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.

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.

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Hearing you praised, I say 'Tis so, 'tis true,'
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.


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
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,
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.

Lingua verecunde dum se mea continet, alter
Commenta in laudes pangit opima tuas;
Par sibi, si quando, stilus aureus ille superbit,
Aureaque a Musis verba polita novem.
Ast ego, vera putans, aliis sublimia linquo
Fanda, sed indocti more profata probo,
Ceteraque et versu si spiritus ille subacto
Condere volt de te quae propiora deis.
Laus ea cum sonuit, nihil istis verius' inquam,
Nec nihil ad summam laudis et ipse fero;
Id tamen est mecum, veri nam fervor amoris
Verba retro ut veniant anteit illa gradu.
Verba sonumque colas aliorum, sensaque cordis
Tu mea, in effectu sensa diserta suo.

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Num quia velivoli versus splendore superbus
In teque et nimias navigat alter opes,
Nostrane clauduntur stupefacto pectore sensa,
Sub natalicio viva sepulta loco?

An, lemurum auxiliis ultra mortalia doctus
Scribere, me maior spiritus ille necat?
Non ita, non nostram stupefecerat ille Camenam,
Nec socium siquid nocte ministrat opem.
Ille nihil de me, nihil ulla affabilis umbra
Ingenia instillans omnia noctis, ovat;
Non fuerint illis iactanda silentia nostra,
Qui fueram haud ullo saucius inde metu.
Sed favor ut numeros fulsit tuus eius, ibidem
Materies ac vis destituere meos.

Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
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?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again on better judgement making.
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter,
In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.


When thou shalt be disposed to set me light
And place my merit in the eye of scorn,
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;
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.
Such is my love, to thee I so belong,

That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.

Care, mihi valeas, nec te sum dignus habere,
Et pretii tandem gnarus es ipse tui.
Omne caput meriti te liberat, omnia iura
Cassa mea in te sunt, syngrapha siqua dedit.
Quo sis iure meus nisi te donante, meaque
A parte o tantas quid mereatur opes?
Muneris egregii causa in me defuit omnis,
Iamque revertatur muneris ille favor.
Te dederas ignarum a te maiora mereri,
Cuive dabas tete non ego notus eram.
Gratia sic ingens, ipsis erroribus aucta,
Recidit in dantis, res ubi nota, manum.
Teque habui, tanquam somno quis lusus inani
Nocte quidem rex est, luce dieque nihil.


In numero cum me nullo censurus habendum
Incipies meritis indubitare meis,

Mecum ego pugnabo tua proelia, falsus et omnis
Cum fueris, vincam te tenuisse fidem.

Conscius et mihimet vitiorum, ea cuncta libellis
Scripta dabo causae subveniamque tuae;
Probra quibus teneor multis recludere possum,
Meque relinquenti gloria maior erit.
Nec nihilum interea fuero lucratus ibidem,
Figitur in te nam pectoris omnis amor;
Sique meis oritur fortasse iniuria rebus,
Nil mihi non prosit, si tibi prosit idem.
Totus amans totusque tuus, nil ferre malorum
Noluerim, ut capias nonnihil ipse boni.

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,
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;
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,

For I must ne'er love him whom thou dost hate.


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:

Ah, do not, when my heart hath 'scaped 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,
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.

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