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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 ;
Think all but one, and me in that one Will.
If thy soul check 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.
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,
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 lov'st me,—for my name is Will.
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,
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?
Or mine eyes, seeing this, say, this is not,
To put fair truth upon so foul a face?
- a SEVERAL plot,) In this and the next line we have the same play upon the words “ several” and “common,” as in “Love's Labour's Lost," Vol. ii. p. 114.“ A several plot” is a piece of ground which has been “common” or uninclosed, but has been separated and made private property.
In things right true my heart and eyes have erred,
And to this false plague are they now transferred.
When my love swears' that she is made of truth,
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,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth supprest.
But wherefore says she not, she is unjust ?
And wherefore say not I, that I am old ?
Oh! love's best habit is in seeming trust,
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.
Oh! call not me to justify the wrong,
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart;
Wound me not with thine eye, but with thy tongue,
Use power with power, and slay me not by art.
Tell me thou lov'st elsewhere; but in my sight,
Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside:
What need'st thou wound with cunning, when thy might
Is more than my o'er-press'd defence 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.
Yet do not so; but since I am near slain,
Kill me out-right with looks, and rid my pain.
? When my love swears] This sonnet, with variations, was first printed in “The Passionate Pilgrim," 1599. It is inserted hereafter as it stands in that work, that the reader may have an opportunity of comparing the two copies. Although Shakespeare speaks so strongly and clearly about his advanced age in this sonnet, it is to be remembered that he was only in his thirty-fifth year when it was first printed.
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
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:
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,
Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go wide.
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 pleas'd to dote.
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 :
my five wits, nor my five senses can'
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,
Who leave unsway'd the likeness of a man',
Thy proud heart's slave and vassal wretch to be:
Only my plague thus far I count my gain,
That she that makes me sin awards me pain.
Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,
Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving.
Oh! 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,
That have profan'd 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 lov'st those
Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee:
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.
Lo! as a careful housewife runs to catch
One of her feather’d creatures broke away,
Sets down her babe, and makes all 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
To follow that which flies before her face,
Not prizing her poor infant's discontent:
So run'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,
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.
Two loves I haves of comfort and despair,
Which like two spirits do suggest me still:
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 sideo,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend,
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell;
But being both from me, both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another's hell:
Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt,
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.
Those lips that Love's own hand did make!,
Breath'd forth the sound that said, “I hate,”
To me that languish'd for her sake;
But when she saw my woful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue, that ever sweet
Was us’d in giving gentle doom,
And taught it thus anew to greet.
“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,
And sav'd my life, saying—"not you.”
Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth, Fool'd by those rebel powers that thee array', Why dost thou pine within, and suffer dearth, Painting thy outward walls so costly gay? Why so large cost, having so short a lease, Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend ?