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The Sonnets of William Shakespeare

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    CXLI.

    In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes,
    For they in thee a thousand errors note;
    But 'tis my heart that loves what they despise,
    Who in despite of view is pleased to dote;
    Nor are mine ears with thy tongue's tune delighted,
    Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone,
    Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited
    To any sensual feast with thee alone:
    But my five wits nor my five senses can
    Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,
    Who leaves unsway'd the likeness of a man,
    Thy proud hearts slave and vassal wretch to be:
    Only my plague thus far I count my gain,
    That she that makes me sin awards me pain.

    CXLII.

    Love is my sin and thy dear virtue hate,
    Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving:
    O, but with mine compare thou thine own state,
    And thou shalt find it merits not reproving;
    Or, if it do, not from those lips of thine,
    That have profaned their scarlet ornaments
    And seal'd false bonds of love as oft as mine,
    Robb'd others' beds' revenues of their rents.
    Be it lawful I love thee, as thou lovest those
    Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee:
    Root pity in thy heart, that when it grows
    Thy pity may deserve to pitied be.
    If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide,
    By self-example mayst thou be denied!

    CXLIII.

    Lo! as a careful housewife runs to catch
    One of her feather'd creatures broke away,
    Sets down her babe and makes an swift dispatch
    In pursuit of the thing she would have stay,
    Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,
    Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent
    To follow that which flies before her face,
    Not prizing her poor infant's discontent;
    So runn'st thou after that which flies from thee,
    Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind;
    But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me,
    And play the mother's part, kiss me, be kind:
    So will I pray that thou mayst have thy 'Will,'
    If thou turn back, and my loud crying still.

    CXLIV.

    Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
    Which like two spirits do suggest me still:
    The better angel is a man right fair,
    The worser spirit a woman colour'd ill.
    To win me soon to hell, my female evil
    Tempteth my better angel from my side,
    And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
    Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
    And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend
    Suspect I may, but not directly tell;
    But being both from me, both to each friend,
    I guess one angel in another's hell:
    Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt,
    Till my bad angel fire my good one out.

    CXLV.

    Those lips that Love's own hand did make
    Breathed forth the sound that said 'I hate'
    To me that languish'd for her sake;
    But when she saw my woeful state,
    Straight in her heart did mercy come,
    Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
    Was used in giving gentle doom,
    And taught it thus anew to greet:
    'I hate' she alter'd with an end,
    That follow'd it as gentle day
    Doth follow night, who like a fiend
    From heaven to hell is flown away;
    'I hate' from hate away she threw,
    And saved my life, saying 'not you.'

    CXLVI.

    POOR soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
    Fool'd by these rebel powers that thee array;
    Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
    Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
    Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
    Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
    Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
    Eat up thy charge? is this thy body's end?
    Then soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
    And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
    Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
    Within be fed, without be rich no more:
    So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men,
    And Death once dead, there's no more dying then.

    CXLVII.

    MY love is as a fever, longing still
    For that which longer nurseth the disease,
    Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
    The uncertain sickly appetite to please.
    My reason, the physician to my love,
    Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
    Hath left me, and I desperate now approve
    Desire is death, which physic did except.
    Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
    And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
    My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are,
    At random from the truth vainly express'd;
    For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright,
    Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

    CXLVIII.

    O ME, what eyes hath Love put in my head,
    Which have no correspondence with true sight!
    Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled,
    That censures falsely what they see aright?
    If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote,
    What means the world to say it is not so?
    If it be not, then love doth well denote
    Love's eye is not so true as all men's 'No.'
    How can it? O, how can Love's eye be true,
    That is so vex'd with watching and with tears?
    No marvel then, though I mistake my view;
    The sun itself sees not till heaven clears.
    O cunning Love! with tears thou keep'st me blind,
    Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.

    CXLIX.

    CANST thou, O cruel! say I love thee not,
    When I against myself with thee partake?
    Do I not think on thee, when I forgot
    Am of myself, all tyrant, for thy sake?
    Who hateth thee that I do call my friend?
    On whom frown'st thou that I do fawn upon?
    Nay, if thou lour'st on me, do I not spend
    Revenge upon myself with present moan?
    What merit do I in myself respect,
    That is so proud thy service to despise,
    When all my best doth worship thy defect,
    Commanded by the motion of thine eyes?
    But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind;
    Those that can see thou lovest, and I am blind.

    CL.

    O, FROM what power hast thou this powerful might
    With insufficiency my heart to sway?
    To make me give the lie to my true sight,
    And swear that brightness doth not grace the day?
    Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill,
    That in the very refuse of thy deeds
    There is such strength and warrantize of skill
    That, in my mind, thy worst all best exceeds?
    Who taught thee how to make me love thee more
    The more I hear and see just cause of hate?
    O, though I love what others do abhor,
    With others thou shouldst not abhor my state:
    If thy unworthiness raised love in me,
    More worthy I to be beloved of thee.

    CLI.

    LOVE is too young to know what conscience is;
    Yet who knows not conscience is born of love?
    Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,
    Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove:
    For, thou betraying me, I do betray
    My nobler part to my gross body's treason;
    My soul doth tell my body that he may
    Triumph in love; flesh stays no father reason;
    But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee
    As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride,
    He is contented thy poor drudge to be,
    To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.
    No want of conscience hold it that I call
    Her 'love' for whose dear love I rise and fall.

    CLII.

    IN loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn,
    But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing,
    In act thy bed-vow broke and new faith torn,
    In vowing new hate after new love bearing.
    But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee,
    When I break twenty? I am perjured most;
    For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee
    And all my honest faith in thee is lost,
    For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness,
    Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy,
    And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness,
    Or made them swear against the thing they see;
    For I have sworn thee fair; more perjured I,
    To swear against the truth so foul a lie!

    CLIII.

    CUPID laid by his brand, and fell asleep:
    A maid of Dian's this advantage found,
    And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep
    In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;
    Which borrow'd from this holy fire of Love
    A dateless lively heat, still to endure,
    And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove
    Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
    But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fired,
    The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;
    I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,
    And thither hied, a sad distemper'd guest,
    But found no cure: the bath for my help lies
    Where Cupid got new fire--my mistress' eyes.

    CLIV.

    THE little Love-god lying once asleep
    Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
    Whilst many nymphs that vow'd chaste life to keep
    Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand
    The fairest votary took up that fire
    Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd;
    And so the general of hot desire
    Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarm'd.
    This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
    Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual,
    Growing a bath and healthful remedy
    For men diseased; but I, my mistress' thrall,
    Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,
    Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.


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