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so oft have I invok'd thee for my muse,
And found such fair assistance in my verse,
As every alien pen hath got my use,
And under thee their poesy disperse.
Thine eyes that taught the dumb on high to sing,
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,
Have added feathers to the learned's wing,
And given grace a double majesty :
Yet be most proud of that, which I compile,
Whose influence is thine, and born of thee;
In other's works thou dost but mend the stile,
And arts with thy sweet graces graced be:
But thou art all my art, and dost advance,
As high as learning, iny rude ignorance.
Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,
My verse alone had all thy gentle grace;
But now my gracious numbers are decay'd,
And my sick muse doth give another place.
I grant, sweet love ! thy lovely argument
Deserves the travail of a worthier pen;
Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent,
He robs thee of, and pays it thee again ;
He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word
From thy behaviour. Beauty doth he give,
And found it in thy cheek. He can afford
No praise to thee, but what in thee doth live.
Then thank him not for that which he doth say,
Since what he owes to thee, thyself dost pay.
THAT time of year thou may'st in me behold,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
Upon those boughs, which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd quires, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilights of such day,
As after sun-set fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals all up in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it most expire,
Consum’d by that which it was nourish'd by.
'Tis thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.
Thy glass will shew thee how thy beauties wear :
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste ;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning may'st thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will show,
Of mouthed graves, will give the memory:
Thou by the dial's shady stealth may'st know
Time's thievish progress to eternity.
Look what thy memory cannot contain,
Commit to these waste blacks and thou shalt find
Those children nurs'd, deliver'd from thy brain,
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.
These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
Shall profit thee, and much enrich thy book.
NOT mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
Of the wide world, dreaming on things to come,
Can yet the lease of my true love controul,
Suppos’d as forfeit to a confin'd doom.
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd,
And the sad augurs mock their own presage:
Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd,
And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
Now with the drops of this most balmy time,
My love looks fresh, and death to me subscribes ;
Since spite of him I'll live in this poor rhyme,
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes.
And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
When tyrants crests and tombs of brass are spent.
What's in the brain, that ink
Which hath not figur'd to thee my true spirit;
What's now to speak, what now to register,
may express my love, or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet love ! but yet like prayers divine,
I must each day say o'er the very same;
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
E'en as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love, in love's fresh case,
Weighs not the dust and injuries of age,
Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place,
But makes antiquity for aye his page :
Finding the first conceit of love there bred,
Where time and outward form would shew it dead.
LOVE is too young to know what conscience is,
Yet who knows not conscience is born of love ?
Then gentle cheater urge not my amiss,
Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove.
For thou betraying me, I do betray
My nobler part to any gross body's treason ;
My soul doth tell my body that he may
Triumph in love, flesh stays no farther reason :
But rising at thy name doth point out thee,
As his triumphant prize ; proud of this pride,
He is contented thy poor drudge to be,
To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.
No want of conscience hold it, that I call
Her love, for whose dear love I rise and fall.
In loving thee, thou know'st I am forsworn,
But thou art twice forsworn to me love swearing;
In act thy bed-vow broke, and new faith torn,
In vowing new hate after new love bearing.
But why of two oath's breach do I accuse thee,
When I break twenty! I am perjur'd most ;
For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee :
And all my honest faith in thee is lost.
For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness ;
Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy;
And to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness;
Or made them swear against the thing they see.
For I have sworn thee fair; more perjur'd I,
To swear against the truth so foul a lie.
THE TALE OF CEPHALUS AND PROCRIS.
BENEATH HYMETTUS' hill, well cloth'd with flowers,
A holy well her soft springs gently pours :
Where stands a copse, in which the wood-nymphs shrove,
(No wood) it rather seems a slender grove,