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LVIII.

That god forbid that made me first your slave, I should in thought control your times of pleasure,

Or at your hand the account of hours to crave, Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure! O, let me suffer (being at your beck)

The imprison'd absence of your liberty;

And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check,

Without accusing you of injury.

Be where you list; your charter is so strong,
That you yourself may privilege your time:
Do what you will, to you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime.

I am to wait, though waiting so be hell;
Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or well.

LIX.

If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguiled,
Which, labouring for invention, bear amiss
The second burden of a former child!
O, that record could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mind at first in character was done!
That I might see what the old world could say
To this composed wonder of your frame;
Whether we are mended, or whether better they,
Or whether revolution be the same.

O! sure I am, the wits of former days

To subjects worse have given admiring praise.

LX.

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled

shore,

So do our minutes hasten to their end;

Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,

Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time, that gave, doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow;
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,

And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow. And yet, to times in hope, my verse shall stand,

Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

LXI.

Is it thy will thy image should keep open
My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
So far from home, into my deeds to pry ;
To find out shames and idle hours in me,
The scope and tenour of thy jealousy?
O no! thy love, though much, is not so great;
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake;
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
To play the watchman ever for thy sake:

For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,

From me far off, with others all-too-near.

LXII.

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye,
And all my soul, and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account,
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.

But when my glass shows me myself indeed,
Beated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.

'Tis thee (myself) that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.

LXIII.

Against my love shall be, as I am now,

With Time's injurious hand crush'd and o'er

worn;

When hours have drain'd his blood, and fill'd

his brow

With lines and wrinkles; when his youthful morn
Hath travell'd on to age's steepy night;

And all those beauties, whereof now he's king,
Are vanishing or vanish'd out of sight,
Stealing away the treasure of his spring;
For such a time do I now fortify
Against confounding age's cruel knife,
That he shall never cut from memory

My sweet love's beauty, though my lover's life :
His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,
And they shall live, and he in them, still
green.

LXIV.

When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed,
And brass eternal, slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay;

Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate-
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death, which cannot
choose

But weep to have that which it fears to lose.

LXV.

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless

sea,

But sad mortality o'ersways their power,

How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation; where, alack!

Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?

O, none, unless this miracle have might,

That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

LXVI.

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,—
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disab(e)lèd,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly (doctor-like) controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all these, from these would I be
gone,

Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

LXVII.

Ah! wherefore with infection should he live,
And with his presence grace impiety,
That sin by him advantage should achieve,
And lace itself with his society?

Why should false painting imitate his cheek,
And steal dead seeming of his living hue?
Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?
Why should he live, now Nature bankrupt is,
Beggar'd of blood to blush through lively
veins ?

For she hath no exchequer now but his,

And, proud of many, lives upon his gains.

O, him she stores, to show what wealth she had

In days long since, before these last so bad.

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