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Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art,
Within the gentle closure of my breast,
From whence at pleasure thou mayst come and
And even thence thou wilt be stolen I fear,
For truth proves thievish for a prize
Against that time, if ever that time come,
When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
Whenas thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
Call'd to that audit by advised respects;—
Against that time, when thou shalt strangely pass,
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye;—
When love, converted from the thing it was,
Shall reasons find of settled gravity ;-
Against that time do I ensconce1 me here
Within the knowlege of mine own desert,
And this my hand against myself uprear,
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part:
To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws,
Since, why to love, I can allege no cause.
How heavy do I journey on the way,
When what I seek,-my weary travels' end,—
Doth teach that ease and that repose to say,
• Thus far the miles are measured from thy friend!'
The beast that bears me, tired with my woe,
Flods dully on, to bear that weight in me;
As if by some instinct the wretch did know
His rider loved not speed, being made from thee:
The bloody spur cannot provoke him on,
That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide,
Which heavily he answers with a groan,
More sharp to me than spurring to his side;
For that same groan doth put this in my mind ;— My grief lies onward, and my joy behind.
Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer, when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;
Therefore desire, of perfect love being made,
Shall neigh (no dull flesh) in his fiery race;
But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade :-
Since from thee going he went wilful-slow,
Towards thee I'll run, and give him leave to go.
So am I as the rich, whose blessed ker
Can bring him to his sweet uplocked treasure,
The which he will not every hour survev,
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure.
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare,
Since seldom coming, in the long year set;
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,
Or captain 1 jewels in the carcanet.2
So is the time that keeps you, as my chest,
Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide,
To make some special instant special-bless'd,
By new unfolding his imprison'd pride.
Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope;
Being had, to triumph; being lack'd, to hope.
What is your substance, whereof are you made. That mislions of strange shadows on you tend? Since every one hath, every one, one shade; And you, but one, can every shadow lend. Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit 3
Is poorly imitated after you;
On Helen's cheek all art of beauty set,
And you in Grecian tires are painted new:
1 Chief, most valuable.
Speak of the spring, and foison1 of the year;
The one doth shadow of your beauty show.
The other as your bounty doth appear,
And you in every blessed shape we know.
In all external grace you have some part;
you like none, none you, for constant heart.
O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem,
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odor which doth in it live.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a die,
As the perfumed tincture of the roses;
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly,
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses :
But, for their virtue only is their show;
They live unwoo'd, and unrespected fade;
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odors made:
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth;
When that shall fade, my verse distils your
2 i. e. the blossoms of the canker-rose, or dog-rose.
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find
Even in the eyes of all posterity,
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment, that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.
Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said,
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite,
Which but to-day by feeding is allay'd,
To-morrow sharpen'd in his former might:
So, love, be thou; although to-day thou fill
Thy hungry eyes, even till they wink with fulness,
To-morrow see again, and do not kill
The spirit of love with a perpetual dulness.
Let this sad interim like the ocean be
Which parts the shore, where two contracted-new