Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wond'rous excellence;
Therefore my verse to constancy confin'd,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
Fair, kind, and true varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent ;
Three themes in one, which wond'rous scope affords
Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone:
Which three, till now, have never sat in one.

When in the chronicle of wasted time,
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhime,
In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights;
Then in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antic pen would have express'd
E'en such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And, for they look'd but with divining eyes,
They had not still enough your worth to sing:
For we who now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.



MY love is strengthen'd tho' more weak in seeming :
I love not less, tho' less the show appear;
That love is merchandiz'd, whose rich esteeming
The owner's tongue doth publish every where.
Our love was new, and then but in the spring,
When I was wont to greet it in my lays;
As Philomel in summer's front doth sing,
And stops his pipe in growth of riper days.
Not that the summer is less pleasant now.
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night;
But that wild music burdens every bough,

And sweets grown common, lose their dear delight;
Therefore like her I sometime hold my tongue,
Because I would not dull you with my song.

Alack! what poverty my muse brings forth!
That having such a scope to shew her pride,
The argument all bare, is of more worth,
Than when it hath my added praise beside.
Oh! blame me not, if I no more can write !
Look in your glass, and there appears a face,
That overgrows my blunt invention quite,
Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.
Were it not sinful then, striving to mend,
To mar the subject that before was well?


For to no other pass my verses tend,

Than of your graces, and your gifts to tell;

And more, much more, than in my verse can sit,
Your own glass shows you, when you look in it.


OH! never say that I was false of heart,
Tho' absence seem'd my flame to qualify;
As easy might I from myself depart,

As from my soul which in my breast doth lie
That is my home of love; if I have rang'd,
Like him that travels, I return again

Just to the time, not with the time exchang'd;
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, tho' in my nature reign'd
All frailties, that besiege all kind of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stain'd,
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good :
For nothing this wide universe I call,
Save thou, my rose, in it thou art my all.

Alas! 'tis true, I have gone here and there;

And made myself a motly to thy view;

Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear Made old offences of affections new.


Most true it is, that I have look'd on truth
Askance and strangely: but by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worst assays prov'd thee my best of love.
Now all is done, have what shall have no end,
Mine appetite I never more will grind

On newer proof, to try an older friend,

A god in love, to whom I am confin'd.

Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
Even to thy pure and most loving breast.


OH! for my sake do you with fortune chide
The guilty goddess of my harmless deeds,
That did not better for my life provide,

Than public means which public manners breeds.
Thence comes it, that my name receives a brand,
And almost thence my nature is subdu'd
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand.
Pity me then, and wish I were renew'd:
Whilst like a willing patient I will drink
Potions of eysel 'gainst my strong infection,
No bitterness, that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance to correct correction,
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye,
E'en that your pity is enough to cure me.


Your love and pity doth th' impression fill,
Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow;
For what care I who calls me well or ill,
So you o'er-skreen my bad, my good allow.
You are my all, the world and I must strive
To know my shame and praises from your tongue;
None else to me, nor I to none alive,

That my steel'd sense or changes right or wrong.
In so profound abysm I throw all care
Of other voices, that my adder's sense
To critic and to flatterer stopped are:
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense.
You are so strongly in my purpose bred,
That all the world besides me thinks I'ın dead.


SINCE I left you mine eye is in my mind,
And that which governs me to go about,
Doth part his function, and is partly blind;
Seems seeing, but effectually is out.

For it no form delivers to the heart

Of birds, or flowers, or shape, which it doth lack; Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,

Nor his own vision holds what he doth catch?

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