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Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye
That thou consumeft thyself in single life?
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die,
The world will wail thee, like a makeless wife ;
The world will be thy widow, and still weep
That thou no form of thee haft left behind,
When every private widow well may keep
eyes her husband's shape in mind.
Look, what an unthrift in the world doth spend
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
But beauty's waste hath in the world an end,
And, kept unused, the user so destroys it.
No love toward others in that bosom sits
That on himself such murderous shame commits.
For shame! deny that thou bear'st love to any,
Who for thyself art so unprovident.
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
But that thou none lovest is most evident;
For thou art so possess'd with murderous hate
That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to conspire,
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
O, 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 prove :
Make thee another self, for love of me,
That beauty still may live in thine or thee.
As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow'st
In one of thine, from that which thou departest;
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow'st
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth con-
Herein lives wisdom, beauty and increase; [verteft.
Without this, folly, age and cold decay :
If all were minded so, the times should cease
And threescore year would make the world away.
Let those whom Nature hath not made for store,
Harsh, featureless and rude, barrenly perish :
Look, whom she best endow'd she gave the more;
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish:
She carved thee for her feal, and meant thereby
Thou shouldst print more, nor let that copy
When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night ;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And fable curls all silver'd o'er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer's green all girded up in theaves,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow; [fence
And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make de-
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.
O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are
No longer yours than you yourself here live :
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
Yourself again, after yourself's decease,
sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold
Against the stormy gusts of winter's day
And barren rage of death's eternal cold ?
O, none but unthrifts ! Dear my love, you know
You had a father : let your son say so.