Were 't aught to me I bore the canopy,
With my extern the outward honouring,
Or laid great bases for eternity,

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?
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
When most impeach'd stands least in thy control.


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;
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!
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.

Referretne mea, qualis mihi gratia gestus,
Corporis egregii significatus honos;
Illave in aeternum fundamina iacta putarem,
Quae, citius quam vis eruat, ipsa cadunt?
Non video forma captum sua vota superque
Destruere, obsequii ni sciat esse modum?
Blanda ferens gustu pro simplice, fallitur ipse,
Vt cupide spectet nactus, inane lucrum!
Non ita, et obsequium tu nostrum corde prehendas,
Paupera, sed pura mente pieque, fero;
Artis in oblato nihil est panisve secundi,
Sed paria acceptis reddita, meque tibi.
Hinc mendax delator abi, tua crimina veris
Pectoribus minimum maxima quaeque nocent.


O formose puer, qui dedita temporis arma,
Falcem horasque, tua sub dicione tenes;
Qui, quot eunt anni florentior ipse, tuorum
Ora pari monstras consenuisse gradu;
Si natura, potens regere aut impellere fata,
Te retrahit, porro ne properere viae,
Hoc agit ut sollers illudat tempus agendo,
Tuque sibi horarum taedia longa neces.
O metuas illam, servate libidinis ergo!

Nec quod habet cari scit retinere diu.
Tandem erit illius ratio reddenda, ratamque
Te quoque dedendo fecerit esse, puer.

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,
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
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.


How oft, when thou, my music, music play'st,
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,

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,
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.

Si veteres inter nigri fuit ulla coloris
Gratia, pulchrarum non fuit ille color,
Iam niveae nigrum formae supponitur heres,
Illius infame est vile nothumque decus.
Nunc, ubi naturae sibi ius manus arrogat omnis,
Ac speciem obscaenis allinit arte genis;
Candida nomen habent nullum, nil sedis honestae,
Nec nisi fucatis ullus habetur honos.
Ipsa superciliis oculisque est Cynthia nigris,
Vtraque sed luctum significare reor;
Luget eas, nulla naturae dote venustas,
Quae genuina audent assimulare dolo.
Isque decet sic luctus eam, fateamur ut omnes
Virginea in specie pulchrius esse nihil.


Vt numeros pulsas dulces, o dulcior ipsa,
Lignaque sub digitis buxea mota sonant,
Ac regis in liquidum concordia fila canorem
Attonitaeque aures obstupuere meae;
Invidia moveor cernens salientia ligna

Ista tibi in teneras oscula ferre manus,
Dum mihi labra, quibus messis fuit ista metenda,
Ausum ad nequitiae tale pudica rubent.
Delicias ob eas mutare libentius optent
Ipsa suum buxu cum saliente locum;
Quam digiti motu lustrant labente, beantque
Mortua ligna, at non vivida labra viri.
Improbitas quoniam sic floret, ad oscula lignis
Cede manum, at labris, o, tua labra meis!

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust

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
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.

All this the world well knows; 'yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.


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;
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.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound:


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
As she belied with false compare.


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