Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts, Which I by lacking have supposed dead, And there reigns love and all love's loving parts, And all those friends which I thought buried. How many a holy and obsequious tear Hath dear religious love stol'n from mine eye As interest of the dead, which now appear But things removed that hidden in thee lie! Thou art the grave where buried love doth live, Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone, Who all their parts of me to thee did give; That due of many now is thine alone: Their images I loved I view in thee, And thou, all they, hast all the all of me.
If thou survive my well-contented day, When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover, And shalt by fortune once more re-survey These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover, Compare them with the bettering of the time, And though they be outstripp'd by every pen, Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme, Exceeded by the height of happier men. O, then vouchsafe me but this loving thought: 'Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing age, A dearer birth than this his love had brought, To march in ranks of better equipage: But since he died and poets better prove, Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love.'
Full many a glorious morning have I seen Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye, Kissing with golden face the meadows green, Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy; Anon permit the basest clouds to ride With ugly rack on his celestial face, And from the forlorn world his visage hide, Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace: Even so my sun one early morn did shine With all triumphant splendor on my brow; But out, alack! he was but one hour mine; The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now. Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth; Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.
Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day, And make me travel forth without my cloak, To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way, Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke? 'Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break, 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 grief; Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss: The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief To him that bears the strong offence's cross. Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds, And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.
No more be grieved at that which thou hast done: Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud; Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun, And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud. All men make faults, and even I in this, Authorizing thy trespass with compare, Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss, Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are; For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense-- Thy adverse party is thy advocate-- And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence: Such civil war is in my love and hate That I an accessary needs must be To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.
Let me confess that we two must be twain, Although our undivided loves are one: So shall those blots that do with me remain Without thy help by me be borne alone. In our two loves there is but one respect, Though in our lives a separable spite, Which though it alter not love's sole effect, Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight. I may not evermore acknowledge thee, Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame, Nor thou with public kindness honour me, Unless thou take that honour from thy name: 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 youth, So I, made lame by fortune's dearest spite, Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth. For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit, Or any of these all, or all, or more, Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit, I make my love engrafted to this store: So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised, Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give That I in thy abundance am sufficed And by a part of all thy glory live. Look, what is best, that best I wish in thee: This wish I have; then ten times happy me!
How can my Muse want subject to invent, While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse Thine own sweet argument, too excellent For every vulgar paper to rehearse? O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me Worthy perusal stand against thy sight; For who's so dumb that cannot write to thee, When thou thyself dost give invention light? Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth Than those old nine which rhymers invocate; And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth Eternal numbers to outlive long date. If my slight Muse do please these curious days, The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.
O, how thy worth with manners may I sing, 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, And our dear love lose name of single one, That by this separation I may give That due to thee which thou deservest alone. O absence, what a torment wouldst thou prove, Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave To entertain the time with thoughts of love, Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive, And that thou teachest how to make one twain, By praising him here who doth hence remain!
Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all; What hast thou then more than thou hadst before? No 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 love receivest, I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest; But yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest By wilful taste of what thyself refusest. I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief, Although thou steal thee all my poverty; And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury. Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows, Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes.
Those petty wrongs that liberty commits, When I am sometime absent from thy heart, Thy beauty and thy years full well befits, For still temptation follows where thou art. Gentle thou art and therefore to be won, Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assailed; And when a woman woos, what woman's son Will sourly leave her till she have prevailed? Ay me! but yet thou mightest my seat forbear, And chide try beauty and thy straying youth, 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 me.
That thou hast her, it is not all my grief, And yet it may be said I loved her dearly; That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief, A loss in love that touches me more nearly. Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye: Thou 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 approve her. If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain, And 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 this cross: But here's the joy; my friend and I are one; Sweet flattery! then she loves but me alone.
When 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 on thee, And darkly bright are bright in dark directed. Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright, How would thy shadow's form form happy show To the clear day with thy much clearer light, When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so! How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made By looking on thee in the living day, When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay! All 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 brought, From limits far remote where thou dost stay. No matter then although my foot did stand Upon the farthest earth removed from thee; For nimble thought can jump both sea and land As soon as think the place where he would be. But ah! 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 water wrought I must attend time's leisure with my moan, Receiving nought by elements so slow But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.
The other two, slight air and purging fire, Are both with thee, wherever I abide; The first my thought, the other my desire, These present-absent with swift motion slide. For when these quicker elements are gone In tender embassy of love to thee, My life, being made of four, with two alone Sinks down to death, oppress'd with melancholy; Until life's composition be recured By those swift messengers return'd from thee, Who even but now come back again, assured Of thy fair health, recounting it to me: This told, I joy; but then no longer glad, I send them back again and straight grow sad.
Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war 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 dost lie-- A closet never pierced with crystal eyes-- But the defendant doth that plea deny And says in him thy fair appearance lies. To 'cide this title is impanneled A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart, And by their verdict is determined The clear eye's moiety and the dear heart's part: As 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 the other: When that mine eye is famish'd for a look, Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother, With my love's picture then my eye doth feast And to the painted banquet bids my heart; Another time 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, Thyself away art resent still with me; For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move, And I am still with them and they with thee; Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight Awakes my heart to heart's and eye's delight.
How careful was I, when I took my way, Each trifle under truest bars to thrust, That to my use it might unused stay From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust! But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are, Most worthy of comfort, now my greatest grief, Thou, best of dearest and mine only care, Art left the prey of every vulgar thief. Thee have I not lock'd up in any chest, Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art, 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 dear.
Against that time, if ever that time come, 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 respects; Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass And scarcely greet me with that sun thine eye, When love, converted from the thing it was, Shall reasons find of settled gravity,-- Against that time do I ensconce me here Within the knowledge of mine own desert, 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 cause.
How heavy do I journey on the way, When 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 friend!' The beast that bears me, tired with my woe, Plods 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 thee: The bloody spur cannot provoke him on That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide; Which heavily he answers with a groan, More sharp to me than spurring to his side; For that same groan doth put this in my mind; My grief lies onward and my joy behind.
Thus can my love excuse the slow offence Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed: From where thou art why should I haste me thence? Till I return, of posting is no need. O, what excuse will my poor beast then find, 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 pace; Therefore desire of perfect'st love being made, Shall neigh--no dull flesh--in his fiery race; But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade; Since from thee going he went wilful-slow, Towards thee I'll run, and give him leave to go.
So am I as the rich, whose blessed key Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure, The which he will not every hour survey, For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure. Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare, Since, seldom coming, in the long year set, Like stones of worth they thinly placed are, Or captain jewels in the carcanet. So is the time that keeps you as my chest, Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide, To make some special instant special blest, By new unfolding his imprison'd pride. Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope, Being had, to triumph, being lack'd, to hope.
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 foison 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 only is their show, They live unwoo'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, my verse distills your truth.
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme; But you shall shine more bright in these contents Than unswept stone besmear'd with sluttish time. When wasteful war shall statues overturn, And broils root out the work of masonry, Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory. 'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room Even in the eyes of all posterity That wear this world out to the ending doom. So, till the judgment that yourself arise, You live in this, and dwell in lover's eyes.
Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said Thy edge should blunter be than appetite, Which but to-day by feeding is allay'd, To-morrow sharpen'd in his former might: So, love, be thou; although to-day thou fill Thy hungry eyes even till they wink with fullness, To-morrow see again, and do not kill The spirit of love with a perpetual dullness. Let this sad interim like the ocean be Which parts the shore, where two contracted new Come daily to the banks, that, when they see Return of love, more blest may be the view; Else call it winter, which being full of care Makes summer's welcome thrice more wish'd, more rare.
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, 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 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, The imprison'd absence of your liberty; And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each cheque, 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, though 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 beguiled, Which, labouring for invention, bear amiss The second burden of a former child! O, that record could with a backward look, Even of five hundred courses of the sun, 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; Whether we are mended, or whether better they, Or whether revolution be the same. O, sure I am, the wits of former days To subjects 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 before, In sequent toil all forwards do contend. Nativity, once in the main of light, Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd, Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight, And Time that gave doth now his gift confound. Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth And delves the parallels in beauty's brow, Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth, And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow: And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand, Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.