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Then were not summer's distillation left
A liquid prisoner, pent in walls of glass,
Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft,
Nor it, nor no rememberance what it was.

But flowers distill'd, tho' they with winter.meet,
Lose but their show, their substance still lives sweet.

Then let not winter's ragged hand deface

In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill'd,
Make sweet some vial, treasure thou some place
With beauty's treasure, ere it be self-kill'd:
That use is not forbidden usury,

Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
That's for thyself to breed another thee,
Or ten times happier, be it ten for one :

Ten times thyself were happier than thou art,
If ten of thine ten times refigur'd thee;

Then what could death do, if thou should'st depart,
Leaving thee living in posterity?

Be not self-will'd, for thou art much too fair

To be death's conquest, and make worms thine heir.


Music to hear, 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 shall hap to die,

The world will wail thee like a makeless wife:

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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 usurer so destroys it.

No love towards others in that bosom sits,
That on himself such murd'rous 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 murd'rous 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.

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow'st
In one of thine, from that which thou departest;
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow'st,
Thou may'st call thine, when thou from youth convertest,
Herein live wisdom, beauty, and increase;
Without this, folly, age, and cold decay;

If all were minded so, the times should cease,
And threescore years 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, nor let that copy die.


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,



When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her, (tho' I know she lies)

'That she might think me some untutor'd youth,
Unskilful in the world's false forgeries.

Thus vainly thinking, that she thinks me young,
Altho' I know my years be past the best ;
I, smiling, credit her false speaking tongue,
Out-facing faults in love, with love's ill rest.
But wherefore says my love, that she is young?
And wherefore say not I, that I am old?
O love's best habit is a smoothing tongue,
And age (in love) loves not to have years told.
Therefore I'll lie with love, and love with me,
Since that our faults in love thus smother'd be.


Two loves I have, of comfort and despair,
That, like two spirits, do suggest me still:
My better angel is a man, (right fair)
My worser spirit a woman (colour'd ill.)
To win me soon to hell, my female evil
Tempteth my better angel from my side,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her fair pride.
And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend,
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell;
For being both to me, both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another's hell.

The truth I shall not know, but live in doubt,
'Till my bad angel fire my good one out.


Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
'Gainst whom the world could not hold argument,
Persuade my heart to this false perjury,
Vows for thee broke, deserve not punishment.
A woman I foreswore; but I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee:
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love,
Thy grace being gain'd, cures all disgrace in me.
My vow was breath, and breath a vapour is;
Then thou, fair sun, that on this earth doth shine,
Exhale this vapour vow, in thee it is:

If broken then, it is no fault of mine.

If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To break an oath, to win a paradise?


So is it not with me, as with that muse,
Stirr'd by a painted beauty to his verse,
Who heaven itself for ornament doth use,
And every fair with his fair doth rehearse;
Making a compliment of proud compare,

With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems;
With April's first-born flowers, and all things rare,
That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems.
O! let me, true in love, but truly write,
And then believe me, my love is as fair
As any mother's child, tho' not so bright,
As those gold candles fix'd in heaven's air.
Let them say more that like of hearsay well:
I will not praise, that purpose not to sell.



As an unperfect actor on the stage,

Who with his fear is put beside his part;

Or some fierce thing, replete with too much rage, Whose strength abundant weakens his own heart:

So I, for fear of trust, forgot to say

The perfect ceremony of love's right,

And in mine own love's strength seem to decay, O'ercharg'd with burden of mine own love's might. O! let my looks be then the eloquence,

And dumb presagers of my speaking breast;



Who plead for love, and look for recompence,
More than that tongue that more hath more exprest.
O learn to read what silent love hath writ!
To hear what eyes belong to love's fine wit.)


My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
So long as youth and thou art of one date;
But when in thee time's sorrows I behold,
Then look I death my days should expiate.
For all that beauty that doth cover thee,
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me;
How can I then be elder than thou art?
O, therefore, love! be of thyself so weary,
As I, not for myself, but for thee, will,
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary,
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.

Presume not on thy heart, when mine is slain ;
Thou gav'st me thine, not to give back again.


Sweet Cytherea sitting by a brook,

With young Adonis, lovely, fresh, and green,
Did court the lad with many a lovely look,

Such looks as none could look but beauty's queen.
She told him stories to delight his ear;

She show'd him favours to allure his eye;

To win his heart, she touch'd him here and there;
Touches so soft, still conquer chastity.

But whether unripe years did want conceit,
Or he refus'd to take her figur'd proffer,

The tender nibbler would not touch the bait,

But smile and jest at every gentle offer:

Then fell she on her back, fair queen, and toward; He rose and ran away. Ah, fool, too froward!


If love make me foresworn, how shall I swear to love? Oh! never faith could hold, if not to beauty vow'd; Tho' to myself forsworn, to thee I'll constant prove. Those thoughts to me like oaks, to thee like osiers bow'd.

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