FROM fairest creatures we desire
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
the riper should by time
His tender heir might bear his memory:
contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light'st flame
with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
that art now the world's fresh ornament
And only herald to the
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or
else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and
When forty winters shall beseige thy
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
youth's proud livery, so gazed on now,
Will be a tatter'd weed,
of small worth held:
Then being ask'd where all thy beauty
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,
within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and
How much more praise deserved thy beauty's
If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
sum my count and make my old excuse,'
Proving his beauty by
This were to be new made when thou art
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it
Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou
Now is the time
that face should form another;
Whose fresh repair if now thou
Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some
For where is she so fair whose unear'd womb
the tillage of thy husbandry?
Or who is he so fond will be the
Of his self-love, to stop posterity?
Thou art thy
mother's glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of
So thou through windows of thine age shall
Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.
if thou live, remember'd not to be,
Die single, and thine image
dies with thee.
Unthrifty loveliness, why dost
Upon thyself thy beauty's legacy?
bequest gives nothing but doth lend,
And being frank she lends
to those are free.
Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou
The bounteous largess given thee to give?
usurer, why dost thou use
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not
For having traffic with thyself alone,
Thou of thyself
thy sweet self dost deceive.
Then how, when nature calls thee
to be gone,
What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
unused beauty must be tomb'd with thee,
Which, used, lives th'
executor to be.
Those hours, that with gentle
work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
play the tyrants to the very same
And that unfair which fairly
For never-resting time
leads summer on
To hideous winter and confounds him there;
check'd with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
o'ersnow'd and bareness every where:
Then, were not summer's
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of
Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft,
Nor it nor
no remembrance what it was:
But flowers distill'd though they
with winter meet,
Leese but their show; their substance still
Then let not winter's ragged hand
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill'd:
some vial; treasure thou some place
With beauty's treasure, ere
it be self-kill'd.
That use is not forbidden usury,
happies those that pay the willing loan;
That's for thyself to
breed another thee,
Or ten times
happier, be it ten for one;
thyself were happier than thou art,
If ten of thine ten times
Then what could death do, if thou shouldst
Leaving thee living in posterity?
self-will'd, for thou art much too fair
To be death's conquest
and make worms thine heir.
Lo! in the orient
when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning head, each under
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
looks his sacred majesty;
And having climb'd the steep-up
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
mortal looks adore his beauty still,
Attending on his golden
But when from highmost pitch, with weary car,
feeble age, he reeleth from the day,
The eyes, 'fore duteous,
now converted are
From his low tract and look another way:
thou, thyself out-going in thy noon,
Unlook'd on diest, unless
thou get a son.
Music to hear, why hear'st
thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in
Why lovest thou that which thou receivest not gladly,
else receivest with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord
of well-tuned sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one
string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by
Resembling sire and child and happy mother
all in one, one pleasing note do sing:
Whose speechless song,
being many, seeming one,
Sings this to thee: 'thou single wilt
Is it for fear to wet a widow's
That thou consumest thyself in single life?
Ah! if thou
issueless shalt hap to die.
The world will wail thee, like a
The world will be thy widow and still weep
thou no form of thee hast left behind,
When every private widow
well may keep
By children's eyes her husband's shape in
Look, what an unthrift in the world doth spend
but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
waste hath in the world an end,
And kept unused, the user so
No love toward others in that bosom sits
on himself such murderous shame commits.
shame! deny that thou bear'st love to any,
Who for thyself art
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of
But that thou none lovest is most evident;
art so possess'd with murderous hate
That 'gainst thyself thou
stick'st not to conspire.
Seeking that beauteous roof to
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
change thy thought, that I may change my mind!
Shall hate be
fairer lodged than gentle love?
Be, as thy presence is,
gracious and kind,
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted
Make thee another self, for love of me,
still may live in thine or thee.
As fast as thou
shalt wane, so fast thou growest
In one of thine, from that
which thou departest;
And that fresh blood which youngly thou
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth
Herein lives wisdom, beauty and increase:
this, folly, age and cold decay:
If all were minded so, the
And threescore year would make the world away.
those whom Nature hath not made for store,
and rude, barrenly perish:
Look, whom she best endow'd she gave
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty
She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby
shouldst print more, not let that copy die.
I do count the clock that tells the time,
see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the
violet past prime,
And sable curls all silver'd o'er with
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer's green all girded up
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing 'gainst time's
scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes
O, that you were yourself! but,
love, you are
No longer yours than you yourself here
Against this coming end you should prepare,
sweet semblance to some other give.
So should that beauty which
you hold in lease
Find no determination: then you were
again after yourself's decease,
When your sweet issue your
sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to
Which husbandry in honour might uphold
stormy gusts of winter's day
And barren rage of death's eternal
O, none but unthrifts! Dear my love, you know
a father: let your son say so.
Not from the
stars do I my judgment pluck;
And yet methinks I have
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
of dearths, or seasons' quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,
say with princes if it shall go well,
By oft predict that I in
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty
shall together thrive,
If from thyself to store thou wouldst
Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
Thy end is
truth's and beauty's doom and date.
consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a
That this huge stage presenteth nought but
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check'd even
by the self-same sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height
And wear their brave state out of memory;
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
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
Make war upon this bloody tyrant, time?
fortify yourself in your decay
With means more blessed than my
Now stand you on the top of happy hours,
many maiden gardens yet unset
With virtuous wish would bear
your living flowers,
Much liker than your painted
So should the lines of life that life
Which this, time's
pencil, or my pupil pen,
Neither in inward worth nor outward
Can make you live yourself in eyes of men.
away yourself keeps yourself still,
And you must live, drawn by
your own sweet skill.
Who will believe my
verse in time
If it were fill'd with your most high deserts?
yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb
Which hides your life
and shows not half your parts.
If I could write the beauty of
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
age to come would say 'This poet lies:
Such heavenly touches
ne'er touch'd earthly faces.'
So should my papers yellow'd with
Be scorn'd like old men of less truth than
And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage
stretched metre of an antique song:
But were some child of
yours alive that time,
should live twice; in it and in my rhyme.
I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
summer's lease hath all too short a date:
too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold
And every fair from fair sometime
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that
fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his
When in eternal lines to time
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
long lives this and this gives life to thee.
blunt thou the lion's paws,
And make the earth devour her own
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And do whate'er thou
wilt, swift-footed time,
the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one
most heinous crime:
O, carve not with thy hours my love's fair
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
thy course untainted do allow
For beauty's pattern to
Yet, do thy worst, old time:
despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live
A woman's face with Nature's own hand
Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;
woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change,
as is false women's fashion;
An eye more bright than theirs,
less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it
A man in hue, all 'hues' in his controlling,
steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth.
And for a woman
wert thou first created;
Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell
And by addition me of thee defeated,
By adding one
thing to my purpose nothing.
But since she prick'd thee out for
Mine be thy love and thy love's use their
So is it not with me as with that
Stirr'd by a painted beauty to his verse,
itself for ornament doth use
And every fair with his fair doth
Making a couplement of proud compare,
With sun and
moon, with earth and sea's rich gems,
With April's first-born
flowers, and all things rare
That heaven's air in this huge
O' let me, true in love, but truly write,
then believe me, my love is as fair
As any mother's child,
though not so bright
As those gold candles fix'd in heaven's
Let them say more than like of hearsay well;
I will not
praise that purpose not to sell.
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,
Then look I death my days should expiate.
all that beauty that doth cover thee
Is but the seemly raiment
of my heart,
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me:
can I then be elder than thou art?
O, therefore, love, be of
thyself so wary
As I, not for myself, but for thee
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary
tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
Presume not on thy heart
when mine is slain;
Thou gavest me thine, not to give back
As an unperfect actor on the stage
with his fear is put besides his part,
Or some fierce thing
replete with too much rage,
Whose strength's abundance weakens
his own heart.
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
perfect ceremony of love's rite,
And in mine own love's
strength seem to decay,
O'ercharged with burden of mine own
O, let my books be then the eloquence
presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love and look
More than that tongue that more hath more
O, learn to read what silent love hath writ:
hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.
eye hath play'd the painter and hath stell'd
Thy beauty's form
in table of my heart;
My body is the frame wherein 'tis
And perspective it is the painter's art.
the painter must you see his skill,
To find where your true
image pictured lies;
Which in my bosom's shop is hanging
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes.
what good turns eyes for eyes have done:
Mine eyes have drawn
thy shape, and thine for me
Are windows to my breast,
where-through the sun
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on
Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art;
draw but what they see, know not the heart.
those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and
proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.
favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused
After a thousand victories once foil'd,
the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for
which he toil'd:
Then happy I, that love and am beloved
I may not remove nor be removed.
Lord of my
love, to whom in vassalage
Thy merit hath my duty strongly
To thee I send this written embassage,
duty, not to show my wit:
Duty so great, which wit so poor as
May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it,
that I hope some good conceit of thine
In thy soul's thought,
all naked, will bestow it;
Till whatsoever star that guides my
Points on me graciously with fair aspect
apparel on my tatter'd loving,
To show me worthy of thy sweet
Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee;
then not show my head where thou mayst prove me.
with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with
But then begins a journey in my head,
my mind, when body's work's expired:
For then my thoughts, from
far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which
the blind do see
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in
Makes black night beauteous and her old face
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
and for myself no quiet find.
How can I then
return in happy plight,
That am debarr'd the benefit of
When day's oppression is not eased by night,
by night, and night by day, oppress'd?
And each, though enemies
to either's reign,
Do in consent shake hands to torture me;
one by toil, the other to complain
How far I toil, still
farther off from thee.
I tell the day, to please them thou art
And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven:
flatter I the swart-complexion'd night,
When sparkling stars
twire not thou gild'st the even.
But day doth daily draw my
And night doth nightly make grief's
When, in disgrace
with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more
rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself
Haply I think on thee, and then my
Like to the lark at break of day arising
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.
When to the sessions of sweet
I summon up remembrance of things past,
sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new
wail my dear time's
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's
long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are
restored and sorrows end.
Thy bosom is endeared with all
Which I by lacking have supposed dead,
reigns love and all love's loving parts,
And all those friends
which I thought buried.
How many a holy and obsequious
Hath dear religious love stol'n from mine eye
interest of the dead, which now appear
But things removed that
hidden in thee lie!
Thou art the grave where buried love doth
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
their parts of me to thee did give;
That due of many now is
Their images I loved I view in thee,
all they, hast all the all of me.
survive my well-contented day,
When that churl Death my bones
with dust shall cover,
And shalt by fortune once more
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,
them with the bettering of the time,
though they be outstripp'd by every pen,
Reserve them for my
love, not for their rhyme,
Exceeded by the height of happier
O, then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
friend's Muse grown with this growing age,
A dearer birth than
this his love had brought,
To march in ranks of better
But since he died and poets better prove,
for their style I'll read, his for his love.'
many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops
with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his
And from the forlorn world his visage
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my
sun one early morn did shine
With all triumphant splendor on my
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine;
cloud hath mask'd him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no
Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun
Why didst thou promise such a
And make me travel forth without my cloak,
let base clouds o'ertake me in my way,
Hiding thy bravery in
their rotten smoke?
'Tis not enough that through the cloud thou
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
For no man
well of such a salve can speak
That heals the wound and cures
not the disgrace:
Nor can thy shame give physic to my
Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss:
offender's sorrow lends but weak relief
To him that bears the
strong offence's cross.
Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy
And they are rich and ransom all ill
No more be grieved at that which thou
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;
and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker
lives in sweetest bud.
All men make faults, and even I in
Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
corrupting, salving thy amiss,
Excusing thy sins more than thy
For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense--
adverse party is thy advocate--
And 'gainst myself a lawful
Such civil war is in my love and hate
an accessary needs must be
To that sweet thief which sourly
robs from me.
Let me confess that we two must
Although our undivided loves are one:
those blots that do with me remain
Without thy help by me be
In our two loves there is but one respect,
in our lives a separable spite,
Which though it alter not
love's sole effect,
Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's
I may not evermore acknowledge thee,
bewailed guilt should do thee shame,
Nor thou with public
kindness honour me,
Unless thou take that honour from thy
But do not so; I love thee in such sort
As, thou being
mine, mine is thy good report.
As a decrepit
father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of
So I, made lame by fortune's dearest spite,
my comfort of thy worth and truth.
For whether beauty, birth,
or wealth, or wit,
Or any of these all, or all, or
Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit,
I make my love
engrafted to this store:
So then I am not lame, poor, nor
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
I in thy abundance am sufficed
And by a part of all thy glory
Look, what is best, that best I wish in thee:
wish I have; then ten times
How can my Muse want subject to
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
vulgar paper to rehearse?
O, give thyself the thanks, if aught
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;
For who's so
dumb that cannot write to thee,
When thou thyself dost give
Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times
more in worth
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;
he that calls on thee, let him bring forth
Eternal numbers to
outlive long date.
If my slight Muse do please these curious
The pain be mine, but thine shall be the
O, how thy worth with manners may I
When thou art all the better part of me?
What can mine
own praise to mine own self bring?
And what is 't but mine own
when I praise thee?
Even for this let us divided live,
our dear love lose name of single one,
That by this separation
I may give
That due to thee which thou deservest alone.
absence, what a torment wouldst thou prove,
Were it not thy
sour leisure gave sweet leave
To entertain the time
with thoughts of love,
and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive,
And that thou teachest
how to make one twain,
By praising him here who doth hence
Take all my loves, my love, yea, take
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?
love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;
All mine was
thine before thou hadst this more.
Then if for my love thou my
I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest;
yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest
By wilful taste of
what thyself refusest.
I do forgive thy robbery, gentle
Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
love knows, it is a greater grief
To bear love's wrong than
hate's known injury.
Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well
Kill me with spites; yet we must not be
Those petty wrongs that liberty
When I am sometime
absent from thy heart,
Thy beauty and thy years full well
For still temptation follows where thou art.
thou art and therefore to be won,
Beauteous thou art, therefore
to be assailed;
And when a woman woos, what woman's son
sourly leave her till she have prevailed?
Ay me! but yet thou
mightest my seat forbear,
And chide thy beauty and thy straying
Who lead thee in their riot even there
Where thou art
forced to break a twofold truth,
Hers by thy beauty tempting
her to thee,
Thine, by thy beauty being false to
That thou hast her, it is not all my
And yet it may be said I loved her dearly;
hath thee, is of my wailing chief,
A loss in love that touches
me more nearly.
Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye:
dost love her, because thou knowst I love her;
And for my sake
even so doth she abuse me,
Suffering my friend for my sake to
If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain,
losing her, my friend hath found that loss;
Both find each
other, and I lose both twain,
And both for my sake lay on me
But here's the joy; my friend and I are one;
flattery! then she loves but me alone.
most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they
view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look
And darkly bright are bright in dark directed.
thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy
shadow's form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in
the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days
when dreams do show thee me.
If the dull
substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should
not stop my way;
For then despite of space I would be
From limits far remote where thou dost stay.
matter then although my foot did stand
Upon the farthest earth
removed from thee;
For nimble thought can jump both sea and
As soon as think the place where he would be.
thought kills me that I am not thought,
To leap large lengths
of miles when thou art gone,
But that so much of earth and
I must attend time's
leisure with my moan,
Receiving nought by elements so slow
heavy tears, badges of either's woe.
two, slight air and purging fire,
Are both with thee, wherever
The first my thought, the other my desire,
present-absent with swift motion slide.
For when these quicker
elements are gone
In tender embassy of love to thee,
life, being made of four, with two alone
Sinks down to death,
oppress'd with melancholy;
Until life's composition be
By those swift messengers return'd from thee,
even but now come back again, assured
Of thy fair health,
recounting it to me:
This told, I joy; but then no longer
I send them back again and straight grow sad.
Mine eye and heart are at a mortal
How to divide the conquest of thy sight;
Mine eye my
heart thy picture's sight would bar,
My heart mine eye the
freedom of that right.
My heart doth plead that thou in him
A closet never pierced with crystal eyes--
the defendant doth that plea deny
And says in him thy fair
To 'cide this title is impanneled
of thoughts, all tenants to the heart,
And by their verdict is
The clear eye's moiety and the dear heart's part:
thus; mine eye's due is thy outward part,
And my heart's right
thy inward love of heart.
Betwixt mine eye
and heart a league is took,
And each doth good turns now unto
When that mine eye is famish'd for a look,
heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
With my love's
picture then my eye doth feast
And to the painted banquet bids
mine eye is my heart's guest
And in his thoughts of love doth
share a part:
So, either by thy picture or my love,
away art resent still with me;
For thou not farther than my
thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them and they with
Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
heart to heart's and eye's delight.
careful was I, when I took my way,
Each trifle under truest
bars to thrust,
That to my use it might unused stay
hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust!
But thou, to whom
my jewels trifles are,
Most worthy of comfort, now my greatest
Thou, best of dearest and mine only care,
the prey of every vulgar thief.
Thee have I not lock'd up in
Save where thou art not, though I feel thou
Within the gentle closure of my breast,
From whence at
pleasure thou mayst come and part;
And even thence thou wilt be
stol'n, I fear,
For truth proves thievish for a prize so
Against that time,
if ever that time
When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
When as thy
love hath cast his utmost sum,
Call'd to that audit by advised
Against that time
when thou shalt strangely pass
And scarcely greet me with that
sun thine eye,
When love, converted from the thing it
Shall reasons find of settled gravity,--
do I ensconce me here
Within the knowledge of mine own
And this my hand against myself uprear,
To guard the
lawful reasons on thy part:
To leave poor me thou hast the
strength of laws,
Since why to love I can allege no
How heavy do I journey on the way,
what I seek, my weary travel's end,
Doth teach that ease and
that repose to say
'Thus far the miles are measured from thy
The beast that bears me, tired with my woe,
dully on, to bear that weight in me,
As if by some instinct the
wretch did know
His rider loved not speed, being made from
The bloody spur cannot provoke him on
anger thrusts into his hide;
Which heavily he answers with a
More sharp to me than spurring to his side;
same groan doth put this in my mind;
My grief lies onward and
my joy behind.
Thus can my love excuse the slow
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of
posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I
spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion
shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep
Therefore desire of perfect'st love being made,
neigh--no dull flesh--in his fiery race;
But love, for love,
thus shall excuse my jade;
Since from thee going he went
Towards thee I'll run, and give him leave to
So am I as the rich, whose blessed key
bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure,
The which he will
not every hour survey,
For blunting the fine point of seldom
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare,
seldom coming, in the long year set,
Like stones of worth they
thinly placed are,
Or captain jewels in the carcanet.
that keeps you as my chest,
Or as the wardrobe which the robe
To make some special instant special blest,
new unfolding his imprison'd pride.
Blessed are you, whose
worthiness gives scope,
Being had, to triumph, being lack'd, to
What is your substance, whereof are you
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
every one hath, every one, one shade,
And you, but one, can
every shadow lend.
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit
poorly imitated after you;
On Helen's cheek all art of beauty
And you in Grecian tires are painted new:
Speak of the
spring and foison of the year;
The one doth shadow of your
The other as your bounty doth appear;
in every blessed shape we know.
In all external grace you have
But you like none, none you, for constant
O, how much more doth beauty beauteous
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
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
the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns and
play as wantonly
When summer's breath their masked buds
But, for their virtue only is their show,
live unwoo'd and unrespected fade,
Die to themselves. Sweet
roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
shall fade, my verse distills your truth.
marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this
But you shall shine more bright in these
Than unswept stone besmear'd with sluttish time.
wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the
work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall
still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that
You live in this, and dwell in lover's
Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite,
to-day by feeding is allay'd,
To-morrow sharpen'd in his former
So, love, be thou; although to-day thou fill
hungry eyes even till they wink with fullness,
again, and do not kill
The spirit of love with a perpetual
Let this sad interim like the ocean be
the shore, where two contracted new
Come daily to the banks,
that, when they see
Return of love, more blest may be the
Else call it winter, which being full of care
summer's welcome thrice more wish'd, more rare.
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.
dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign,
watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence
When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Nor dare I
question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of
Save, where you are how happy you make those.
a fool is love that in your will,
Though you do any thing, he
thinks no ill.
That god forbid that made me
first your slave,
I should in thought control your times
Or at your hand the account of hours to
Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure!
me suffer, being at your beck,
The imprison'd absence of your
And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each
Without accusing you of injury.
Be where you list,
your charter is so strong
That you yourself may privilege your
what you will; to you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of
I am to wait, though waiting so be hell;
blame your pleasure, be it ill or well.
there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how
are our brains beguiled,
Which, labouring for invention, bear
The second burden of a former child!
O, that record
could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mind at
first in character was done!
That I might see what the old
world could say
To this composed wonder of your frame;
we are mended, or whether better they,
Or whether revolution be
O, sure I am, the wits of former days
worse have given admiring praise.
Like as the
waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten
to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being
Crooked elipses 'gainst his glory fight,
that gave doth now his gift confound.
doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the
parallels in beauty's brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature's
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his
Is it thy will thy image should keep
My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
Dost thou desire
my slumbers should be broken,
While shadows like to thee do
mock my sight?
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
far from home into my deeds to pry,
To find out shames and idle
hours in me,
The scope and tenor of thy jealousy?
O, no! thy
love, though much, is not so great:
It is my love that keeps
mine eye awake;
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
play the watchman ever for thy sake:
For thee watch I whilst
thou dost wake elsewhere,
From me far off, with others all too
Sin of self-love possesseth all mine
And all my soul and all my every part;
And for this sin
there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so
true, no truth of such account;
And for myself mine own worth
As I all other in all worths surmount.
my glass shows me myself indeed,
Beated and chopp'd with tann'd
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
self-loving were iniquity.
'Tis thee, myself, that for myself I
Painting my age with beauty of thy
Against my love shall be, as I am
injurious hand crush'd and o'er-worn;
When hours have drain'd
his blood and fill'd his brow
With lines and wrinkles; when his
Hath travell'd on to age's steepy night,
all those beauties whereof now he's king
Are vanishing or
vanish'd out of sight,
Stealing away the treasure of his
For such a time
do I now fortify
Against confounding age's cruel knife,
he shall never cut from memory
My sweet love's beauty, though
my lover's life:
His beauty shall in these black lines be
And they shall live, and he in them still
When I have seen by time's
fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworn buried
lofty towers I see down-razed
And brass eternal slave to mortal
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery
Increasing store with loss and loss with store;
have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate,
will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death,
which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor
But sad mortality o'er-sways their power,
with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no
stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer's honey breath hold
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
best jewel from time's
chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O, none, unless
this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still
Tired with all these, for
restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection
And strength by limping sway
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
doctor-like controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd
And captive good attending captain ill:
with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die,
I leave my love alone.
Ah! wherefore with
infection should he live,
And with his presence grace
That sin by him advantage should achieve
itself with his society?
Why should false painting imitate his
And steal dead seeing of his living hue?
poor beauty indirectly seek
Roses of shadow, since his rose is
Why should he live, now Nature bankrupt is,
of blood to blush through lively veins?
For she hath no
excheckr now but his,
And, proud of many, lives upon his
O, him she stores, to show what wealth she had
days long since, before these last so bad.
is his cheek the map of days outworn,
When beauty lived and
died as flowers do now,
Before the bastard signs of fair were
Or durst inhabit on a living brow;
Before the golden
tresses of the dead,
The right of sepulchres, were shorn
To live a second life on second head;
dead fleece made another gay:
In him those holy antique hours
Without all ornament, itself and true,
summer of another's green,
Robbing no old to dress his beauty
And him as for a map doth Nature store,
To show false
Art what beauty was of yore.
Those parts of
thee that the world's eye doth view
Want nothing that the
thought of hearts can mend;
All tongues, the voice of souls,
give thee that due,
Uttering bare truth, even so as foes
Thy outward thus with outward praise is crown'd;
those same tongues that give thee so thine own
In other accents
do this praise confound
By seeing farther than the eye hath
They look into the beauty of thy mind,
And that, in
guess, they measure by thy deeds;
Then, churls, their thoughts,
although their eyes were kind,
To thy fair flower add the rank
smell of weeds:
But why thy odour matcheth not thy show,
solve is this, that thou dost common grow.
thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
For slander's mark was
ever yet the fair;
The ornament of beauty is suspect,
that flies in heaven's sweetest air.
So thou be good, slander
doth but approve
Thy worth the greater, being woo'd of
canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,
And thou present'st a
pure unstained prime.
Thou hast pass'd by the ambush of young
Either not assail'd or victor being charged;
thy praise cannot be so thy praise,
To tie up envy evermore
If some suspect of ill mask'd not thy show,
thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.
longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the
surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read
this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so
much as my poor name rehearse.
But let your love even with my
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
mock you with me after I am gone.
O, lest the
world should task you to recite
What merit lived in me, that
you should love
After my death, dear love, forget me quite,
you in me can nothing worthy prove;
Unless you would devise
some virtuous lie,
To do more for me than mine own desert,
hang more praise upon deceased I
Than niggard truth would
O, lest your true love may seem false in
That you for love speak well of me untrue,
My name be
buried where my body is,
And live no more to shame nor me nor
For I am shamed by that which I bring forth,
should you, to love things nothing worth.
of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or
few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth
in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his
youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that
well which thou must leave ere long.
contented: when that fell arrest
Without all bail shall carry
My life hath in this line some interest,
memorial still with thee shall stay.
When thou reviewest this,
thou dost review
The very part was consecrate to thee:
earth can have but earth, which is his due;
My spirit is thine,
the better part of me:
So then thou hast but lost the dregs of
The prey of worms, my body being dead,
conquest of a wretch's knife,
Too base of thee to be
The worth of that is that which it contains,
that is this, and this with thee remains.
are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-season'd
showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such
As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found;
as an enjoyer and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his
Now counting best to be with you alone,
better'd that the world may see my pleasure;
all full with feasting on your sight
And by and by clean
starved for a look;
Possessing or pursuing no delight,
what is had or must from you be took.
Thus do I pine and
surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all, or all away.
Why is my verse so barren of new
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the
do I not glance aside
To new-found methods and to compounds
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my
Showing their birth and where they did proceed?
know, sweet love, I always write of you,
And you and love are
still my argument;
So all my best is dressing old words
Spending again what is already spent:
For as the sun is
daily new and old,
So is my love still telling what is
Thy glass will show thee how thy
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book
this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass
will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory can not
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find
children nursed, deliver'd from thy brain,
To take a new
acquaintance of thy mind.
These offices, so oft as thou wilt
Shall profit thee and much enrich thy book.
oft have I invoked thee for my Muse
And found such fair
assistance in my verse
As every alien pen hath got my use
under thee their poesy disperse.
Thine eyes that taught the
dumb on high to sing
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly
added feathers to the learned's wing
And given grace a double
Yet be most proud of that which I compile,
influence is thine and born of thee:
In others' works thou dost
but mend the style,
And arts with thy sweet graces graced
But thou art all my art and dost advance
As high as
learning my rude ignorance.
Whilst I alone
did call upon thy aid,
My verse alone had all thy gentle
But now my gracious numbers are decay'd
And my sick
Muse doth give another place.
I grant, sweet love, thy lovely
Deserves the travail of a worthier pen,
Yet what of
thee thy poet doth invent
He robs thee of and pays it thee
He lends thee virtue and he stole that word
behavior; beauty doth he give
And found it in thy cheek; he can
No praise to thee but what in thee doth live.
thank him not for that which he doth say,
Since what he owes
thee thou thyself dost pay.
O, how I faint
when I of you do write,
Knowing a better spirit doth use your
And in the praise thereof spends all his might,
make me tongue-tied, speaking of your fame!
But since your
worth, wide as the ocean is,
The humble as the proudest sail
My saucy bark inferior far to his
On your broad
main doth wilfully appear.
Your shallowest help will hold me up
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride;
being wreck'd, I am a worthless boat,
He of tall building and
of goodly pride:
Then if he thrive and I be cast away,
worst was this; my love was my decay.
shall live your epitaph to make,
Or you survive when I in earth
From hence your memory death cannot take,
in me each part will be forgotten.
Your name from hence
immortal life shall have,
Though I, once gone, to all the world
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
you entombed in men's eyes shall lie.
Your monument shall be my
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read,
tongues to be your being shall rehearse
When all the breathers
of this world are dead;
You still shall live--such virtue hath
Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of
I grant thou wert not married to my
And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook
dedicated words which writers use
Of their fair subject,
blessing every book
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise,
art enforced to seek anew
Some fresher stamp of the
And do so, love; yet when they have devised
strained touches rhetoric can lend,
Thou truly fair wert truly
In true plain words by thy true-telling friend;
their gross painting might be better used
Where cheeks need
blood; in thee it is abused.
I never saw
that you did painting need
And therefore to your fair no
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed
barren tender of a poet's debt;
And therefore have I slept in
That you yourself being extant well might show
far a modern quill doth come too short,
Speaking of worth, what
worth in you doth grow.
This silence for my sin you did
Which shall be most my glory, being dumb;
impair not beauty being mute,
When others would give life and
bring a tomb.
There lives more life in one of your fair
Than both your poets can in praise devise.
is it that says most? which can say more
Than this rich praise,
that you alone are you?
In whose confine immured is the
Which should example where your equal grew.
penury within that pen doth dwell
That to his subject lends not
some small glory;
But he that writes of you, if he can
That you are you, so dignifies his story,
Let him but
copy what in you is writ,
Not making worse what nature made so
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit,
style admired every where.
You to your beauteous blessings add
Being fond on praise, which makes your praises
My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds
While comments of your praise, richly
Reserve their character with golden quill
precious phrase by all the Muses filed.
I think good thoughts
whilst other write good words,
And like unletter'd clerk still
To every hymn that able spirit affords
polish'd form of well-refined pen.
Hearing you praised, I say
''Tis so, 'tis true,'
And to the most of praise add something
But that is in my thought, whose love to you,
words come hindmost, holds his rank before.
Then others for the
breath of words respect,
Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in
Was it the proud full sail of his
Bound for the prize of all too precious you,
did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,
Making their tomb
the womb wherein they grew?
Was it his spirit, by spirits
taught to write
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?
neither he, nor his compeers by night
Giving him aid, my verse
He, nor that affable familiar ghost
nightly gulls him with intelligence
As victors of my silence
I was not sick of any fear from thence:
when your countenance fill'd up his line,
Then lack'd I matter;
that enfeebled mine.
Farewell! thou art too
dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know'st thy
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but
by thy granting?
And for that riches where is my deserving?
cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back
again is swerving.
Thyself thou gavest, thy own worth then not
Or me, to whom thou gavest it, else mistaking;
thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on
better judgment making.
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth
In sleep a king, but waking no such
When thou shalt be disposed to set
And place my merit in the eye of scorn,
side against myself I'll fight,
And prove thee virtuous, though
thou art forsworn.
With mine own weakness being best
Upon thy part I can set down a story
conceal'd, wherein I am attainted,
That thou in losing me shalt
win much glory:
And I by this will be a gainer too;
bending all my loving thoughts on thee,
The injuries that to
myself I do,
Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me.
my love, to thee I so belong,
That for thy right myself will
bear all wrong.
Say that thou didst forsake
me for some fault,
And I will comment upon that offence;
of my lameness, and I straight will halt,
Against thy reasons
making no defence.
Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so
To set a form upon desired change,
As I'll myself
disgrace: knowing thy will,
I will acquaintance strangle and
Be absent from thy walks, and in my tongue
sweet beloved name no more shall dwell,
Lest I, too much
profane, should do it wrong
And haply of our old acquaintance
For thee against myself I'll vow debate,
For I must
ne'er love him whom thou dost hate.
Then hate me
when thou wilt; if ever, now;
Now, while the world is bent my
deeds to cross,
Join with the spite of fortune, make me
And do not drop in for an after-loss:
Ah, do not, when
my heart hath 'scoped this sorrow,
Come in the rearward of a
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,
linger out a purposed overthrow.
If thou wilt leave me, do not
leave me last,
When other petty griefs have done their
But in the onset come; so shall I taste
At first the
very worst of fortune's might,
And other strains of woe, which
now seem woe,
Compared with loss of thee will not seem so.
Some glory in their birth, some in
Some in their wealth, some in their bodies'
Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill,
in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above
But these particulars are not my measure;
these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than
high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments'
Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
thee, of all men's pride I boast:
Wretched in this alone, that
thou mayst take
All this away and me most wretched
But do thy worst to steal thyself
For term of life thou art assured mine,
And life no
longer than thy love will stay,
For it depends upon that love
Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs,
in the least of them my life hath end.
I see a better state to
Than that which on thy humour doth depend;
canst not vex me with inconstant mind,
Since that my life on
thy revolt doth lie.
O, what a happy title do I find,
to have thy love, happy to die!
But what's so blessed-fair that
fears no blot?
Thou mayst be false, and yet I know it
So shall I live, supposing thou art
Like a deceived husband; so love's face
May still seem
love to me, though alter'd new;
Thy looks with me, thy heart in
For there can live no hatred in thine
Therefore in that I cannot know thy change.
looks the false heart's history
Is writ in moods and frowns and
But heaven in thy creation did decree
in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
Whate'er thy thoughts
or thy heart's workings be,
Thy looks should nothing thence but
How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow,
thy sweet virtue answer not thy show!
that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the
thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
do inherit heaven's graces
And husband nature's riches from
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
but stewards of their excellence.
The summer's flower is to the
Though to itself it only live and die,
that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves
For sweetest things turn sourest by their
Lilies that fester smell far worse than
How sweet and lovely dost thou make the
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,
the beauty of thy budding name!
O, in what sweets dost thou thy
That tongue that tells the story of thy
Making lascivious comments on thy sport,
dispraise but in a kind of praise;
Naming thy name blesses an
O, what a mansion have those vices got
their habitation chose out thee,
Where beauty's veil doth cover
And all things turn to fair that eyes can see!
heed, dear heart, of this large privilege;
The hardest knife
ill-used doth lose his edge.
Some say thy
fault is youth, some wantonness;
Some say thy grace is youth
and gentle sport;
Both grace and faults are loved of more and
Thou makest faults graces that to thee resort.
the finger of a throned queen
The basest jewel will be well
So are those errors that in thee are seen
truths translated and for true things deem'd.
How many lambs
might the stern wolf betray,
If like a lamb he could his looks
How many gazers mightst thou lead away,
wouldst use the strength of all thy state!
But do not so; I
love thee in such sort
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good
How like a winter hath my absence
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December's
bareness every where!
And yet this time
removed was summer's time,
teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton
burden of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lords'
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me
But hope of
orphans and unfather'd fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait
And, thou away, the very birds are mute;
they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer
That leaves look pale,
dreading the winter's near.
From you have I
been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April dress'd in all
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet nor the lays of
birds nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their
proud lap pluck them where they grew;
Nor did I wonder at the
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you
pattern of all those.
Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you
As with your shadow I with these did play:
forward violet thus did I chide:
Sweet thief, whence didst thou
steal thy sweet that smells,
If not from my love's breath? The
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells
my love's veins thou hast too grossly dyed.
The lily I
condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
shame, another white despair;
A third, nor red nor white, had
stol'n of both
And to his robbery had annex'd thy breath;
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
sweet or colour it had stol'n from thee.
art thou, Muse, that thou forget'st so long
To speak of that
which gives thee all thy might?
Spend'st thou thy fury on some
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem
gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, resty Muse, my
love's sweet face survey,
have any wrinkle graven there;
If any, be a satire to
And make time's
spoils despised every where.
Give my love fame faster than time
So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked
O truant Muse, what shall be thy
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say
needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil,
beauty's truth to lay;
But best is best, if never
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be
Excuse not silence so; for't lies in thee
To make him
much outlive a gilded tomb,
And to be praised of ages yet to
Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how
To make him
seem long hence as he shows now.
My love is
strengthen'd, though more weak in seeming;
I love not less,
though less the show appear:
That love is merchandized whose
The owner's tongue doth publish every where.
love was new and then but in the spring
When I was wont to
greet it with my lays,
As Philomel in summer's front doth
And stops her pipe in growth of riper days:
the summer is less pleasant now
Than when her mournful hymns
did hush the night,
But that wild music burthens every
And sweets grown common lose their dear
Therefore like her I sometime
hold my tongue,
Because I would not dull you with my
Alack, what poverty my Muse brings
That having such a scope to show her pride,
argument all bare is of more worth
Than when it hath my added
O, blame me not, if I no more can write!
in your glass, and there appears a face
That over-goes my blunt
Dulling my lines and doing me disgrace.
it not sinful then, striving to mend,
To mar the subject that
before was well?
For to no other pass my verses tend
your graces and your gifts to tell;
And more, much more, than
in my verse can sit
Your own glass shows you when you look in
To me, fair friend, you never can be
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests
shook three summers' pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow
In process of the seasons have I seen,
April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd,
Since first I saw you
fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty, like a
Steal from his figure and no pace perceived;
your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
and mine eye may be deceived:
For fear of which, hear this,
thou age unbred;
Ere you were born was beauty's summer
Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
my beloved as an idol show,
Since all alike my songs and
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous
Therefore my verse to constancy confined,
thing expressing, leaves out difference.
'Fair, kind and true'
is all my argument,
'Fair, kind, and true' varying to other
And in this change is my invention spent,
themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.
'Fair, kind, and
true,' have often lived alone,
Which three till now never kept
seat in one.
When in the chronicle of wasted time
see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making
beautiful old rhyme
In praise of ladies dead and lovely
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen
would have express'd
Even such a beauty as you master now.
all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time,
all you prefiguring;
And, for they look'd but with divining
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
which now behold these present days,
Had eyes to wonder, but
lack tongues to praise.
Not mine own fears,
nor the prophetic soul
Of the wide world dreaming on things to
Can yet the lease of my true love control,
forfeit to a confined doom.
The mortal moon hath her eclipse
And the sad augurs mock their own
Incertainties now crown themselves assured
peace proclaims olives of endless age.
Now with the drops of
this most balmy time
love looks fresh, and death to me subscribes,
Since, spite of
him, I'll live in this poor rhyme,
While he insults o'er dull
and speechless tribes:
And thou in this shalt find thy
When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are
What's in the brain that ink may
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or
thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers
I must, each day say o'er the very same,
old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I
hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh
Weighs not the dust and injury of age,
Nor gives to
necessary wrinkles place,
But makes antiquity for aye his
Finding the first conceit of love there bred
and outward form would show it dead.
say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seem'd my flame
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,
not with the time
So that myself bring water for my stain.
believe, though in my nature reign'd
All frailties that besiege
all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good;
nothing this wide universe I call,
Save thou, my rose; in it
thou art my all.
Alas, 'tis true I have gone
here and there
And made myself a motley to the view,
mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
offences of affections new;
Most true it is that I have look'd
Askance and strangely: but, by all above,
blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worse essays proved
thee my best of love.
Now all is done, have what shall have no
Mine appetite I never more will grind
On newer proof,
to try an older friend,
A god in love, to whom I am
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
to thy pure and most most loving breast.
my sake do you with Fortune chide,
The guilty goddess of my
That did not better for my life provide
public means which public manners breeds.
Thence comes it that
my name receives a brand,
And almost thence my nature is
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand:
then and wish I were renew'd;
Whilst, like a willing patient, I
Potions of eisel 'gainst my strong infection
bitterness that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance, to
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure
Even that your pity is enough to cure me.
love and pity doth the impression fill
Which vulgar scandal
stamp'd upon my brow;
For what care I who calls me well or
So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?
You are my all
the world, and I must strive
To know my shames and praises from
None else to me, nor I to none alive,
steel'd sense or changes right or wrong.
In so profound abysm I
throw all care
Of others' voices, that my adder's sense
critic and to flatterer stopped are.
Mark how with my neglect I
You are so strongly in my purpose bred
the world besides methinks are dead.
left you, mine eye is in my mind;
And that which governs me to
Doth part his function and is partly blind,
seeing, but effectually is out;
For it no form delivers to the
Of bird of flower, or shape, which it doth latch:
his quick objects hath the mind no part,
Nor his own vision
holds what it doth catch:
For if it see the rudest or gentlest
The most sweet favour or deformed'st creature,
mountain or the sea, the day or night,
The crow or dove, it
shapes them to your feature:
Incapable of more, replete with
My most true mind thus makes mine eye untrue.
whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you,
Drink up the
monarch's plague, this flattery?
Or whether shall I say, mine
eye saith true,
And that your love taught it this alchemy,
make of monsters and things indigest
Such cherubins as your
sweet self resemble,
Creating every bad a perfect best,
fast as objects to his beams assemble?
O,'tis the first; 'tis
flattery in my seeing,
And my great mind most kingly drinks it
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing,
to his palate doth prepare the cup:
If it be poison'd, 'tis the
That mine eye loves it and doth first
Those lines that I before have writ do
Even those that said I could not love you dearer:
then my judgment knew no reason why
My most full flame should
afterwards burn clearer.
But reckoning time,
whose million'd accidents
Creep in 'twixt vows and change
decrees of kings,
Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st
Divert strong minds to the course of altering
Alas, why, fearing of time's
Might I not then say 'Now I love you best,'
was certain o'er incertainty,
Crowning the present, doubting of
Love is a babe; then might I not say so,
full growth to that which still doth grow?
me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is
Which alters when it alteration finds,
with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be
Love's not time's
fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's
Love alters not with his brief hours and
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be
error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever
Accuse me thus: that I have scanted
Wherein I should your great deserts repay,
your dearest love to call,
Whereto all bonds do tie me day by
That I have frequent been with unknown minds
your own dear-purchased right
That I have hoisted sail to all
Which should transport me farthest from your
Book both my wilfulness and errors down
And on just
proof surmise accumulate;
Bring me within the level of your
But shoot not at me in your waken'd hate;
appeal says I did strive to prove
The constancy and virtue of
Like as, to make our appetites
With eager compounds we our palate urge,
prevent our maladies unseen,
We sicken to shun sickness when we
Even so, being full of your ne'er-cloying sweetness,
bitter sauces did I frame my feeding
And, sick of welfare,
found a kind of meetness
To be diseased ere that there was true
Thus policy in love, to anticipate
The ills that
were not, grew to faults assured
And brought to medicine a
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be
But thence I learn, and find the lesson true,
poison him that so fell sick of you.
potions have I drunk of Siren tears,
Distill'd from limbecks
foul as hell within,
Applying fears to hopes and hopes to
Still losing when I saw myself to win!
errors hath my heart committed,
Whilst it hath thought itself
so blessed never!
How have mine eyes out of their spheres been
In the distraction of this madding fever!
of ill! now I find true
That better is by evil still made
And ruin'd love, when it is built anew,
than at first, more strong, far greater.
So I return rebuked to
And gain by ill thrice more than I have
That you were once unkind befriends me
And for that sorrow which I then did feel
Needs must I
under my transgression bow,
Unless my nerves were brass or
For if you were by my unkindness shaken
by yours, you've pass'd a hell of time,
I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken
To weigh how once I suffered
in your crime.
O, that our night of woe might have
My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits,
soon to you, as you to me, then tender'd
The humble salve which
wounded bosoms fits!
But that your trespass now becomes a
Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me.
'Tis better to be vile than vile
When not to be receives reproach of being,
just pleasure lost which is so deem'd
Not by our feeling but by
For why should others false adulterate
Give salutation to my sportive blood?
Or on my
frailties why are frailer spies,
Which in their wills count bad
what I think good?
No, I am that I am, and they that level
my abuses reckon up their own:
I may be straight, though they
themselves be bevel;
By their rank thoughts my deeds must not
Unless this general evil they maintain,
are bad, and in their badness reign.
gift, thy tables, are within my brain
Full character'd with
Which shall above that idle rank remain
all date, even to eternity;
Or at the least, so long as brain
Have faculty by nature to subsist;
Till each to
razed oblivion yield his part
Of thee, thy record never can be
That poor retention could not so much hold,
I tallies thy dear love to score;
Therefore to give them from
me was I bold,
To trust those tables that receive thee more:
keep an adjunct to remember thee
Were to import forgetfulness
thou shalt not boast that I do change:
Thy pyramids built up
with newer might
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
are but dressings of a former sight.
Our dates are brief, and
therefore we admire
What thou dost foist upon us that is
And rather make them born to our desire
Than think that
we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both
Not wondering at the present nor the past,
records and what we see doth lie,
Made more or less by thy
This I do vow and this shall ever be;
will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.
my dear love were but the child of state,
It might for
Fortune's bastard be unfather'd'
As subject to time's
love or to time's
Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gather'd.
it was builded far from accident;
It suffers not in smiling
pomp, nor falls
Under the blow of thralled discontent,
the inviting time
our fashion calls:
It fears not policy, that heretic,
works on leases of short-number'd hours,
But all alone stands
That it nor grows with heat nor drowns with
To this I witness call the fools of time,
die for goodness, who have lived for crime.
't aught to me I bore the canopy,
With my extern the outward
Or laid great bases for eternity,
more short than waste or ruining?
Have I not seen dwellers on
form and favour
Lose all, and more, by paying too much
For compound sweet forgoing simple savour,
thrivers, in their gazing spent?
No, let me be obsequious in
And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
is not mix'd with seconds, knows no art,
But mutual render,
only me for thee.
Hence, thou suborn'd informer! a true
When most impeach'd stands least in thy
O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy
Dost hold time's
fickle glass, his sickle, hour;
Who hast by waning grown, and
Thy lovers withering as thy sweet self
If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack,
goest onwards, still will pluck thee back,
She keeps thee to
this purpose, that her skill
disgrace and wretched minutes kill.
Yet fear her, O thou minion
of her pleasure!
She may detain, but not still keep, her
Her audit, though delay'd, answer'd must be,
her quietus is to render thee.
In the old
age black was not counted fair,
Or if it were, it bore not
But now is black beauty's successive heir,
beauty slander'd with a bastard shame:
For since each hand hath
put on nature's power,
Fairing the foul with art's false
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower,
is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
Therefore my mistress'
brows are raven black,
Her eyes so suited, and they mourners
At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
creation with a false esteem:
Yet so they mourn, becoming of
That every tongue says beauty should look
How oft, when thou, my music, music
Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds
sweet fingers, when thou gently sway'st
The wiry concord that
mine ear confounds,
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap
kiss the tender inward of thy hand,
Whilst my poor lips, which
should that harvest reap,
At the wood's boldness by thee
To be so tickled, they would change their
And situation with those dancing chips,
O'er whom thy
fingers walk with gentle gait,
Making dead wood more blest than
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.