William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

. (page 214 of 224)
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I make my love engrafted to this store :
So then I am not Lime, poor, nor despis'd,
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give,
That I in thy abundance am suffic'd,
And by a part of all thy glory live.
Look what is best, that best I wish in thee}
This wish I have ; then ten times happy me !


How can my muse want subject to invent,
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my

Thine own sweet argument, too excelleiit
For every vulgar paper to rehearse P
O give thyself the thanks, if ausht in me
Worthy perusal, stand against thy sight,
For who's so dumb that cannot write to thee^
When thou thyself dost give invention light P
Be thou the tenth muse, ten times more in worth
Than those old nine, which rhimers invooate ;
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth
Eternal numbeis to out-live long date.
If my slight muse do please these curious days.
The pain be mine, but thine shall be Uie praise.


how thy worth with manners may I sing.
When thou art all the better part of me I
What can mine own praise to mine own self

bring P
And what is't but mine own, when I praise thee t
Even for this let us dirided live.
And our dear love lose name of single one,
That by this separation I may give
That due to thee, which thou deserv'st alone.
O absence, what a torment would'st thou prove,
Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave
To entertain the time with thoughts of love,
(Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth
And that thou teachest how to make one twain,
By praising him here, who doth hence remain.


Take all my loves, my love, yea^ take them all ;
What hast thou then more than thou hadst

before P
No love^ my love, that thou may'st true love call ;
AU mine vras thine, before thou had'st this more.

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Then if for my love thoa ray love reoeivesty
I cannot blame thee, for my love thou nsest j
Bat yet be blam'd, if thon thyself deoeivest
By wilf al taste of what thyself ref usest.
I do forjrive thy robbery, gentle thief,
AlthouKD thon steal thee all my property ;
And yet love knows, it is a greater grief
To bear love's wron^, than hate's known injury.
L«isoiviou8 grace, in whom all ill well shows,
Kill me wiui spites } yet we must not be foes.


Thoee petty wrongs that liberty commits.
When i am sometime absent from thy heart,
Thy beauty and thy vears full well befits,
For still temptation follows where thou tat.
Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won,
^eauteoos thon art, therefore to be assail'd ;
And when a woman wooes, what woman's son
Will sourly leave her till she have prevail'd P
Ah me ! but yet thon might* st, my sweet, forbear,
And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth,
Who lead thee in their riot even there
Where thon art f orc'd to break a two-fold truth ;
Ber's, by thy beauty temptinsr her to thee.
Thine, by thy beauty being fiOse to me.


That thon hast her, it is not all my grief.
And yet it may be said I lov'd her dearly j
That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief,
A loss in love that touches me more nearly.
Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye : —
Thon dost love her, because thon know'st I love

her J
And for my sake eren so doth she abuse me.
Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her.
If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain.
And losing her, my friend hath found tnat loss ;
Both find each other, and I lose both twain.
And both for my sake lay on me this cross :

But here's the ioy ; my friend and I are one ;

Sweet flattery f— then she loves but me alone.

When roost I vrink, then do roine eyes best see,
For all the day they view thincrs unrespocted ;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee.
And darkly brignt, are bright in dark directed ;
Then thon whose shadow shadows doth make

How wonld thy sliadow's form form happy show
To the dear day with thv much dearer light.
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so P
How wonld (I say) mine eves be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in cuBad night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay P
All da^ are nighte to see, till I see thee,
And nights, bright days, when dreams do show
thee me.


If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Iqjnrious distance should not stop my way ;
F:>r then, despite of space, I would be brought
From limits far remote, where thon dost stay.
Ko matter then although my foot did stand
Upon the fiuthest earth remov'd from thee.
For nimble thought oan jump both sea and laud,
Am toon ae think the plaee where he wonld be.



But ah ! thought kills me, that I am not thought,
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
But that, so much of earth and water wrought^
I must attend time's leisure with my moan ;
Beceiving nought by elements so slow
But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.


The other two, slight air and pnrffing fire^
Are both with thee, wherever I abide ;
The first my thought, the other -my desire,
These present-absent with swift motion slide.
For when these quicker elements are gone
In tender embassy of love to thee,
My life being made of four, with two alone,
Sinks down to death, oppress'd with melancholy }
Until life's composition be reonred
Bv those swift messengers retum'd from thee,
Who even but now come back again, assured
Of thy fair health, recounting it to me ;
This told, I ioy j but then no longer glad,
I send them back again, and straight grow sad.


Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war.
How to divide the conquest of th^ sight |
Mine eye mj heart thy picture's sight would bar.
My heut mine eve the freedom of that right.
My heart doth plead, that thou in him dost lie,
(A closet never piero'd with crystal eyes,)
But the defendimt doth that plea deny,
And says in him thy fair appearance lies.
To 'dde this title is impannelled
A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart;
And by their verdict is determined
The dear eye's moiety, and the dear heart's part;
As thus ; mine eye's due is thy outward part,
And my heart's right thy inward love of heart.


Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
And each doth good turns now unto the other t
When that mine e^e is famish' d for a look,
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
With my love's picture then my eye doth feast,
And to the painted ban(^uet bidB mv heart :
Another time mine eye is mj heart s guest,
And in his thoughts of love doth share a pe^rt ;
So, either by thy picture or my love,
Thyedf away ait present still with me ;
For thon not farther than my thoughts canst

And I am still with them, and they with thee ;
Or if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
Awakes my heart to heart's and eye's delight*

How careful was I when I took my way,
Each trifle under truest bars to thrust.
That, to my nso, it might unused stay
From han^ of falsehcxxl, in sure wards of trust !
But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are.
Most worthy comfort now my grreateet grief,
Thon, beet of dearest, and mine only oare^
Are left the prey of every vulgar thief.
Thee have I not lock'd up in any cheet.
Save where thon art not, though I fed thon art.
Within the gentle dosure of my breast.
From whence at pleasure thon may'st come and
And even thence thon wilt be stolen I fear.
For troth porovet thierish for a prise so dear

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^ipunst that time, if ever that time oome,
Wnen I shall see thee frowa on my defects,
When as thy love hath cast its utmost sum,
Caird to that audit by advis'd respects,
Against that time, when thou shalt strangely


And scarcely greet me with that snn, thine eye,
When love, converted from the thing it was.
Shall reasons find of settled gravity,
Asainst that time do I ensconce me here
Within the knowledge of mine own desert^
And this my hand against myself uprear,
Toguard the lawful reasons on thy part:

1% leave poor me thou hast the strength of

6mo^ why to love, I can allege no cauBe.

How heavy do I jonmey on the way,
When what I seek,— my weary travel's end,—
Duth teach that ease and that rep<»se to say,
Thus far the miles are measured from thy
The beast that bears me, tired with my woe.
Plods dully ouj to bear that weijjht in me.
As if by some mstinct the wretch did know
His rider lov*d not speed, being made from thee :
The bloody spur cannot provoke him on
T^t sometimes ansrer thrusts into his hide.
Which heavily be answers with a gnian.
More sharp to me than spurring to his side ;
For that same groan doth put this in my mind,
Hy grief lies onward, and my joy behind.


Thns own my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dnll bearer, when from thee I speed :
From where thou art why should I haste me

Tin I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excQse will my poor bwwt then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow ?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the

In winged speed no motion shall I know :
Tlien can no hor<»e with my desire keep pace}
Therefore desire, of perfect love being made,
Shall neigh (no dull flesh) in his fiery race j
But love, for love, thus shall excuse ray jade j
Since from thee going he went wilful slow.
Towards thee I'll ran, and give him leave to go.

So am I as the rich, whoee blessed key
Can bring him to his sweet np-locked treasure^
The which he will not every hour survey.
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasnxe.
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare.
Since seldom comiuflr, in the long year set.
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are^
Or captain jewels in the caroanet.
So is the time that keeps yon, as my ohest.
Or as the wardrobe which tlie robe doth ludew
To make some special instant special' blest,
Bynew unfolding his imprison^ pride.
BleMed are yon, whose worthiness rives scope.
Being had, to triumph, bebg UkdecC to hope:

What is yonr substance, whereof fere you madiL
That millions of strange shadows on yon tend r
Since every one hath, every one, one shade,
j And jron, but one, can every shadow lend.
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit
Is poorly imitated after you ;
On Helen's cheek all art of beauty set,
And vou in Grecian tires are painted new t
Speak of the spring, and foizon of the year:
The one doth shadow of your beauty shew,
The other as your bounty doth appear,
And you in every blessed shape we know.
In all external grace you have some part^
But you like none, none you, for constant heart.


O bow much more doth beauty beauteous seem.
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give f
The nise looks fa^r, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
The cuiker- blooms have full as deep a dye^
As the perfnmnd tincture of the roses.
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
When summer's breath their masked buds difl*

But, for their virtue only is their show.
They live unwoo'd, and unrespected fade;
D'w to themselv«^. Sweet roses do not so ;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made ;
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth.
When that shall fade, my verse didtils your


Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, fthall out. live this powerful rhimei
But you shall ahiiio more britfht in these contents
Than nnnwept stone, besmear'd with sluttiab

When wa^^teful war shall statues overturn.
And broils root out the work of ma^mry.
Nor Marsis' sword nor war's quick fire shall bom
The living reo(»rd of your memory.
'Gainst death and all oblivious enmity
Shall you r^ce forth ; your praise shall still find

Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the endinsr doom.
So till the judflf nenfthat yourtielf ari-«e,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyea.


Sweet love, renew thy force ; be it not said,
Thy edffe should blunter be than appetite.
Which but to-day bv feeding is allay'd,
To-morrow sharpen d in his former might :
So, love, be thou ; aJthouirh to-day thou fill
Thy hungry eyes, even till they wink with fulneei^
To-morrow see again, and do not kill
The sparit of love with a perpetual dulneai.
Let tiiis sad interim like the ocean be
Which parte the shore, where two contratsted-new
Gome daily to the banks, that, when they see
Betum of love, more blest may be the riew ;
Or call it winter, which being full of care,
Makee summer's weloome thxioe more wish'd,
more rare.

Being your slave, what ihoald I do but tend
Upon the hours and timet of your danref

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1 hftve BO pfredoTU time ai all to fpond,
Nor servioee to do, till you require.
Nor dare \ chide the world- without-end hoar,
Whilttt I, my sovereign, watch the clock for yooi
Nor thiuk the bitternees of absence soar.
When yoa have bid year servant once adien ;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought,
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of bought,
Save, where vou are how happy you make those :
Br* true a tool is love, that in your will
(Though you do any thing) he thinks no iU.

That Ood forbid, that made me first your slave,
Ishould in thought c<introl your times of pleasure,
Or at your hand the account of hours to crave.
B**ing your vassal, bound to stay your leisure I
Oh let me suffer (being at your beck)
Tlie imprison'd absence of your liberty,
And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check
Withiiut accusing you of injury. ^
Be where you lii<t ; your charter is 8<> strong,
That you yourself may privileire your time :
Do what you will, to you it doth belong
Yourself to (mrdon of self -doing crime.

I am t4> wait, thoURh waiting so be hell;

Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or wdl.


If there be nothing new, but that, which is^
Hath been before, how are our brains bcguiVd,
Which labouring f«ir invention bear amiss
The second burthen of a former child P
O tlLit record could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
Shew me your image in s«>me antique book,
Since mind at first in character was done!
Tbit 1 might see what the old world oould say
To this composed w«mder of your fra^ue;
Whether we are mended or whe'r better they,
Or wheth»»r revolution be the same.
O ! sure 1 am, the wits of former days
To subjects worse have given admiring praise.


Lik0 M the waves make towards the pebbled

So do our minutes hasten to their end ;
Each chanioutf place with that which goes before,
In sei^uent t4)il all forwards do contend.
Nativity once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown* d.
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight.
And time that gave, doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transtix the fiourish set on youth.
And delves the i>arallels m beauty's brow ;
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth.
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow.
And yet, to times in hope, my verse shall stand*
Prainng thy worth, despite nia omel hand.


If it thy win, thy image should keep open
My heavy eyelids to the weary night P
Dost thoa desire my slumbers should be broken.
While shadows, like to thee, do mock my sightr
Is it thj spirit that thoa send'st from thee
So tax nom home, into my deeds to pry |


To find oat shames and idle hoars in me^
The scope and tenour of thy jealousy P
O no ! thy love, though much, is not so great}
It is my fore that keeps mine eye awake ;
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
Toplay the watchman ever for thy sake :

For thee watch 1, whilst thou dost wake else*

From me far off, with others all-too-near.

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul^ and all my every put}
And for this sin there is no remedy.
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine.
No shape so true, no truth of such account,
And for mvself mine own worth do define.
As I all other in all worths surmonnt.
But when mv glass shews me myself indeed,
'Bated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read,
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
'Tis thee (myselO that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.

Against my love shall be, as I am now.

With Time's iigurious hand crush'd and o'er-

When hours have dram'd his blood, and fiU'd his

With lines and wrinkles ; when his youthful mom
Hath truvell'd on to age's steepy nitrht :
And all those beauties, whereof now he s king,
Are vanishing or vanish'd out of sibrht.
Stealing away the treasure of his spring |
For sucn a time do I now fortify
Against confounding age's cruel knife.
That he shall never cut from memory
My sweet love's beauty though my lover's life.
His beauty shall in these black lines he seen.
And they shall live, and he in them still green.

When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd
The rich proud cost of out- worn bur/d age :
When sometime lofty towers I see down-ras d*
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage ;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the wat'ry main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store i
When I have seen such interchange of stat6»
Or state itself confounded to deca^ ;
Buin hath taught me thus to ruminate'^
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
Bat weep to have that which it fears to lose.

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless

But sad mortality o'er-sways their power.
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a fiower P
O how shall sommer's honey breath hold oat
Against the wreekf ul siege of battering days,
mien rocks impregnable are not so stoat,
^or gates of steel so sfcrong. Vat time decays?

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O fearful meditation I wbere, alack !
Shall time's beet jewel from time's chest lie hid P
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back P
Or wlio his s^nl of beauty can forbid P
O none, nmess this miracle have mi^ht,
That in black ink my love may still shme bright.


Then (chnrls) their thoughts, although tbeb

e^es were kind,
To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weedst
Bat why thy odour matcheth not thy show.
To solve is this, — that tiioa dost oommon


Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry,—
As, to behold desert a beggar bom,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And pnrest faith unhappOv forsworn.
And gilded honour shamefolly misplao'd,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgrao'd,
And strength by limping sway disabled.
And art made tongue-ty'd by authority.
And folly (doctor-like) oontrolliDg skill,
And simple truth miscaird simplicity.
And captive Oood attending captain 111 :

Tir'd with all these, from these would I be

Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

Ah I wherefore with infection should we live,
And with his presence grace impiety
That sin by him advantage should atohieve,
Aod lace itself with his society P
Whv should false painting imitate his cheek,
And steal dead seeing of his living hue P
Why should pure beautv indirectly seek
Boses of shadow, since his rose is true P
Why should he hve, now Nature bankrupt is,
Beggar'd of blood, to blush through lively veins ?
For she hath no exchequer now but his,
And proud of many, lives upon his gains.
O, him she stores, to shew what wealth she had.
In days long since, before these last so bad.
Thus is his cheek the map of days out-worn,
When beauty liv^d and died as flowers do now.
Before these bastard signs of fair were borne,
Or durst inhabit on a living brow ;
Before the golden tresses of the dead.
The right of sepulchres, were shorn away.
To live a second life on second head.
Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay:
In him those holy antique hours are seen.
Without all ornaments itself, and true.
Making no summer or another's green.
Bobbing no old to make his beauty new ;
And him as for a map doth nature store.
To shew false art what beauty was of yore.


Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth

Want nothing that the thought of hearts can

All tongues (the voice of souls) give thee that

Uttering bard truth, even so as foes commend.
Thy outward thus with ontward praise is

crown'd ;
But those same tongues that g^ve thee so thine

In other accents do this praise confound,
By seeing farther tiian the eye hath shewn.
They look into the beauty of thy mind.
And thaty in goess, they measure by thy deeds |

That thou art bhun'd shall not be thy defoot,
For slander's mark was ever yet the fair;
The ornament of beauty is suspect,
A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air.
So thou be good, slander doth but approve
Thy worth the greater, being woo'd of time ;
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love.
And thou present'st a pure unstained prime.
Thou hast pass'd by the ambush of yoxmg days.
Either not assail'd, or victor being chargd ;
Tet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise.
To tie up envy, evermore enlarg'd :
If some suspect of ill mask'dnot thy show,
Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shonld'st


No longer mourn for me when I am dead.
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Oive warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell i
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it ; for I love you so.
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot.
If thinking on me then should make yon woe.
O if (I say) you look upon this verse,
When I perhaps compounded am with day.
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse ;
But let your love even wiUi my life decay :

Lest the wise world should look into yoar

And mock you with me after I am gone.


O, lest the world should task you to recite
What merit liv'd in me, that you should love
After my death, dear love, forget me quite,
For you in me can nothing worthy prove;
Unless yon would devise some virtuous lie,
To do more for me than mine own desert,
And hang more praise upon deceased I,
Than niggard truth would wflUngly impart ;
O. lest your true love may seem false in this.
That you for love speak well of me untrue.
My name be buried where my body is.
And live no more to shame nor mo nor you.
For I am sham'd by that which I bring forth
And so should you, to love things nothing


That time of year thou may'st in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold.
Bare min'd choirs, where late the sweet birds

In me thou seeet the twilight of snoh day.
As after sun-set fadeth in the w^
Which by and by black night doth take away.
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie.
As the death-bed whereon it must expire.
OoDsnm'd with that which it was nourish d . by

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This thoa peroeh'st which malces thy lore

more strong,
To love that well which thoa must leave ere



Bat be contented : when that fell arrest
Withoat all bail shall carry me away,
My life bath in this line some iatereet,
Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.
When thoa reviewest this, thoa dost review
The very part was consecrate to thee.
The earth can have bat earth, which is his due ;
Hy spirit is thine, the better port of me :
80 then thoo hast bat lost the dregs of Ufe^
The prey of worms, my body being dead ;

The coward conquest of a wretch's knife,
Too base of thee to be remembered.
The worth of that, is that which it contains.
And that is this, and this with thee remains.

80 axe yon to my thoaghts, as food to life,
Or as sweet-^easoo'd showers are to the groand,
And for the peace of von I hold snch strife
As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is foond ;
Now inroad as an exgoyer, and anon
Doabting the filching age wOl steal hb treasare ;
Now ooantinff best to be with yon alone,
Then bettered that the world may see my plea-
Sometime, all foil with feasting on year sight,
And by and by clean starved for a look ;
Possessing or pnrsoing no delight,
Save what is had or most from yoa be took.

Thas do I pine and sarfeit day by day,

Or gliittonmg on all, or all away.


Wh J is my verse so barren of new pride F
80 far from variation or qoick change P
Why, with the time, do I not slance aside
To new-foand methods and to componnds

Whv write I still all one^ ever the same.

Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 214 of 224)