But when from high-most pitch with weary car,
Like feeble age, he reeleth from the day,
The eyes, 'fore duteous, now converted are
From his low tract, and look another way,

So thou, thyself out-going in thy noon,
Unlook'd on diest, unless thou get a son.

VIII. Music to hears, why hear'st thou music sadly? Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy. Why lov’st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly, Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy? If the true concord of well-tuned sounds, By unions married, do offend thine ear, They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds In singleness the parts that thou should'st bear. Mark, how one string, sweet husband to another, Strikes each in each by mutual ordering; Resembling sire and child and happy mother, Who all in one one pleasing note do sing :

Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one, Sings this to thee, -thou single wilt prove none.

Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye,
That thou consum'st thyself in single life?
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die,
The world will wail thee, like a makeless wife“;
The world will be thy widow, and still weep,
That thou no form of thee hast left behind,
When every private widow well may keep,
By children's eyes, her husband's shape in mind.
Look, what an unthrift in the world doth spend,
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
But beauty's waste hath in the world an end,
And, kept unus'd, the user so destroys it.

5 Music to hear,] i. e. Thou, to whom it is music to listen.

6 – like a MAKELESS wife;] i. c. like a mateless wife: make and mate were sometimes used indifferently. Chaucer always has make, and Spenser and Shakespeare generally mate.

No love toward others in that bosom sits,
That on himself such murderous shame commits.

For shame! deny that thou bear’st love to any,
Who for thyself art so unprovident.
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art belov’d of many,
But that thou none lov'st is most evident;
For thou art so possess'd with murderous hate,
That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to conspire,
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.

Here may’st call thin which youngly

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou growest
In one of thine, from that which thou departest ;
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestowest,
Thou may'st call thine, when thou from youth convertest.
Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase ;
Without this, folly, age, and cold decay:
If all were minded so, the times should cease,
And threescore year 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, not let that copy die.

7 — she gave the more ;] So the old editions, quite intelligibly : modern editors have needlessly substituted thee for “the.” The meaning seems to be, that nature gave the more to those whom she endowed with her best gifts. The comparison is between those who are “harsh, featureless, and rude,” and those to whom nature has been more bountiful of beauty.

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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 all 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.

XIII. 0, that you were yourself! but, love, you are No longer yours, than you yourself here live: Against this coming end you should prepare, And your sweet semblance to some other give : So should that beauty which you hold in lease, Find no determination : then, you were Yourself again, after yourself 's decease, When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear. Who lets so fair a house fall to decay, Which husbandry in honour might uphold, Against the stormy gusts of winter's day, And barren rage of death's eternal cold?

0! none but unthrifts. Dear my love, you know, You had a father: let your son say so.


Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck,
And yet, methinks, I have astronomy,
But not to tell of good, or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons' quality;

8 And sable curls all silver'd o'er with white ;] The quarto, 1609, has “ or silver'd o'er with white," an evident error of the press.

Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind ;
Or say with princes if it shall go well,
By oft predict that I in heaven find :
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art,
As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert ;

Or else of thee this I prognosticate,
Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.

When I consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment ;
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows,
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check'd even by the selfsame sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then, the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful time debateth with decay,
To change your day of youth to sullied night ;

And, all in war with time, for love of you,
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

XVI. But wherefore do not you a mightier way Make war upon this bloody tyrant, time, And fortify yourself in your decay With means more blessed than my barren rhyme ? Now stand you on the top of happy hours, And many maiden gardens, yet unset, With virtuous wish would bear your living flowers', Much liker than your painted counterfeit :

9 That this huge stage- All modern editors, from not consulting the original copy, but following Malone implicity, misprint “stage” state. It is strange that the context alone never led them to discover the error.

1 - would bear your living flowers,] This is the reading of the quarto, and it is clearly right, though Malone changed “your” to you.

So should the lines of life that life repair,
Which this, time's pencil, or my pupil pen,
Neither in inward worth, nor outward fair,
Can make you live yourself in eyes of men.

To give away yourself, keeps yourself still,
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.


Who will believe my verse in time to come, .
If it were fill'd with your most high deserts?
Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb
Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts.
If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say, “ this poet lies;
Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.”
So should my papers, yellow'd with their age,

my papers wallows
Be scorn'd, like old men of less truth than tongue,
And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage,
And stretched metre of an antique song ;

But were some child of yours alive that time,
You should live twice—in it, and in my rhyme.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest.

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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