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They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet feem'd it winter still, and you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play. The forward violet thus did I chide; Sweet thief! whence didst thou steal thy sweet that
If not from my love's breath ? the purple pride,
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells,
In my love's veins thou hast too grofly dy'd :
The lily I condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had ftol'n thy hair;
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another white despair;
A third nor red, nor white, had stol'n of both,
And to his robb’ry had annex'd thy breath;
But for his theft, in pride of all his growth,
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
More powers I noted, yet I none could see,
But sweet or colour it had stol'n from thee.
An Invocation to his Muse.
Where 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 worthless song,
Dark’ning thy power to lend base subjects light?.
Return, forgetful mule, and strait redeem,
In gentle numbers, time so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem,
And give thy pen both skill and argument,
Rise, resty muse, my love's sweet face survey,
If time hath any wrinkle graven there ;
If any, be a satire to decay,
And make time's spoils despised every where.
Give my love fame, faster than time wastes life,
So thou prevent'st his scithe, and crooked knife.
Oh! truant muse! whall shall be thy amends,
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy'd ?
But truth and beauty on my love depends :
So dost thou too, and therein dignify'd.
Make answer, muse, wilt thou not haply say,
Truth needs no colour with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
But best is best, if never intermix’d.
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?
Excuse no silence fo, for't lies in thee
To make her much out-live a gilded tomb,
And to be prais’d of ages yet to be.
Then do thy office, muse, I teach thee how
To make her seem long hence, as she shows now.
To me, fair love, you never can be old;
For as you were when first your eye I ey'd,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forest shook three summers pride;
Three beauteous springs to yellow Autumn turn'd,
In process of the seasons, have I seen;
Three April perfumes in three hot Junęs burn'd,
Since first I saw you, fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no place perceiy'd ;
So your sweet hue, which, methinks, still does stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd.
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred,
Ere you was born, was beauty's summer dead.
Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
beloved as an idol show
Since all alike my songs and praises be
To one, of one, 'ftill such, and ever so :
my love to day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wond'rous excellence ;
Therefore my verse to constancy confin’d,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument ;
Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent;
Three themes in one, which wond'rous scope affords.
Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone : Which three, till now, have never fate in one.
When in the chronicle of wasted time,
I see descriptions of the faireft wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhime,
In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights;
Then in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antic pen would have express'd
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And, for they look'd but with divining eyes,
They had not still enough your worth to fing:
For we who now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.
My love is strength'ned, tho' more weak in seem
ing; I love not lefs, tho' less the show appear : That love is merchandiz'd, whose rich esteeming The owner's tongue doth publith every where. Our love was new, and then but in the spring, When I was wont to greet it in my lays ; As Philomel in fummer's front doth fing, And stops his pipe in growth of riper days. Not that the summer is less pleasant now, Than when her mournful hymns did hush the
night; But that wild mufick burdens every bough, And sweets grown common, lose their dear delight.
Therefore like her I sometime hold my tongue, Becaufe I would not dull you
Alack! what poverty my muse brings forth !
That having such a scope to show her pride,
The argument all bare, is of more worth,
Than when it hath my added praise beside.
Oh ! blame me not, if I no more can write !
Look in your glass, and there appears a face,
That overgoes my blunt invention quite,
Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.
Were it not finful then, striving to mend,
To marr the subject that before was well?
For to no other pass my verses tend,
Than of your graces, and your gifts to tell;
verse can fit, Your own glass shows you, when you look in it.
A Lover's Excuse for his long Absence.
Oh! never say that I was false of heart,
Tho'absence seem'd my flame to qualify;
As easy might I from myself depart,
As from my soul which in my breast doth lie.
That is my home of love ; if I have rang'd,
Like him that travels, I return again
Just to the time, not with the time exchang’d;
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, tho' in my nature reign'd
All frailties, that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stain’d,
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good :
For nothing this wide universe I call,
Save thou, my rose, in it thou art my all...
Alas ! 'tis true, I have gone here and there;
And made myself a motly to thy view;
Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most
Made old offences of affections new.
Most true it is, that I have look'd on truth
Afkance and strangely: but by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worst afsays prov'd thee my best of love,
Now all is done, have what shall bave no end,
Mine appețite I never more will grind
On newer proof, to try an older friend,
A god in love, to whom I am confin'd.
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.