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O! how fhall fummer's hungry breath hold out
Against the wrackful fiege of battering days;
When rocks impregnable are not fo ftout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack!
Shall time's beft jewel from time's chest lie hid?
Or what ftrong hand can hold this fwift foot back,
Or who his fpoil on beauty can forbid?
O! none! unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may ftill shine bright.
Fir'd with all thefe, for reftful death I cry;
As to behold defert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And pureft faith unhappily forfworn,
And gilded honour fhamefully misplac'd,
And maiden virtue rudely ftrumpetted,
And right perfection wrongfully difgrac'd,
And ftrength by limping fway difabled,
And art made tongue-ty'd by authority,
And folly (doctor-like) controuling skill,
And fimple truth mifcall'd fimplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tir'd with all thefe, from thefe would I be gone,
Save that to die, I leave my love alone.
What is your fubftance, whereof are you made,
That millions of ftrange fhadows on you tend?
Since every one, hath every one, one fhade,
And you but one, can every fhadow lend?
Defcribe Adonis, and the counterfeit
Is poorly imitated after you;
On Helen's cheek all art of beauty fet,
And you in Grecian tires are painted new.
Speak of the fpring and foyzen of the year,
The one doth fhadow of your beauty fhow,
The other as your bounty doth appear,
And you in every bleffed fhape we know:
In all external grace you have fome part,
But you like none, none you, for conftant heart.
O! how much more doth beauty beauteous feem,
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rofe looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour, which doth in it live.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye,
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on fuch thorns, and play as wantonly,
When fummer's breath their masked buds discloses:
But for their virtue's only in their fhow,
They live unmov'd, and unrespected fade,
Die to themselves: fweet rofes do not so,
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made.
And fo of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall fade, by verfe diftils your truth.
Being your flave, what should I do, but tend
Upon the hours and times of your defire,
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor fervices to do, till you require :
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour,
Whilft I (my fovereign) watch the clock for you;
Nor think the bitterness of abfence four,
When you have bid your fervant once adieu.
Nor dare I queftion with my jealous thought,
Where you may be, or your affairs fuppofe;
But like a fad flave ftay, and think of nought,
Save where you are: how happy you make those !
So true a fool is love, that in your will,
(Tho' you do any thing) he thinks no ill.
That god forbid, that made me firft your flave,
I fhould in thought controul your times of pleasure;
Or at your hand th' account of hours to crave,
Being your vaffal, bound to stay your leisure.
O let me fuffer (being at your beck)
Th' imprifon'd abfence of your liberty;
And patience, tame to fufferance, bide each check,
Without accufing you of injury!
Be where you lift, your charter is fo ftrong,
That you yourself may privilege your time
To what you will; to you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of felf-doing crime.
I am to wait, tho' waiting fo be hell;
Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or well.
If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguil'd?
Which labouring for invention, bear amifs
The fecond burden of a former child?
O! that record could with a backward look,
Ev'n of five hundred courfes of the fun;
Show me your image in fome antique book,
Since mine at firft in character was done!
That I might fee what the old world could fay
To this compofed wonder of your frame;
Whether we're mended, or where better they,
Or whether revolution be the fame.
O! fure I am, the wits of former days,
To fubjects worse, have given admiring praise.
From faireft creatures we defire increase,
That thereby beauty's rofe may never die ;
But as the riper fhould by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory.
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'ft thy light's flame with felf-fubftantial fuel;
Making a famine where abundance lies:
Thyfelf thy foe, to thy fweet felf too cruel.
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy fpring,
Within thine own bud burieft thy content,
And tender churl mak'ft wafte in niggarding:
Pity the world, or else this glutton be
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.
When forty winters fhall befiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery, fo gaz'd on now,
Will be a tatter'd weed of fmall worth held:
Then being afk'd where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lufty days;
To say within thine own deep-funken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deferv'd thy beauty's ufe,
If thou couldst answer, This fair child of mine
Shall fum my count, and make my old excufe,
Proving his beauty by fucceffion thine?
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm, when thou feel'ft it cold.
Look in thy glafs, and tell the face thou vieweft,
Now is the time that face fhould form another,
Whose fresh repair, if now thou not reneweft,
Thou doft beguile the world, unblefs fome mother.
For where is the fo fair, whofe un-ear'd womb
Difdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
Or who is he fo fond, will be the tomb
Of his felf-love, to ftop pofterity?
Thou art thy mother's glafs, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime:
So thou thro' windows of thine age
Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time.
But if thou live, remember not to be;
Die fingle, and thine image dies with thee.
O that you were yourself! but, love, you are
No longer yours, than you yourself here live:
Againft this coming end you should prepare,
And your sweet femblance to fome other give.
So fhould that beauty, which you hold in leafe,
Find no determination; then you were
Yourself again, after yourself's decease,
When your sweet iffue your fweet form fhould bear.
Who lets fo fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold,
Against the ftormy gufts of winter's day,
And barren rage of death's eternal cold?
O! none but unthrifts: dear my love, you know
You had a father, let your son say so.