Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idol show,
Since all alike my songs and praises be
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence;
Therefore my verse to constancy confined,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
'Fair, kind, and true' is all my argument,
'Fair, kind, and true' varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent,
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.
'Fair,' 'kind,' and 'true,' have often lived alone,
Which three till now never kept seat in one.


When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rime
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 antique pen would have express'd
Even 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 skill enough your worth to sing:

For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

Non hominem supra dicar veneratus amicum,
Aut par ille habitus relligione deis,

Assiduis adeam quia cantu ac laudibus unum,
Pectus amans unum, par sibi, semper idem.
Continuo bonus est hodie mihi crasque futurus,
Egregia constans pectoris ille fide;

Ac fidei imprimis celebrandae dedita musa,
Hanc recinens, dispar omne valere iubet,
Assiduum it carmen pietas, bonitasque, fidesque,
Res eadem, varias nomine passa vices;
Et vicibus super his exerceor, amplaque cedit
Materia inventis, una triplexque, meis.
Quaeque suas olim sedes habuere seorsum
Denique in hoc uno tres coiere viro.


Praeteriti in scriptis quotiens annalibus aevi
Corpora pulchrorum carmine picta lego,

Ac veteres mollit numeros laudata venustas
Virginis occisae, visque decora viri;
Praecipue quando laudantur ut optima formae
Palma, pedes, labrum, lumina, frontis honos;
Tum video expressum priscos voluisse poetas
Quale venustatis tu genus unus habes.
Sic ea laus habuit vere praesagia nostri
Temporis, hoc in te vaticinata decus.
At nisi vidissent divinitus, illa canendi

Ingenium antiquos vix habuisse putem.
Nos, ea cernentes oculis praesentia nostris,
Attoniti aspicimus, sed tenet ora pudor.

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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 control,
Supposed as forfeit to a confin'd doom.

The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured,
And the sad augurs mock their own presage;
Incertainties now crown themselves assured
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 rime,
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 may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must each day say o'er the very same,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case
Weighs not the dust and injury 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 show it dead.

Non mea, non populi timidae praesagia mentis
Rerum venturas vaticinata vices,

Tempus amicitiae poterunt iam ponere nostrae,
Quam modo clausuri carcer et uncus erant.
Luna laborando defecit, et irrita vertunt
Omina terrifici quae cecinere senes.
Anxia iam festis, curae cessere coronis,
Pacis inexhaustos ducit oliva dies.

Nunc viret ambrosiae liquidis sub roribus horae
Noster amor, cedit nunc Libitina mihi;
In tenui hoc versu vivam, dum quamlibet illa
Saevit in elinguis ac sine voce tribus;
Aeternumque tui monumentum hoc stabit, amice,
Cum tumidis regum molibus aera cadent.


Ecquid inest animo scriptis imitabile signis
Quo mea se nondum est testificata fides?
Ecqua notae novitas, aut lectae vocis, amorem
Quo movear, vel quem tu mereare, canet?
Nulla, puer dilecte, at divos more precantum
Sunt eadem nobis quoque canenda die.
Nil sonat antiquum tibi quo coniungar, ut olim
Quando adii primo nomen honore tuum.
Immortalis amor, quod in illo cunque novetur,
Ponderat annorum damna situmque nihil.
Nil senii rugis concedit, at omne vetustum,
Omne sibi antiquum, cedere cogit amor;
Gnarus ibi teneros persaepe virescere sensus
Qua periisse anni, voltus et ipse, ferant.

O, never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify.
As easy might I from myself depart

As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie:
That is my home of love: if I have ranged,
Like him that travels I return again,

Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, though in my nature reign'd
All frailties that besiege all kinds 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 motley to the view,

Gored 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 worse essays proved 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 confined.

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

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