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My glass 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.
For 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:
How can I then be elder than thou art?
O, therefore, love, be of thyself so wary
As I, not for myself, but for thee will;
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain ;
Thou gavest me thine, not to give back again.
As an unperfect a&or on the stage,
Who 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
The perfe& ceremony of love's rite,
And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,
O’ercharged with burthen of mine own love's might.
O, let my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love, and look for recompense,
More than that tongue that more hath more express’d.
O, learn to read what silent love hath writ :
To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.
Mine eye hath play'd the painter and hath ftell'd
Thy beauty's form in table of my heart;
My body is the frame wherein 'tis held,
And perspe&ive it is best painter's art.
For through the painter must you see his skill,
To find where your true image pi&ured lies,
Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still,
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes.
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done :
eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
Are windows to my breaft, where-through the sun
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee;
eyes this cunning want to grace their art, They draw but what they see, know not the heart.
Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilft I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun's eye,
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil'd,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd :
Then happy I, that love and am beloved
Where I may not remove nor be removed.
Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit,
To thee I send this written ambassage,
To witness duty, not to show my
Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine
May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it,
But that I hope some good conceit of thine
In thy soul's thought, all naked, will bestow it;
Till whatsoever star that guides my moving
Points on me graciously with fair aspe&,
And puts apparel on my tatter'd loving,
To show me worthy of thy sweet refpe&t :
Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee; Till then not show my head where thou mayst