wripkles, this thy golden time.
But if thou live, remember not to be ;
Die single, and thine image dies with thee.
O that you were yourself! but, love, you are
No longer yours, then you yourself here live :
Against this coming end you should prepare,
And your sweet semblance to some other give.
So should that beauty, which you hold in lease,
Find no determination ; then you were
Yourself again, after yourself's decease,
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who let so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold,
Against the stormy gusts of winter's day,
And barren rage of death's eternal cold?
O! none but unthrifts; dear my love, you know
You had a father, let your son say so.
Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck,
And yet methinks I have astronomy ;
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons quality ;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind;
Or say, with princes, if it shall go well,
By ought predict that I in heaven find :
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And constant stars ; in them I read such art,
As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
If from thyself, to store thou would'st convert:
Or else of thee this I prognosticate,
Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date..
When I consider, every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment:
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows,
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment :
When I perceive, that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check'd even by the self-same sky:
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease.
And wear their brave state out of memory :
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay,
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful time debateth with decay,
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
And all in war with time, for love of you,
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.
But wherefore do not you a mightier way.
Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?
And fortify yourself in your decay,
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme :
Now stand you on the top of happy hours,
And many maiden gardens yet unset,
With virtuous wish would bear you living flowers,
Much liker than your painted counterfeit.
So should the lines of life that life repair,
Which this (time's pencil) or my pupil pen,
Neither in inward worth, nor outward fair,
Can make you live yourself in eyes of men.
To give away yourself, keeps yourself still,
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.
Who will believe my verse, in time to come,
If it were filld with your most high deserts ?
Tho' yet, heav'n knows, it is but as a tomb,
Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts.
If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
And in fresh numbers number all your graces ;
The age to come would say, this poet lies,
Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.
So should my papers (yellow'd with their age)
Be scorn'd, like old men of less truth than tongue;
And your true rights be term’d a poet's rage,
And stretched metre of an antick song.
But were some child of yours alive that time,
You should live twice in it, and in my rhyme.