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AN INVITATION TO MARRIAGE.
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate,
Which, to repair, should be thy chief desire.
O change thy thought, that I may change my mind!
Shall hate be fairer lodg’d 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.
As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow'st
In one of thine, from that which thou departest;
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow'st,
Thou may’st call thine, when thou from youth convertest.
Herein live wisdom, beauty, and encrease;
Without this, folly, age, and cold decay;
If all were minded so, the times should cease,
And threescore years would make the world away.
Let those whom nature hath not made for store,
Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish :
Look whom she best endow'd she gave the more ;
Which bounteous gift, thou should'st in bounty cherish :
She carv'd thee for her seal, and meant thereby,
Thou should'st print more, nor let that copy die.
When I do count the clock, that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls are silver'd o'er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
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,
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,
WHEN my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her, (tho' I know she lies)
That she might think me some untutor'd youth,
Unskilful in the world's false forgeries.
Thus vainly thinking, that she thinks me young,
Altho' I know my years be past the best ;
I, smiling, credit her false speaking tongue,
Out-facing faults in love, with love's ill rest.
But wherefore says my love, that she is young?
And wherefore say not I, that I am old?
O love's best habit is a smoothing tongue,
And age (in love) loves not to have years told.
Therefore I'll lie with love, and love with me,
Since that our faults in love thus smother'd be.
A TEMPTATION.---FAST AND LOOSE.
TWO loves I have, of comfort and despair,
That, like two spirits, do suggest me still :
My better angel is a man, (right fair)
My 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,
Wooing his purity with her fair pride.
And whether that my angel be turn’d friend,
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell;
For being both to me, both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another's hell.
The truth I shall not know, but live in doubt,
'Till bad angel fire my good one out.
DID not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
'Gainst whom the world could not hold argument,
Persuade my heart to this false perjury,
Vows for thee broke, deserve not punishment.
A woman I forswore ; but I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee :
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love,
Thy grace being gain’d, cures all disgrace in me,
My vow was breath, and breath a vapour is ;
Then thou, fair sun, that on this earth doth shine,
Exhale this vapour vow, in thee it is :
If broken then, it is no fault of mine.
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To break an oath, to win a Paradise ?
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 compliment of proud compare
With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems;
With April's first-borne flowers, and all things rare,
That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems.
0! let me, true in love, but truly write,
And then believe me, my love is as fair
As any mother's child, tho' not so bright
As those gold candles fix'd in heaven's air.
Let them say more that like of hearsay well :
I will not praise, that purpose not to sell
A BASHFUL LOVER-STRONG CONCEIT.
AS an unperfect actor on the stage,
Who with his fear is put beside his part ;
Or some fierce thing, replete with too much rage,
Whose strength abundant weakens his own heart:
So I, for fear of trust, forgot to say
The perfect ceremony of love's right,
And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,
O’er charg'd with burden of mine own love's might.
O ! let my looks be then the eloquence,
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast;
Who plead for love, and look for recompence,
More than that tongue that more hath more exprest.
O learn to read what silent love hath writ!
To hear what eyes belong to love's fine wit.
MY glass shall not persuade ine I am old,
So long as youth and thou art of one date;
But when in thee time's sorrows 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,
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me;
How can I then be elder than thou art ?