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When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony.
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith.

      — Julius Caesar, Act IV Scene 2


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Act I

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Act I, Scene 1


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. From fairest creatures we desire increase,
    That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
    But as the riper should by time decease,
    His tender heir might bear his memory:
    But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes, 5
    Feed'st thy light'st flame with self-substantial fuel,
    Making a famine where abundance lies,
    Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
    Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament
    And only herald to the gaudy spring, 10
    Within thine own bud buriest thy content
    And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
    Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
    To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.
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Act I, Scene 2


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  • Shakespeare. When forty winters shall beseige thy brow, 15
    And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
    Thy youth's proud livery, so gazed on now,
    Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held:
    Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies,
    Where all the treasure of thy lusty days, 20
    To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
    Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
    How much more praise deserved thy beauty's use,
    If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
    Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,' 25
    Proving his beauty by succession thine!
    This were to be new made when thou art old,
    And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.
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Act I, Scene 3


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  • Shakespeare. Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest
    Now is the time that face should form another; 30
    Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,
    Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.
    For where is she so fair whose unear'd womb
    Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
    Or who is he so fond will be the tomb 35
    Of his self-love, to stop posterity?
    Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee
    Calls back the lovely April of her prime:
    So thou through windows of thine age shall see
    Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time. 40
    But if thou live, remember'd not to be,
    Die single, and thine image dies with thee.
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Act I, Scene 4


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  • Shakespeare. Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
    Upon thyself thy beauty's legacy?
    Nature's bequest gives nothing but doth lend, 45
    And being frank she lends to those are free.
    Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse
    The bounteous largess given thee to give?
    Profitless usurer, why dost thou use
    So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live? 50
    For having traffic with thyself alone,
    Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive.
    Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone,
    What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
    Thy unused beauty must be tomb'd with thee, 55
    Which, used, lives th' executor to be.
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Act I, Scene 5


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  • Shakespeare. Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
    The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
    Will play the tyrants to the very same
    And that unfair which fairly doth excel: 60
    For never-resting time leads summer on
    To hideous winter and confounds him there;
    Sap cheque'd with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
    Beauty o'ersnow'd and bareness every where:
    Then, were not summer's distillation left, 65
    A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
    Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft,
    Nor it nor no remembrance what it was:
    But flowers distill'd though they with winter meet,
    Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet. 70
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Act I, Scene 6


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  • Shakespeare. Then let not winter's ragged hand deface
    In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill'd:
    Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place
    With beauty's treasure, ere it be self-kill'd.
    That use is not forbidden usury, 75
    Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
    That's for thyself to breed another thee,
    Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;
    Ten times thyself were happier than thou art,
    If ten of thine ten times refigured thee: 80
    Then what could death do, if thou shouldst depart,
    Leaving thee living in posterity?
    Be not self-will'd, for thou art much too fair
    To be death's conquest and make worms thine heir.
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Act I, Scene 7


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  • Shakespeare. Lo! in the orient when the gracious light 85
    Lifts up his burning head, each under eye
    Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
    Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
    And having climb'd the steep-up heavenly hill,
    Resembling strong youth in his middle age, 90
    yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
    Attending on his golden pilgrimage;
    But when from highmost pitch, with weary car,
    Like feeble age, he reeleth from the day,
    The eyes, 'fore duteous, now converted are 95
    From his low tract and look another way:
    So thou, thyself out-going in thy noon,
    Unlook'd on diest, unless thou get a son.
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Act I, Scene 8


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  • Shakespeare. Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
    Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy. 100
    Why lovest thou that which thou receivest not gladly,
    Or else receivest with pleasure thine annoy?
    If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
    By unions married, do offend thine ear,
    They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds 105
    In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
    Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
    Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
    Resembling sire and child and happy mother
    Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing: 110
    Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one,
    Sings this to thee: 'thou single wilt prove none.'
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Act I, Scene 9


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  • Shakespeare. Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye
    That thou consumest thyself in single life?
    Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die. 115
    The world will wail thee, like a makeless wife;
    The world will be thy widow and still weep
    That thou no form of thee hast left behind,
    When every private widow well may keep
    By children's eyes her husband's shape in mind. 120
    Look, what an unthrift in the world doth spend
    Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
    But beauty's waste hath in the world an end,
    And kept unused, the user so destroys it.
    No love toward others in that bosom sits 125
    That on himself such murderous shame commits.
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Act I, Scene 10


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  • Shakespeare. For shame! deny that thou bear'st love to any,
    Who for thyself art so unprovident.
    Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
    But that thou none lovest is most evident; 130
    For thou art so possess'd with murderous hate
    That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to conspire.
    Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
    Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
    O, change thy thought, that I may change my mind! 135
    Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?
    Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind,
    Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove:
    Make thee another self, for love of me,
    That beauty still may live in thine or thee. 140
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Act I, Scene 11


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  • Shakespeare. As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou growest
    In one of thine, from that which thou departest;
    And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestowest
    Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth convertest.
    Herein lives wisdom, beauty and increase: 145
    Without this, folly, age and cold decay:
    If all were minded so, the times should cease
    And threescore year would make the world away.
    Let those whom Nature hath not made for store,
    Harsh featureless and rude, barrenly perish: 150
    Look, whom she best endow'd she gave the more;
    Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish:
    She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby
    Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.
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Act I, Scene 12


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  • Shakespeare. When I do count the clock that tells the time, 155
    And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
    When I behold the violet past prime,
    And sable curls all silver'd o'er with white;
    When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
    Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, 160
    And summer's green all girded up in sheaves
    Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
    Then of thy beauty do I question make,
    That thou among the wastes of time must go,
    Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake 165
    And die as fast as they see others grow;
    And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
    Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.
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Act I, Scene 13


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  • Shakespeare. O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are
    No longer yours than you yourself here live: 170
    Against this coming end you should prepare,
    And your sweet semblance to some other give.
    So should that beauty which you hold in lease
    Find no determination: then you were
    Yourself again after yourself's decease, 175
    When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
    Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
    Which husbandry in honour might uphold
    Against the stormy gusts of winter's day
    And barren rage of death's eternal cold? 180
    O, none but unthrifts! Dear my love, you know
    You had a father: let your son say so.
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Act I, Scene 14


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  • Shakespeare. Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck;
    And yet methinks I have astronomy,
    But not to tell of good or evil luck, 185
    Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons' quality;
    Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
    Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,
    Or say with princes if it shall go well,
    By oft predict that I in heaven find: 190
    But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
    And, constant stars, in them I read such art
    As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
    If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert;
    Or else of thee this I prognosticate: 195
    Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.
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Act I, Scene 15


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  • Shakespeare. When I consider every thing that grows
    Holds in perfection but a little moment,
    That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
    Whereon the stars in secret influence comment; 200
    When I perceive that men as plants increase,
    Cheered and cheque'd even by the self-same sky,
    Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
    And wear their brave state out of memory;
    Then the conceit of this inconstant stay 205
    Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
    Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay,
    To change your day of youth to sullied night;
    And all in war with Time for love of you,
    As he takes from you, I engraft you new. 210
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Act I, Scene 16


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  • Shakespeare. But wherefore do not you a mightier way
    Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?
    And fortify yourself in your decay
    With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?
    Now stand you on the top of happy hours, 215
    And many maiden gardens yet unset
    With virtuous wish would bear your living flowers,
    Much liker than your painted counterfeit:
    So should the lines of life that life repair,
    Which this, Time's pencil, or my pupil pen, 220
    Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,
    Can make you live yourself in eyes of men.
    To give away yourself keeps yourself still,
    And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.
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Act I, Scene 17


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  • Shakespeare. Who will believe my verse in time to come, 225
    If it were fill'd with your most high deserts?
    Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb
    Which hides your life and shows not half your parts.
    If I could write the beauty of your eyes
    And in fresh numbers number all your graces, 230
    The age to come would say 'This poet lies:
    Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.'
    So should my papers yellow'd with their age
    Be scorn'd like old men of less truth than tongue,
    And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage 235
    And stretched metre of an antique song:
    But were some child of yours alive that time,
    You should live twice; in it and in my rhyme.
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Act I, Scene 18


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  • Shakespeare. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
    Thou art more lovely and more temperate: 240
    Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
    And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
    Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
    And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
    And every fair from fair sometime declines, 245
    By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
    But thy eternal summer shall not fade
    Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
    Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
    When in eternal lines to time thou growest: 250
    So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
    So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
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Act I, Scene 19


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  • Shakespeare. Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,
    And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
    Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws, 255
    And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
    Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
    And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
    To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
    But I forbid thee one most heinous crime: 260
    O, carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow,
    Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
    Him in thy course untainted do allow
    For beauty's pattern to succeeding men.
    Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong, 265
    My love shall in my verse ever live young.
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Act I, Scene 20


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  • Shakespeare. A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted
    Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;
    A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted
    With shifting change, as is false women's fashion; 270
    An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
    Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
    A man in hue, all 'hues' in his controlling,
    Much steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth.
    And for a woman wert thou first created; 275
    Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,
    And by addition me of thee defeated,
    By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
    But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure,
    Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure. 280
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Act I, Scene 21


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  • Shakespeare. So is it not with me as with that Muse
    Stirr'd by a painted beauty to his verse,
    Who heaven itself for ornament doth use
    And every fair with his fair doth rehearse
    Making a couplement of proud compare, 285
    With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems,
    With April's first-born flowers, and all things rare
    That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems.
    O' let me, true in love, but truly write,
    And then believe me, my love is as fair 290
    As any mother's child, though not so bright
    As those gold candles fix'd in heaven's air:
    Let them say more than like of hearsay well;
    I will not praise that purpose not to sell.
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Act I, Scene 22


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  • Shakespeare. My glass shall not persuade me I am old, 295
    So long as youth and thou are of one date;
    But when in thee time's furrows I behold,
    Then look I death my days should expiate.
    For all that beauty that doth cover thee
    Is but the seemly raiment of my heart, 300
    Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me:
    How can I then be elder than thou art?
    O, therefore, love, be of thyself so wary
    As I, not for myself, but for thee will;
    Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary 305
    As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
    Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain;
    Thou gavest me thine, not to give back again.
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Act I, Scene 23


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  • Shakespeare. As an unperfect actor on the stage
    Who with his fear is put besides his part, 310
    Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
    Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart.
    So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
    The perfect ceremony of love's rite,
    And in mine own love's strength seem to decay, 315
    O'ercharged with burden of mine own love's might.
    O, let my books be then the eloquence
    And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
    Who plead for love and look for recompense
    More than that tongue that more hath more express'd. 320
    O, learn to read what silent love hath writ:
    To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.
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Act I, Scene 24


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  • Shakespeare. Mine eye hath play'd the painter and hath stell'd
    Thy beauty's form in table of my heart;
    My body is the frame wherein 'tis held, 325
    And perspective it is the painter's art.
    For through the painter must you see his skill,
    To find where your true image pictured lies;
    Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still,
    That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes. 330
    Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done:
    Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
    Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun
    Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee;
    Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art; 335
    They draw but what they see, know not the heart.
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Act I, Scene 25


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  • Shakespeare. Let those who are in favour with their stars
    Of public honour and proud titles boast,
    Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
    Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most. 340
    Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread
    But as the marigold at the sun's eye,
    And in themselves their pride lies buried,
    For at a frown they in their glory die.
    The painful warrior famoused for fight, 345
    After a thousand victories once foil'd,
    Is from the book of honour razed quite,
    And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd:
    Then happy I, that love and am beloved
    Where I may not remove nor be removed. 350
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Act I, Scene 26


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  • Shakespeare. Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
    Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit,
    To thee I send this written embassage,
    To witness duty, not to show my wit:
    Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine 355
    May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it,
    But that I hope some good conceit of thine
    In thy soul's thought, all naked, will bestow it;
    Till whatsoever star that guides my moving
    Points on me graciously with fair aspect 360
    And puts apparel on my tatter'd loving,
    To show me worthy of thy sweet respect:
    Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee;
    Till then not show my head where thou mayst prove me.
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Act I, Scene 27


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  • Shakespeare. Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed, 365
    The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
    But then begins a journey in my head,
    To work my mind, when body's work's expired:
    For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
    Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee, 370
    And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
    Looking on darkness which the blind do see
    Save that my soul's imaginary sight
    Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
    Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night, 375
    Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
    Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
    For thee and for myself no quiet find.
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Act I, Scene 28


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  • Shakespeare. How can I then return in happy plight,
    That am debarr'd the benefit of rest? 380
    When day's oppression is not eased by night,
    But day by night, and night by day, oppress'd?
    And each, though enemies to either's reign,
    Do in consent shake hands to torture me;
    The one by toil, the other to complain 385
    How far I toil, still farther off from thee.
    I tell the day, to please them thou art bright
    And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven:
    So flatter I the swart-complexion'd night,
    When sparkling stars twire not thou gild'st the even. 390
    But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer
    And night doth nightly make grief's strength seem stronger.
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Act I, Scene 29


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  • Shakespeare. When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
    I all alone beweep my outcast state
    And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries 395
    And look upon myself and curse my fate,
    Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
    Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
    Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
    With what I most enjoy contented least; 400
    Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
    Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
    Like to the lark at break of day arising
    From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
    For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings 405
    That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
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Act I, Scene 30


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  • Shakespeare. When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
    I summon up remembrance of things past,
    I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
    And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste: 410
    Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
    For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
    And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
    And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
    Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, 415
    And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
    The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
    Which I new pay as if not paid before.
    But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
    All losses are restored and sorrows end. 420
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Act I, Scene 31


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  • Shakespeare. Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
    Which I by lacking have supposed dead,
    And there reigns love and all love's loving parts,
    And all those friends which I thought buried.
    How many a holy and obsequious tear 425
    Hath dear religious love stol'n from mine eye
    As interest of the dead, which now appear
    But things removed that hidden in thee lie!
    Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
    Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone, 430
    Who all their parts of me to thee did give;
    That due of many now is thine alone:
    Their images I loved I view in thee,
    And thou, all they, hast all the all of me.
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Act I, Scene 32


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  • Shakespeare. If thou survive my well-contented day, 435
    When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover,
    And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
    These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,
    Compare them with the bettering of the time,
    And though they be outstripp'd by every pen, 440
    Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
    Exceeded by the height of happier men.
    O, then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
    'Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing age,
    A dearer birth than this his love had brought, 445
    To march in ranks of better equipage:
    But since he died and poets better prove,
    Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love.'
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Act I, Scene 33


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  • Shakespeare. Full many a glorious morning have I seen
    Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye, 450
    Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
    Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
    Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
    With ugly rack on his celestial face,
    And from the forlorn world his visage hide, 455
    Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
    Even so my sun one early morn did shine
    With all triumphant splendor on my brow;
    But out, alack! he was but one hour mine;
    The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now. 460
    Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
    Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.
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Act I, Scene 34


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  • Shakespeare. Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,
    And make me travel forth without my cloak,
    To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way, 465
    Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?
    'Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,
    To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
    For no man well of such a salve can speak
    That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace: 470
    Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;
    Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss:
    The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief
    To him that bears the strong offence's cross.
    Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds, 475
    And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.
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Act I, Scene 35


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
    Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;
    Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
    And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud. 480
    All men make faults, and even I in this,
    Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
    Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,
    Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are;
    For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense— 485
    Thy adverse party is thy advocate—
    And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence:
    Such civil war is in my love and hate
    That I an accessary needs must be
    To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me. 490
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Act I, Scene 36


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  • Shakespeare. Let me confess that we two must be twain,
    Although our undivided loves are one:
    So shall those blots that do with me remain
    Without thy help by me be borne alone.
    In our two loves there is but one respect, 495
    Though in our lives a separable spite,
    Which though it alter not love's sole effect,
    Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight.
    I may not evermore acknowledge thee,
    Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame, 500
    Nor thou with public kindness honour me,
    Unless thou take that honour from thy name:
    But do not so; I love thee in such sort
    As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report.
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Act I, Scene 37


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  • Shakespeare. As a decrepit father takes delight 505
    To see his active child do deeds of youth,
    So I, made lame by fortune's dearest spite,
    Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
    For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
    Or any of these all, or all, or more, 510
    Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit,
    I make my love engrafted to this store:
    So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,
    Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
    That I in thy abundance am sufficed 515
    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!
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Act I, Scene 38


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. How can my Muse want subject to invent,
    While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse 520
    Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
    For every vulgar paper to rehearse?
    O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me
    Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;
    For who's so dumb that cannot write to thee, 525
    When thou thyself dost give invention light?
    Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth
    Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;
    And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth
    Eternal numbers to outlive long date. 530
    If my slight Muse do please these curious days,
    The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.
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Act I, Scene 39


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. O, how thy worth with manners may I sing,
    When thou art all the better part of me?
    What can mine own praise to mine own self bring? 535
    And what is 't but mine own when I praise thee?
    Even for this let us divided live,
    And our dear love lose name of single one,
    That by this separation I may give
    That due to thee which thou deservest alone. 540
    O absence, what a torment wouldst 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 deceive,
    And that thou teachest how to make one twain, 545
    By praising him here who doth hence remain!
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Act I, Scene 40


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all;
    What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?
    No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;
    All mine was thine before thou hadst this more. 550
    Then if for my love thou my love receivest,
    I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest;
    But yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest
    By wilful taste of what thyself refusest.
    I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief, 555
    Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
    And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief
    To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury.
    Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows,
    Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes. 560
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Act I, Scene 41


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  • Shakespeare. Those petty wrongs that liberty commits,
    When I am sometime absent from thy heart,
    Thy beauty and thy years full well befits,
    For still temptation follows where thou art.
    Gentle thou art and therefore to be won, 565
    Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assailed;
    And when a woman woos, what woman's son
    Will sourly leave her till she have prevailed?
    Ay me! but yet thou mightest my seat forbear,
    And chide try beauty and thy straying youth, 570
    Who lead thee in their riot even there
    Where thou art forced to break a twofold truth,
    Hers by thy beauty tempting her to thee,
    Thine, by thy beauty being false to me.
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Act I, Scene 42


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  • Shakespeare. That thou hast her, it is not all my grief, 575
    And yet it may be said I loved her dearly;
    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:
    Thou dost love her, because thou knowst I love her; 580
    And for my sake even 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 that loss;
    Both find each other, and I lose both twain, 585
    And both for my sake lay on me this cross:
    But here's the joy; my friend and I are one;
    Sweet flattery! then she loves but me alone.
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Act I, Scene 43


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
    For all the day they view things unrespected; 590
    But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
    And darkly bright are bright in dark directed.
    Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
    How would thy shadow's form form happy show
    To the clear day with thy much clearer light, 595
    When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
    How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
    By looking on thee in the living day,
    When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
    Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay! 600
    All days are nights to see till I see thee,
    And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.
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Act I, Scene 44


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
    Injurious distance should not stop my way;
    For then despite of space I would be brought, 605
    From limits far remote where thou dost stay.
    No matter then although my foot did stand
    Upon the farthest earth removed from thee;
    For nimble thought can jump both sea and land
    As soon as think the place where he would be. 610
    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,
    Receiving nought by elements so slow 615
    But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.
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Act I, Scene 45


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. The other two, slight air and purging fire,
    Are both with thee, wherever I abide;
    The first my thought, the other my desire,
    These present-absent with swift motion slide. 620
    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 recured 625
    By those swift messengers return'd from thee,
    Who even but now come back again, assured
    Of thy fair health, recounting it to me:
    This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,
    I send them back again and straight grow sad. 630
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Act I, Scene 46


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war
    How to divide the conquest of thy sight;
    Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would bar,
    My heart mine eye the freedom of that right.
    My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie— 635
    A closet never pierced with crystal eyes—
    But the defendant doth that plea deny
    And says in him thy fair appearance lies.
    To 'cide this title is impanneled
    A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart, 640
    And by their verdict is determined
    The clear 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.
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Act I, Scene 47


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took, 645
    And each doth good turns now unto the other:
    When that mine eye 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 banquet bids my heart; 650
    Another time mine eye is my heart's guest
    And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:
    So, either by thy picture or my love,
    Thyself away art resent still with me;
    For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move, 655
    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.
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Act I, Scene 48


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. How careful was I, when I took my way,
    Each trifle under truest bars to thrust, 660
    That to my use it might unused stay
    From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust!
    But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are,
    Most worthy of comfort, now my greatest grief,
    Thou, best of dearest and mine only care, 665
    Art left the prey of every vulgar thief.
    Thee have I not lock'd up in any chest,
    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 part; 670
    And even thence thou wilt be stol'n, I fear,
    For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear.
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Act I, Scene 49


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Against that time, if ever that time come,
    When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
    When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum, 675
    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,— 680
    Against that time do I ensconce me here
    Within the knowledge 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, 685
    Since why to love I can allege no cause.
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Act I, Scene 50


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. How heavy do I journey on the way,
    When what I seek, my weary travel's end,
    Doth teach that ease and that repose to say
    'Thus far the miles are measured from thy friend!' 690
    The beast that bears me, tired with my woe,
    Plods 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 695
    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. 700
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Act I, Scene 51


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. 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 me thence?
    Till I return, of posting is no need.
    O, what excuse will my poor beast then find, 705
    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'st love being made, 710
    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.
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Act I, Scene 52


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. So am I as the rich, whose blessed key 715
    Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure,
    The which he will not every hour survey,
    For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure.
    Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare,
    Since, seldom coming, in the long year set, 720
    Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,
    Or captain jewels in the carcanet.
    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 blest, 725
    By new unfolding his imprison'd pride.
    Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope,
    Being had, to triumph, being lack'd, to hope.
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Act I, Scene 53


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. What is your substance, whereof are you made,
    That millions of strange shadows on you tend? 730
    Since every one hath, every one, one shade,
    And you, 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, 735
    And you in Grecian tires are painted new:
    Speak of the spring and foison 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. 740
    In all external grace you have some part,
    But you like none, none you, for constant heart.
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Act I, Scene 54


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. 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 745
    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 such thorns and play as wantonly
    When summer's breath their masked buds discloses: 750
    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 odours made:
    And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth, 755
    When that shall fade, my verse distills your truth.
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Act I, Scene 55


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. 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. 760
    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 765
    Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
    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 lover's eyes. 770
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Act I, Scene 56


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. 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 775
    Thy hungry eyes even till they wink with fullness,
    To-morrow see again, and do not kill
    The spirit of love with a perpetual dullness.
    Let this sad interim like the ocean be
    Which parts the shore, where two contracted new 780
    Come daily to the banks, that, when they see
    Return of love, more blest may be the view;
    Else call it winter, which being full of care
    Makes summer's welcome thrice more wish'd, more rare.
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Act I, Scene 57


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Being your slave, what should I do but tend 785
    Upon the hours and times of your desire?
    I have no precious time at all to spend,
    Nor services to do, till you require.
    Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
    Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you, 790
    Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
    When you have bid your servant once adieu;
    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 nought 795
    Save, where you are how happy you make those.
    So true a fool is love that in your will,
    Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill.
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Act I, Scene 58


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. That god forbid that made me first your slave,
    I should in thought control your times of pleasure, 800
    Or at your hand the account of hours to crave,
    Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure!
    O, let me suffer, being at your beck,
    The imprison'd absence of your liberty;
    And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each cheque, 805
    Without accusing you of injury.
    Be where you list, your charter is so strong
    That you yourself may privilege your time
    To what you will; to you it doth belong
    Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime. 810
    I am to wait, though waiting so be hell;
    Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or well.
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Act I, Scene 59


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. If there be nothing new, but that which is
    Hath been before, how are our brains beguiled,
    Which, labouring for invention, bear amiss 815
    The second burden of a former child!
    O, that record could with a backward look,
    Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
    Show me your image in some antique book,
    Since mind at first in character was done! 820
    That I might see what the old world could say
    To this composed wonder of your frame;
    Whether we are mended, or whether better they,
    Or whether revolution be the same.
    O, sure I am, the wits of former days 825
    To subjects worse have given admiring praise.
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Act I, Scene 60


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
    So do our minutes hasten to their end;
    Each changing place with that which goes before,
    In sequent toil all forwards do contend. 830
    Nativity, once in the main of light,
    Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
    Crooked elipses 'gainst his glory fight,
    And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
    Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth 835
    And delves the parallels in 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,
    Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand. 840
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Act I, Scene 61


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Is it thy will thy image should keep open
    My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
    Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
    While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?
    Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee 845
    So far from home into my deeds to pry,
    To find out shames and idle hours in me,
    The scope and tenor of thy jealousy?
    O, no! thy love, though much, is not so great:
    It is my love that keeps mine eye awake; 850
    Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
    To play the watchman ever for thy sake:
    For thee watch I whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
    From me far off, with others all too near.
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Act I, Scene 62


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye 855
    And all my soul and all my every part;
    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; 860
    And for myself mine own worth do define,
    As I all other in all worths surmount.
    But when my glass shows me myself indeed,
    Beated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity,
    Mine own self-love quite contrary I read; 865
    Self so self-loving were iniquity.
    'Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise,
    Painting my age with beauty of thy days.
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Act I, Scene 63


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Against my love shall be, as I am now,
    With Time's injurious hand crush'd and o'er-worn; 870
    When hours have drain'd his blood and fill'd his brow
    With lines and wrinkles; when his youthful morn
    Hath travell'd on to age's steepy night,
    And all those beauties whereof now he's king
    Are vanishing or vanish'd out of sight, 875
    Stealing away the treasure of his spring;
    For such 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: 880
    His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,
    And they shall live, and he in them still green.
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Act I, Scene 64


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
    The rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
    When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed 885
    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 watery main,
    Increasing store with loss and loss with store; 890
    When I have seen such interchange of state,
    Or state itself confounded to decay;
    Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate,
    That Time will come and take my love away.
    This thought is as a death, which cannot choose 895
    But weep to have that which it fears to lose.
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Act I, Scene 65


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
    But sad mortality o'er-sways their power,
    How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
    Whose action is no stronger than a flower? 900
    O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
    Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
    When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
    Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
    O fearful meditation! where, alack, 905
    Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
    Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
    Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
    O, none, unless this miracle have might,
    That in black ink my love may still shine bright. 910
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Act I, Scene 66


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
    As, to behold desert a beggar born,
    And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
    And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
    And guilded honour shamefully misplaced, 915
    And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
    And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
    And strength by limping sway disabled,
    And art made tongue-tied by authority,
    And folly doctor-like controlling skill, 920
    And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
    And captive good attending captain ill:
    Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
    Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.
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Act I, Scene 67


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Ah! wherefore with infection should he live, 925
    And with his presence grace impiety,
    That sin by him advantage should achieve
    And lace itself with his society?
    Why should false painting imitate his cheek
    And steal dead seeing of his living hue? 930
    Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
    Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?
    Why should he live, now Nature bankrupt is,
    Beggar'd of blood to blush through lively veins?
    For she hath no exchequer now but his, 935
    And, proud of many, lives upon his gains.
    O, him she stores, to show what wealth she had
    In days long since, before these last so bad.
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Act I, Scene 68


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn,
    When beauty lived and died as flowers do now, 940
    Before the bastard signs of fair were born,
    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; 945
    Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay:
    In him those holy antique hours are seen,
    Without all ornament, itself and true,
    Making no summer of another's green,
    Robbing no old to dress his beauty new; 950
    And him as for a map doth Nature store,
    To show false Art what beauty was of yore.
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Act I, Scene 69


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth view
    Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend;
    All tongues, the voice of souls, give thee that due, 955
    Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend.
    Thy outward thus with outward praise is crown'd;
    But those same tongues that give thee so thine own
    In other accents do this praise confound
    By seeing farther than the eye hath shown. 960
    They look into the beauty of thy mind,
    And that, in guess, they measure by thy deeds;
    Then, churls, their thoughts, although their eyes were kind,
    To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds:
    But why thy odour matcheth not thy show, 965
    The solve is this, that thou dost common grow.
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Act I, Scene 70


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
    For slander's mark was ever yet the fair;
    The ornament of beauty is suspect,
    A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air. 970
    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 young days, 975
    Either not assail'd or victor being charged;
    Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,
    To tie up envy evermore enlarged:
    If some suspect of ill mask'd not thy show,
    Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe. 980
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Act I, Scene 71


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. No longer mourn for me when I am dead
    Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
    Give warning to the world that I am fled
    From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
    Nay, if you read this line, remember not 985
    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 you woe.
    O, if, I say, you look upon this verse
    When I perhaps compounded am with clay, 990
    Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
    But let your love even with my life decay,
    Lest the wise world should look into your moan
    And mock you with me after I am gone.
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Act I, Scene 72


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  • Shakespeare. O, lest the world should task you to recite 995
    What merit lived in me, that you should love
    After my death, dear love, forget me quite,
    For you in me can nothing worthy prove;
    Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,
    To do more for me than mine own desert, 1000
    And hang more praise upon deceased I
    Than niggard truth would willingly 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, 1005
    And live no more to shame nor me nor you.
    For I am shamed by that which I bring forth,
    And so should you, to love things nothing worth.
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Act I, Scene 73


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  • Shakespeare. That time of year thou mayst in me behold
    When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang 1010
    Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
    Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
    In me thou seest the twilight of such day
    As after sunset fadeth in the west,
    Which by and by black night doth take away, 1015
    Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
    In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
    That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
    As the death-bed whereon it must expire
    Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by. 1020
    This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
    To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
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Act I, Scene 74


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. But be contented: when that fell arrest
    Without all bail shall carry me away,
    My life hath in this line some interest, 1025
    Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.
    When thou reviewest this, thou dost review
    The very part was consecrate to thee:
    The earth can have but earth, which is his due;
    My spirit is thine, the better part of me: 1030
    So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,
    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, 1035
    And that is this, and this with thee remains.
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Act I, Scene 75


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  • Shakespeare. So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
    Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground;
    And for the peace of you I hold such strife
    As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found; 1040
    Now proud as an enjoyer and anon
    Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure,
    Now counting best to be with you alone,
    Then better'd that the world may see my pleasure;
    Sometime all full with feasting on your sight 1045
    And by and by clean starved for a look;
    Possessing or pursuing no delight,
    Save what is had or must from you be took.
    Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
    Or gluttoning on all, or all away. 1050
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Act I, Scene 76


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  • Shakespeare. Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
    So far from variation or quick change?
    Why with the time do I not glance aside
    To new-found methods and to compounds strange?
    Why write I still all one, ever the same, 1055
    And keep invention in a noted weed,
    That every word doth almost tell my name,
    Showing their birth and where they did proceed?
    O, know, sweet love, I always write of you,
    And you and love are still my argument; 1060
    So all my best is dressing old words new,
    Spending again what is already spent:
    For as the sun is daily new and old,
    So is my love still telling what is told.
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Act I, Scene 77


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  • Shakespeare. Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear, 1065
    Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
    The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
    And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
    The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
    Of mouthed graves will give thee memory; 1070
    Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
    Time's thievish progress to eternity.
    Look, what thy memory can not contain
    Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find
    Those children nursed, deliver'd from thy brain, 1075
    To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.
    These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
    Shall profit thee and much enrich thy book.
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Act I, Scene 78


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  • Shakespeare. So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse
    And found such fair assistance in my verse 1080
    As every alien pen hath got my use
    And under thee their poesy disperse.
    Thine eyes that taught the dumb on high to sing
    And heavy ignorance aloft to fly
    Have added feathers to the learned's wing 1085
    And given grace a double majesty.
    Yet be most proud of that which I compile,
    Whose influence is thine and born of thee:
    In others' works thou dost but mend the style,
    And arts with thy sweet graces graced be; 1090
    But thou art all my art and dost advance
    As high as learning my rude ignorance.
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Act I, Scene 79


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  • Shakespeare. Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,
    My verse alone had all thy gentle grace,
    But now my gracious numbers are decay'd 1095
    And my sick Muse doth give another place.
    I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument
    Deserves the travail of a worthier pen,
    Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent
    He robs thee of and pays it thee again. 1100
    He lends thee virtue and he stole that word
    From thy behavior; beauty doth he give
    And found it in thy cheek; he can afford
    No praise to thee but what in thee doth live.
    Then thank him not for that which he doth say, 1105
    Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay.
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Act I, Scene 80


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  • Shakespeare. O, how I faint when I of you do write,
    Knowing a better spirit doth use your name,
    And in the praise thereof spends all his might,
    To make me tongue-tied, speaking of your fame! 1110
    But since your worth, wide as the ocean is,
    The humble as the proudest sail doth bear,
    My saucy bark inferior far to his
    On your broad main doth wilfully appear.
    Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat, 1115
    Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride;
    Or being wreck'd, I am a worthless boat,
    He of tall building and of goodly pride:
    Then if he thrive and I be cast away,
    The worst was this; my love was my decay. 1120
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Act I, Scene 81


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  • Shakespeare. Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
    Or you survive when I in earth am rotten;
    From hence your memory death cannot take,
    Although in me each part will be forgotten.
    Your name from hence immortal life shall have, 1125
    Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:
    The earth can yield me but a common grave,
    When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie.
    Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
    Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read, 1130
    And tongues to be your being shall rehearse
    When all the breathers of this world are dead;
    You still shall live—such virtue hath my pen—
    Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.
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Act I, Scene 82


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  • Shakespeare. I grant thou wert not married to my Muse 1135
    And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook
    The dedicated words which writers use
    Of their fair subject, blessing every book
    Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,
    Finding thy worth a limit past my praise, 1140
    And therefore art enforced to seek anew
    Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days
    And do so, love; yet when they have devised
    What strained touches rhetoric can lend,
    Thou truly fair wert truly sympathized 1145
    In true plain words by thy true-telling friend;
    And their gross painting might be better used
    Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abused.
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Act I, Scene 83


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  • Shakespeare. I never saw that you did painting need
    And therefore to your fair no painting set; 1150
    I found, or thought I found, you did exceed
    The barren tender of a poet's debt;
    And therefore have I slept in your report,
    That you yourself being extant well might show
    How far a modern quill doth come too short, 1155
    Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow.
    This silence for my sin you did impute,
    Which shall be most my glory, being dumb;
    For I impair not beauty being mute,
    When others would give life and bring a tomb. 1160
    There lives more life in one of your fair eyes
    Than both your poets can in praise devise.
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Act I, Scene 84


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Who is it that says most? which can say more
    Than this rich praise, that you alone are you?
    In whose confine immured is the store 1165
    Which should example where your equal grew.
    Lean penury within that pen doth dwell
    That to his subject lends not some small glory;
    But he that writes of you, if he can tell
    That you are you, so dignifies his story, 1170
    Let him but copy what in you is writ,
    Not making worse what nature made so clear,
    And such a counterpart shall fame his wit,
    Making his style admired every where.
    You to your beauteous blessings add a curse, 1175
    Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse.
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Act I, Scene 85


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  • Shakespeare. My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still,
    While comments of your praise, richly compiled,
    Reserve their character with golden quill
    And precious phrase by all the Muses filed. 1180
    I think good thoughts whilst other write good words,
    And like unletter'd clerk still cry 'Amen'
    To every hymn that able spirit affords
    In polish'd form of well-refined pen.
    Hearing you praised, I say 'Tis so, 'tis true,' 1185
    And to the most of praise add something more;
    But that is in my thought, whose love to you,
    Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before.
    Then others for the breath of words respect,
    Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect. 1190
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Act I, Scene 86


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,
    Bound for the prize of all too precious you,
    That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,
    Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?
    Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write 1195
    Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?
    No, neither he, nor his compeers by night
    Giving him aid, my verse astonished.
    He, nor that affable familiar ghost
    Which nightly gulls him with intelligence 1200
    As victors of my silence cannot boast;
    I was not sick of any fear from thence:
    But when your countenance fill'd up his line,
    Then lack'd I matter; that enfeebled mine.
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Act I, Scene 87


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing, 1205
    And like enough thou know'st thy estimate:
    The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
    My bonds in thee are all determinate.
    For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
    And for that riches where is my deserving? 1210
    The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
    And so my patent back again is swerving.
    Thyself thou gavest, thy own worth then not knowing,
    Or me, to whom thou gavest it, else mistaking;
    So thy great gift, upon misprision growing, 1215
    Comes home again, on better judgment making.
    Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter,
    In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.
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Act I, Scene 88


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. When thou shalt be disposed to set me light,
    And place my merit in the eye of scorn, 1220
    Upon thy side against myself I'll fight,
    And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn.
    With mine own weakness being best acquainted,
    Upon thy part I can set down a story
    Of faults conceal'd, wherein I am attainted, 1225
    That thou in losing me shalt win much glory:
    And I by this will be a gainer too;
    For bending all my loving thoughts on thee,
    The injuries that to myself I do,
    Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me. 1230
    Such is my love, to thee I so belong,
    That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.
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Act I, Scene 89


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,
    And I will comment upon that offence;
    Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt, 1235
    Against thy reasons making no defence.
    Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so ill,
    To set a form upon desired change,
    As I'll myself disgrace: knowing thy will,
    I will acquaintance strangle and look strange, 1240
    Be absent from thy walks, and in my tongue
    Thy sweet beloved name no more shall dwell,
    Lest I, too much profane, should do it wrong
    And haply of our old acquaintance tell.
    For thee against myself I'll vow debate, 1245
    For I must ne'er love him whom thou dost hate.
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Act I, Scene 90


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;
    Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross,
    Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,
    And do not drop in for an after-loss: 1250
    Ah, do not, when my heart hath 'scoped this sorrow,
    Come in the rearward of a conquer'd woe;
    Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,
    To linger out a purposed overthrow.
    If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last, 1255
    When other petty griefs have done their spite
    But in the onset come; so shall I taste
    At first the very worst of fortune's might,
    And other strains of woe, which now seem woe,
    Compared with loss of thee will not seem so. 1260
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Act I, Scene 91


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
    Some in their wealth, some in their bodies' force,
    Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill,
    Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
    And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure, 1265
    Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:
    But these particulars are not my measure;
    All these I better in one general best.
    Thy love is better than high birth to me,
    Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost, 1270
    Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
    And having thee, of all men's pride I boast:
    Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take
    All this away and me most wretched make.
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Act I, Scene 92


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. But do thy worst to steal thyself away, 1275
    For term of life thou art assured mine,
    And life no longer than thy love will stay,
    For it depends upon that love of thine.
    Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs,
    When in the least of them my life hath end. 1280
    I see a better state to me belongs
    Than that which on thy humour doth depend;
    Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind,
    Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie.
    O, what a happy title do I find, 1285
    Happy to have thy love, happy to die!
    But what's so blessed-fair that fears no blot?
    Thou mayst be false, and yet I know it not.
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Act I, Scene 93


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. So shall I live, supposing thou art true,
    Like a deceived husband; so love's face 1290
    May still seem love to me, though alter'd new;
    Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place:
    For there can live no hatred in thine eye,
    Therefore in that I cannot know thy change.
    In many's looks the false heart's history 1295
    Is writ in moods and frowns and wrinkles strange,
    But heaven in thy creation did decree
    That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
    Whate'er thy thoughts or thy heart's workings be,
    Thy looks should nothing thence but sweetness tell. 1300
    How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow,
    if thy sweet virtue answer not thy show!
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Act I, Scene 94


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. They that have power to hurt and will do none,
    That do not do the thing they most do show,
    Who, moving others, are themselves as stone, 1305
    Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
    They rightly do inherit heaven's graces
    And husband nature's riches from expense;
    They are the lords and owners of their faces,
    Others but stewards of their excellence. 1310
    The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
    Though to itself it only live and die,
    But if that flower with base infection meet,
    The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
    For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; 1315
    Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.
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Act I, Scene 95


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame
    Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,
    Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!
    O, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose! 1320
    That tongue that tells the story of thy days,
    Making lascivious comments on thy sport,
    Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise;
    Naming thy name blesses an ill report.
    O, what a mansion have those vices got 1325
    Which for their habitation chose out thee,
    Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot,
    And all things turn to fair that eyes can see!
    Take heed, dear heart, of this large privilege;
    The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge. 1330
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Act I, Scene 96


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness;
    Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport;
    Both grace and faults are loved of more and less;
    Thou makest faults graces that to thee resort.
    As on the finger of a throned queen 1335
    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 stem wolf betray,
    If like a lamb he could his looks translate! 1340
    How many gazers mightst thou lead away,
    If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state!
    But do not so; I love thee in such sort
    As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report.
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Act I, Scene 97


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. How like a winter hath my absence been 1345
    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 removed was summer's time,
    The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, 1350
    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, 1355
    And, thou away, the very birds are mute;
    Or, if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer
    That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.
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Act I, Scene 98


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. From you have I been absent in the spring,
    When proud-pied April dress'd in all his trim 1360
    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, 1365
    Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew;
    Nor did I wonder at the lily's 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. 1370
    Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away,
    As with your shadow I with these did play:
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Act I, Scene 99


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. The forward violet thus did I chide:
    Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,
    If not from my love's breath? The purple pride 1375
    Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells
    In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dyed.
    The lily I condemned for thy hand,
    And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair:
    The roses fearfully on thorns did stand, 1380
    One blushing shame, another white despair;
    A third, nor red nor white, had stol'n 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. 1385
    More flowers I noted, yet I none could see
    But sweet or colour it had stol'n from thee.
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Act I, Scene 100


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. 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, 1390
    Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
    Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
    In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
    Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem
    And gives thy pen both skill and argument. 1395
    Rise, resty 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; 1400
    So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife.
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Act I, Scene 101


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
    For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
    Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
    So dost thou too, and therein dignified. 1405
    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? 1410
    Excuse not silence so; for't lies in thee
    To make him much outlive a gilded tomb,
    And to be praised of ages yet to be.
    Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how
    To make him seem long hence as he shows now. 1415
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Act I, Scene 102


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seeming;
    I love not less, though less the show appear:
    That love is merchandized whose rich esteeming
    The owner's tongue doth publish every where.
    Our love was new and then but in the spring 1420
    When I was wont to greet it with my lays,
    As Philomel in summer's front doth sing
    And stops her pipe in growth of riper days:
    Not that the summer is less pleasant now
    Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night, 1425
    But that wild music burthens 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.
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Act I, Scene 103


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth, 1430
    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 1435
    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 1440
    Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;
    And more, much more, than in my verse can sit
    Your own glass shows you when you look in it.
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Act I, Scene 104


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
    For as you were when first your eye I eyed, 1445
    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, 1450
    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 perceived;
    So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
    Hath motion and mine eye may be deceived: 1455
    For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred;
    Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.
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Act I, Scene 105


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
    Nor my beloved as an idol show,
    Since all alike my songs and praises be 1460
    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 confined,
    One thing expressing, leaves out difference. 1465
    '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 lived alone, 1470
    Which three till now never kept seat in one.
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Act I, Scene 106


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. When in the chronicle of wasted time
    I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
    And beauty making beautiful old rhyme
    In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights, 1475
    Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
    Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
    I see their antique pen would have express'd
    Even such a beauty as you master now.
    So all their praises are but prophecies 1480
    Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
    And, for they look'd but with divining eyes,
    They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
    For we, which now behold these present days,
    Had eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise. 1485
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Act I, Scene 107


      next scene .
  • Shakespeare. Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
    Of the wide world dreaming on things to come,
    Can yet the lease of my true love control,
    Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom.
    The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured 1490
    And the sad augurs mock their own presage;
    Incertainties now crown themselves assured
    And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
    Now with the drops of this most balmy time
    My love looks fresh, and death to me subscribes, 1495
    Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme,
    While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes:
    And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
    When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent.
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Act I, Scene 108


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  • Shakespeare. What's in the brain that ink may character 1500
    Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
    What's new to speak, what new to register,
    That may express my love or thy dear merit?
    Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
    I must, each day say o'er the very same, 1505
    Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
    Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
    So that eternal love in love's fresh case
    Weighs not the dust and injury of age,
    Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place, 1510
    But makes antiquity for aye his page,
    Finding the first conceit of love there bred
    Where time and outward form would show it dead.
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Act I, Scene 109


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  • Shakespeare. O, never say that I was false of heart,
    Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify. 1515
    As easy might I from myself depart
    As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie:
    That is my home of love: if I have ranged,
    Like him that travels I return again,
    Just to the time, not with the time exchanged, 1520
    So that myself bring water for my stain.
    Never believe, though in my nature reign'd
    All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
    That it could so preposterously be stain'd,
    To leave for nothing all thy sum of good; 1525
    For nothing this wide universe I call,
    Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.
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Act I, Scene 110


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  • Shakespeare. Alas, 'tis true I have gone here and there
    And made myself a motley to the view,
    Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear, 1530
    Made old offences of affections new;
    Most true it is that I have look'd on truth
    Askance and strangely: but, by all above,
    These blenches gave my heart another youth,
    And worse essays proved thee my best of love. 1535
    Now all is done, have what shall have no end:
    Mine appetite I never more will grind
    On newer proof, to try an older friend,
    A god in love, to whom I am confined.
    Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best, 1540
    Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.
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Act I, Scene 111


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  • Shakespeare. O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
    The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
    That did not better for my life provide
    Than public means which public manners breeds. 1545
    Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
    And almost thence my nature is subdued
    To what it works in, like the dyer's hand:
    Pity me then and wish I were renew'd;
    Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink 1550
    Potions of eisel 'gainst my strong infection
    No bitterness that I will bitter think,
    Nor double penance, to correct correction.
    Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye
    Even that your pity is enough to cure me. 1555
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Act I, Scene 112


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  • Shakespeare. Your love and pity doth the impression fill
    Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow;
    For what care I who calls me well or ill,
    So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?
    You are my all the world, and I must strive 1560
    To know my shames and praises from your tongue:
    None else to me, nor I to none alive,
    That my steel'd sense or changes right or wrong.
    In so profound abysm I throw all care
    Of others' voices, that my adder's sense 1565
    To critic and to flatterer stopped are.
    Mark how with my neglect I do dispense:
    You are so strongly in my purpose bred
    That all the world besides methinks are dead.
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Act I, Scene 113


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  • Shakespeare. Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind; 1570
    And that which governs me to go about
    Doth part his function and is partly blind,
    Seems seeing, but effectually is out;
    For it no form delivers to the heart
    Of bird of flower, or shape, which it doth latch: 1575
    Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,
    Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch:
    For if it see the rudest or gentlest sight,
    The most sweet favour or deformed'st creature,
    The mountain or the sea, the day or night, 1580
    The crow or dove, it shapes them to your feature:
    Incapable of more, replete with you,
    My most true mind thus makes mine eye untrue.
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Act I, Scene 114


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  • Shakespeare. Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you,
    Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery? 1585
    Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true,
    And that your love taught it this alchemy,
    To make of monsters and things indigest
    Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble,
    Creating every bad a perfect best, 1590
    As fast as objects to his beams assemble?
    O,'tis the first; 'tis flattery in my seeing,
    And my great mind most kingly drinks it up:
    Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing,
    And to his palate doth prepare the cup: 1595
    If it be poison'd, 'tis the lesser sin
    That mine eye loves it and doth first begin.
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Act I, Scene 115


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  • Shakespeare. Those lines that I before have writ do lie,
    Even those that said I could not love you dearer:
    Yet then my judgment knew no reason why 1600
    My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer.
    But reckoning time, whose million'd accidents
    Creep in 'twixt vows and change decrees of kings,
    Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents,
    Divert strong minds to the course of altering things; 1605
    Alas, why, fearing of time's tyranny,
    Might I not then say 'Now I love you best,'
    When I was certain o'er incertainty,
    Crowning the present, doubting of the rest?
    Love is a babe; then might I not say so, 1610
    To give full growth to that which still doth grow?
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Act I, Scene 116


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  • Shakespeare. Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove: 1615
    O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
    That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wandering bark,
    Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
    Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 1620
    Within his bending sickle's compass come:
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
    If this be error and upon me proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 1625
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Act I, Scene 117


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  • Shakespeare. Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all
    Wherein I should your great deserts repay,
    Forgot upon your dearest love to call,
    Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day;
    That I have frequent been with unknown minds 1630
    And given to time your own dear-purchased right
    That I have hoisted sail to all the winds
    Which should transport me farthest from your sight.
    Book both my wilfulness and errors down
    And on just proof surmise accumulate; 1635
    Bring me within the level of your frown,
    But shoot not at me in your waken'd hate;
    Since my appeal says I did strive to prove
    The constancy and virtue of your love.
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Act I, Scene 118


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  • Shakespeare. Like as, to make our appetites more keen, 1640
    With eager compounds we our palate urge,
    As, to prevent our maladies unseen,
    We sicken to shun sickness when we purge,
    Even so, being tuff of your ne'er-cloying sweetness,
    To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding 1645
    And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness
    To be diseased ere that there was true needing.
    Thus policy in love, to anticipate
    The ills that were not, grew to faults assured
    And brought to medicine a healthful state 1650
    Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cured:
    But thence I learn, and find the lesson true,
    Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you.
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Act I, Scene 119


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  • Shakespeare. What potions have I drunk of Siren tears,
    Distill'd from limbecks foul as hell within, 1655
    Applying fears to hopes and hopes to fears,
    Still losing when I saw myself to win!
    What wretched errors hath my heart committed,
    Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never!
    How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted 1660
    In the distraction of this madding fever!
    O benefit of ill! now I find true
    That better is by evil still made better;
    And ruin'd love, when it is built anew,
    Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater. 1665
    So I return rebuked to my content
    And gain by ill thrice more than I have spent.
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Act I, Scene 120


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  • Shakespeare. That you were once unkind befriends me now,
    And for that sorrow which I then did feel
    Needs must I under my transgression bow, 1670
    Unless my nerves were brass or hammer'd steel.
    For if you were by my unkindness shaken
    As I by yours, you've pass'd a hell of time,
    And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken
    To weigh how once I suffered in your crime. 1675
    O, that our night of woe might have remember'd
    My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits,
    And soon to you, as you to me, then tender'd
    The humble slave which wounded bosoms fits!
    But that your trespass now becomes a fee; 1680
    Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me.
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Act I, Scene 121


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  • Shakespeare. 'Tis better to be vile than vile esteem'd,
    When not to be receives reproach of being,
    And the just pleasure lost which is so deem'd
    Not by our feeling but by others' seeing: 1685
    For why should others false adulterate eyes
    Give salutation to my sportive blood?
    Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,
    Which in their wills count bad what I think good?
    No, I am that I am, and they that level 1690
    At my abuses reckon up their own:
    I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel;
    By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown;
    Unless this general evil they maintain,
    All men are bad, and in their badness reign. 1695
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Act I, Scene 122


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  • Shakespeare. Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain
    Full character'd with lasting memory,
    Which shall above that idle rank remain
    Beyond all date, even to eternity;
    Or at the least, so long as brain and heart 1700
    Have faculty by nature to subsist;
    Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
    Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.
    That poor retention could not so much hold,
    Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score; 1705
    Therefore to give them from me was I bold,
    To trust those tables that receive thee more:
    To keep an adjunct to remember thee
    Were to import forgetfulness in me.
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Act I, Scene 123


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  • Shakespeare. No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change: 1710
    Thy pyramids built up with newer might
    To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
    They are but dressings of a former sight.
    Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
    What thou dost foist upon us that is old, 1715
    And rather make them born to our desire
    Than think that we before have heard them told.
    Thy registers and thee I both defy,
    Not wondering at the present nor the past,
    For thy records and what we see doth lie, 1720
    Made more or less by thy continual haste.
    This I do vow and this shall ever be;
    I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.
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Act I, Scene 124


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  • Shakespeare. If my dear love were but the child of state,
    It might for Fortune's bastard be unfather'd' 1725
    As subject to Time's love or to Time's hate,
    Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gather'd.
    No, it was builded far from accident;
    It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls
    Under the blow of thralled discontent, 1730
    Whereto the inviting time our fashion calls:
    It fears not policy, that heretic,
    Which works on leases of short-number'd hours,
    But all alone stands hugely politic,
    That it nor grows with heat nor drowns with showers. 1735
    To this I witness call the fools of time,
    Which die for goodness, who have lived for crime.
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Act I, Scene 125


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  • Shakespeare. Were 't aught to me I bore the canopy,
    With my extern the outward honouring,
    Or laid great bases for eternity, 1740
    Which prove more short than waste or ruining?
    Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour
    Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent,
    For compound sweet forgoing simple savour,
    Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent? 1745
    No, let me be obsequious in thy heart,
    And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
    Which is not mix'd with seconds, knows no art,
    But mutual render, only me for thee.
    Hence, thou suborn'd informer! a true soul 1750
    When most impeach'd stands least in thy control.
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Act I, Scene 126


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  • Shakespeare. O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power
    Dost hold Time's fickle glass, his sickle, hour;
    Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st
    Thy lovers withering as thy sweet self grow'st; 1755
    If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack,
    As thou goest onwards, still will pluck thee back,
    She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill
    May time disgrace and wretched minutes kill.
    Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure! 1760
    She may detain, but not still keep, her treasure:
    Her audit, though delay'd, answer'd must be,
    And her quietus is to render thee.
    ( )
    ( ) 1765
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Act I, Scene 127


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  • Shakespeare. In the old age black was not counted fair,
    Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name;
    But now is black beauty's successive heir,
    And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame:
    For since each hand hath put on nature's power, 1770
    Fairing the foul with art's false borrow'd face,
    Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower,
    But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
    Therefore my mistress' brows are raven black,
    Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem 1775
    At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
    Slandering creation with a false esteem:
    Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe,
    That every tongue says beauty should look so.
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Act I, Scene 128


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  • Shakespeare. How oft, when thou, my music, music play'st, 1780
    Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds
    With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently sway'st
    The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,
    Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap
    To kiss the tender inward of thy hand, 1785
    Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap,
    At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand!
    To be so tickled, they would change their state
    And situation with those dancing chips,
    O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait, 1790
    Making dead wood more blest than living lips.
    Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
    Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.
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Act I, Scene 129


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  • Shakespeare. The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
    Is lust in action; and till action, lust 1795
    Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
    Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
    Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight,
    Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
    Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait 1800
    On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
    Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
    Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
    A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
    Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream. 1805
    All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
    To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.
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Act I, Scene 130


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  • Shakespeare. My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
    Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
    If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; 1810
    If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
    I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
    But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
    And in some perfumes is there more delight
    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. 1815
    I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
    That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
    I grant I never saw a goddess go;
    My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare 1820
    As any she belied with false compare.
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Act I, Scene 131


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  • Shakespeare. Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,
    As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel;
    For well thou know'st to my dear doting heart
    Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel. 1825
    Yet, in good faith, some say that thee behold
    Thy face hath not the power to make love groan:
    To say they err I dare not be so bold,
    Although I swear it to myself alone.
    And, to be sure that is not false I swear, 1830
    A thousand groans, but thinking on thy face,
    One on another's neck, do witness bear
    Thy black is fairest in my judgment's place.
    In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds,
    And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds. 1835
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Act I, Scene 132


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  • Shakespeare. Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me,
    Knowing thy heart torments me with disdain,
    Have put on black and loving mourners be,
    Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain.
    And truly not the morning sun of heaven 1840
    Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east,
    Nor that full star that ushers in the even
    Doth half that glory to the sober west,
    As those two mourning eyes become thy face:
    O, let it then as well beseem thy heart 1845
    To mourn for me, since mourning doth thee grace,
    And suit thy pity like in every part.
    Then will I swear beauty herself is black
    And all they foul that thy complexion lack.
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Act I, Scene 133


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  • Shakespeare. Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan 1850
    For that deep wound it gives my friend and me!
    Is't not enough to torture me alone,
    But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must be?
    Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken,
    And my next self thou harder hast engross'd: 1855
    Of him, myself, and thee, I am forsaken;
    A torment thrice threefold thus to be cross'd.
    Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward,
    But then my friend's heart let my poor heart bail;
    Whoe'er keeps me, let my heart be his guard; 1860
    Thou canst not then use rigor in my gaol:
    And yet thou wilt; for I, being pent in thee,
    Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.
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Act I, Scene 134


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  • Shakespeare. So, now I have confess'd that he is thine,
    And I myself am mortgaged to thy will, 1865
    Myself I'll forfeit, so that other mine
    Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still:
    But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free,
    For thou art covetous and he is kind;
    He learn'd but surety-like to write for me 1870
    Under that bond that him as fast doth bind.
    The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take,
    Thou usurer, that put'st forth all to use,
    And sue a friend came debtor for my sake;
    So him I lose through my unkind abuse. 1875
    Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me:
    He pays the whole, and yet am I not free.
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Act I, Scene 135


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  • Shakespeare. Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy 'Will,'
    And 'Will' to boot, and 'Will' in overplus;
    More than enough am I that vex thee still, 1880
    To thy sweet will making addition thus.
    Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious,
    Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine?
    Shall will in others seem right gracious,
    And in my will no fair acceptance shine? 1885
    The sea all water, yet receives rain still
    And in abundance addeth to his store;
    So thou, being rich in 'Will,' add to thy 'Will'
    One will of mine, to make thy large 'Will' more.
    Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill; 1890
    Think all but one, and me in that one 'Will.'
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Act I, Scene 136


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  • Shakespeare. If thy soul cheque thee that I come so near,
    Swear to thy blind soul that I was thy 'Will,'
    And will, thy soul knows, is admitted there;
    Thus far for love my love-suit, sweet, fulfil. 1895
    'Will' will fulfil the treasure of thy love,
    Ay, fill it full with wills, and my will one.
    In things of great receipt with ease we prove
    Among a number one is reckon'd none:
    Then in the number let me pass untold, 1900
    Though in thy stores' account I one must be;
    For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold
    That nothing me, a something sweet to thee:
    Make but my name thy love, and love that still,
    And then thou lovest me, for my name is 'Will.' 1905
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Act I, Scene 137


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  • Shakespeare. Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,
    That they behold, and see not what they see?
    They know what beauty is, see where it lies,
    Yet what the best is take the worst to be.
    If eyes corrupt by over-partial looks 1910
    Be anchor'd in the bay where all men ride,
    Why of eyes' falsehood hast thou forged hooks,
    Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied?
    Why should my heart think that a several plot
    Which my heart knows the wide world's common place? 1915
    Or mine eyes seeing this, say this is not,
    To put fair truth upon so foul a face?
    In things right true my heart and eyes have erred,
    And to this false plague are they now transferr'd.
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Act I, Scene 138


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  • Shakespeare. When my love swears that she is made of truth 1920
    I do believe her, though I know she lies,
    That she might think me some untutor'd youth,
    Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.
    Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
    Although she knows my days are past the best, 1925
    Simply I credit her false speaking tongue:
    On both sides thus is simple truth suppress'd.
    But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
    And wherefore say not I that I am old?
    O, love's best habit is in seeming trust, 1930
    And age in love loves not to have years told:
    Therefore I lie with her and she with me,
    And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be.
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Act I, Scene 139


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  • Shakespeare. O, call not me to justify the wrong
    That thy unkindness lays upon my heart; 1935
    Wound me not with thine eye but with thy tongue;
    Use power with power and slay me not by art.
    Tell me thou lovest elsewhere, but in my sight,
    Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside:
    What need'st thou wound with cunning when thy might 1940
    Is more than my o'er-press'd defense can bide?
    Let me excuse thee: ah! my love well knows
    Her pretty looks have been mine enemies,
    And therefore from my face she turns my foes,
    That they elsewhere might dart their injuries: 1945
    Yet do not so; but since I am near slain,
    Kill me outright with looks and rid my pain.
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Act I, Scene 140


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  • Shakespeare. Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press
    My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain;
    Lest sorrow lend me words and words express 1950
    The manner of my pity-wanting pain.
    If I might teach thee wit, better it were,
    Though not to love, yet, love, to tell me so;
    As testy sick men, when their deaths be near,
    No news but health from their physicians know; 1955
    For if I should despair, I should grow mad,
    And in my madness might speak ill of thee:
    Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad,
    Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be,
    That I may not be so, nor thou belied, 1960
    Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go wide.
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Act I, Scene 141


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  • Shakespeare. 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; 1965
    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 1970
    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. 1975
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Act I, Scene 142


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  • Shakespeare. 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, 1980
    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: 1985
    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!
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Act I, Scene 143


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  • Shakespeare. Lo! as a careful housewife runs to catch 1990
    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 1995
    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, 2000
    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.
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Act I, Scene 144


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  • Shakespeare. Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
    Which like two spirits do suggest me still: 2005
    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, 2010
    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: 2015
    Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt,
    Till my bad angel fire my good one out.
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Act I, Scene 145


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  • Shakespeare. 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; 2020
    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: 2025
    '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, 2030
    And saved my life, saying 'not you.'
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Act I, Scene 146


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  • Shakespeare. Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
    [ ] these rebel powers that thee array;
    Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
    Painting thy outward walls so costly gay? 2035
    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, 2040
    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. 2045
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Act I, Scene 147


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  • Shakespeare. 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, 2050
    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; 2055
    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.
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Act I, Scene 148


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  • Shakespeare. O me, what eyes hath Love put in my head, 2060
    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? 2065
    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; 2070
    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.
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Act I, Scene 149


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  • Shakespeare. Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not,
    When I against myself with thee partake? 2075
    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 2080
    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? 2085
    But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind;
    Those that can see thou lovest, and I am blind.
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Act I, Scene 150


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  • Shakespeare. 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, 2090
    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? 2095
    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, 2100
    More worthy I to be beloved of thee.
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Act I, Scene 151


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  • Shakespeare. 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: 2105
    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 2110
    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. 2115
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Act I, Scene 152


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  • Shakespeare. 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, 2120
    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, 2125
    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!
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Act I, Scene 153


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  • Shakespeare. Cupid laid by his brand, and fell asleep: 2130
    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, 2135
    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, 2140
    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.
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Act I, Scene 154


  • Shakespeare. The little Love-god lying once asleep
    Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand, 2145
    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 2150
    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, 2155
    Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,
    Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.

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