For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter, and confounds him there
So should the lines of life that life repair,
Which this, Time’s pencil, or my pupil pen,
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,
Can make you live your self in eyes of men.
To give away yourself, keeps yourself still,
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain,
Thou gav’st me thine not to give back again.
O! learn to read what silent love hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love’s fine wit.
Then happy I, that love and am beloved,
Where I may not remove nor be removed.
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
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.
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?
As thus: mine eye’s due is thine outward part,
And my heart’s right, thine inward love of heart.
My spirit is thine, the better part of me
Which can say more,
Than this rich praise, that you alone, are you
Such is my love, to thee I so belong,
That for thy right, myself will bear all wrong.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments’ cost,
Of more delight than hawks and horses be
How like Eve’s apple doth thy beauty grow,
If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show!
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?
I love not less, though less the show appear;
That love is merchandized, whose rich esteeming,
The owner’s tongue doth publish every where.
To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still.
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
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 loved.
I am that I am, and they that level
At my abuses reckon up their own:
I may be straight though they themselves be bevel;
By their rank thoughts, my deeds must not be shown
This I do vow and this shall ever be;
I will be true despite thy [time’s] scythe and thee.
Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour
Lose all and more by paying too much rent
For compound sweet, forgoing simple savour,
Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent?
‘I hate’, from hate away she threw,
And saved my life, saying ‘not you’.
Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love.