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Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness,
Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport ;
Both grace and faults are lov’d of more and less :
Thou mak'st faults graces that to thee resort.
As on the finger of a throned queen
The basest jewel will be well esteem'd;
So are those errors that in thee are seen,
To truths translated, and for true things deem'd.
How many lambs might the stern wolf betray,
If like a lamb he could his looks translate !
How many gazers might'st thou lead away,
If thou would'st use the strength of all thy state!
But do not fo; I love thee in such fort,
As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen?
What old December's bareness every where !
And yet this time remov'd was summer's time;
The teening autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease :
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me
But hope of orphans, and unfather'd fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And thou away, the very birds are mute;
Or, if they fing, 'tis with so dull a cheer,
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dress'd in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing ;
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew : .
Nor did I wonder at the lilies white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose ;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those..
Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play:
The forward violet thus did I chide ;-
Sweet thief, whence didit thou steal thy sweet that smells,
If not from my love's breath: The purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells,
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dy'd.
The lily I condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stolen thy hair :
The roses fearfully on thorns did ftand,
One blushing shame, another white despair ;
A third, nor red nor white, had stolen of both,
And to his robbery had annex'd thy breath;
But for his theft, in pride of all his growth
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
More flowers I noted, yet I none could see,
But fweet or colour it had stolen from thee.
Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget'st so long
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power, to lend base subjects light?
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
In gentle numbers time'fo idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem,
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, restive Muse, my love's sweet face survey,
If Time have any wrinkle graven there ; .'
If any, be a satire to decay,
And make Time's spoils despised every where.
Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life ;'
So thou prevent'st his fcythe, and crooked knife.
O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends,
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy'd ?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends ;
So dost thou too, and therein dignify'd.
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say,
Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd,
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay :
But best is best, if never intermix'd ?-
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb ?
Excuse not silence so; for it lies in thee
To make him much out-live a gilded tomb,
And to be prais'd of ages yet to be.
Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how
To make him seem long hence as he shows now.
My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seeming;
I love not less, though less the show appear :
That love is merchandiz'd, whose rich esteeming
The owner's tongue doth publish every where.
Our love was new, and then but in the spring,
When I was wont to greet it with my lays ;
As Philomel in summer's front doth sing,
And stops his pipe in growth of riper days :
Not that the summer is less pleasant now
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night,
But that wild mufick burdens every bough,
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight.
Therefore, like her, I sometime hold my tongue,
Because I would not dull you with my song.
Alack ! what poverty my muse brings forth,
That having such a scope to show her pride,
The argument, all bare, is of more worth,
Than when it hath my added praise beside.
O blame me not if I no more can write !
Look in your glass, and there appears a face
That over-goes my blunt invention quite,
Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.
Were it not sinful then, striving to mend,
To mar the subject that before was well ?
For to no other pass my verses tend,
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell ;
And more, much more, than in my verse can fit,
Your own glass shows you, when you look in it.
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. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride ;
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'd,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd,
Since first I saw you fresh which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv'd,
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv’d.
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred,
Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.
Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idle show,
Since all alike my songs and praises be,
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence ;
Therefore my verse to.constancy confin’d,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument,
Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words;
* And in this change is my invention spent,
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.
Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone,
Which three, till now, never kept seat in one.