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AH, wherefore with infection should he live,
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 ?
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 thro' lively veins ;
For she hath no exchequer now but his,
And proud of many, lives upon his gains.
O! him she stores, to shew what wealth she had,
In days long since, before these last so bad.
Thus is his cheek, the map of days, outworn,
When beauty liv'd and dy'd as flowers do now;
Before these 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.
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 :
And him as for a map doth nature store,
To show false art what beauty was of yore.
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,
Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend.
Thine 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.
They look into the beauty of thy mind,
And that in guess they measure by thy deeds ;
Then their churl thoughts(although their eyes were kind)
To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds.
But why, thy odour matcheth not thy show,
The toil is this, that thou dost common grow.
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.
Nativity once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, where with being crown'd,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And time that gave, doth now his gift confound ;
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,
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. Against my love shall be as I am now, With time's injurious hand crush'd and o'er-worn ; When hours have drain'd his blood, and fill’d his brow With lines and wrinkles ; when his youthful morn Hath travellid on to age's steepy night, And all those beauties, whereof now he's king, Are vanishing, or vanish'd out of sight, 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.
His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,
And they shall live, and be in them still green. When I have seen, by time's fell hand defac'd, The rich proud cost of out-worn bury'd age : When sometimes lofty towers I see down raz'd, 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 wat’ry main, Increasing store with loss, and loss with store ; 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
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.
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;
O! how shall summer's hungry breath hold out
Against the wrackful 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 !
Shall time's best jewel from time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold this swift foot back?
Or who his spoil on beauty can forbid ?
O! none ! unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
Tir'd 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 foresworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplac'd,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right protection wrongfully disgraced,