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Oh! what-a manfion have those vices got, -
Which for their habitation chuse out thee:
Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot,
And all things turn to fair that eyes can see!
Take heed, dear heart, of this large privilege,
The hardest knife, ill us'd, doth lose his edge
Complaint for his Lover's Absence.
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!!
What freezings have. I felt, what dark days feen ?
What old December's barrenness every where ?
yet this time remov'd was summer's time ; ;
The teeming autumn big with rich increase,,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lord's decease.
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me,
But hope of orphans and un-father'd fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And thou away, the very birds are mute ::
Or if, they fing, 'tis with so. dullia chear, .
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near
From you have I boen-absent in the fpring,
When proud py'd April (drest in all his trim)
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet not the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Cou'd make me any lummer's story tell;
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
Nor did I wonder at the lilies white,
Nor praise the deep vermillion in the rose ;.
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Y et seem'd it winter still, and you away,
As with your fhadow I with these did play.
The forward violet thus did I chide;
Sweet thief! whence didst thou steal thy sweet that
If not from my love's breath? the purple pride,
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells,
In my love's veins thou hait too grolly dy'd :
The lily I condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair ;
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another wbite despair ;
A third nor red, nor white, had ftol'n of both,
And to his robb'ry had annex'd thy breath ;
But for his theft, in pride of all his growth,.
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
More flowers I noted, yet I none could fee,
But sweet or colour it had stol'n from thee,
An Invocation to his Mufe.
Where art thou mure, that thou forget'st so long
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend it thou thy' fury on some worthless song,
Dark’ning thy power to lend base subjects light?:
Return, forgetful mufe, and strait redeem,
In gentle numbers, time fo idly spent ;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays efteem,
And give thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, refty mufe, my love's sweet face surveyo..
If time hath any wrinkle graven there ;..
If any, be a satire to decay,
And make time's fpoils despised every where.
Give my love fame, faster than time wastes life,
So thou prevent'st his fcithe, and crooked knife.
Oh ! truant mufe ! whall shall be thy amends,
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy'd?
But truth and beauty on my love depends :
So dost thou too, and therein dignify’d.
Make answer, muse, wilt thou not haply say,
Trụth needs no colour with his colour fix'd ;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay ;
But best is best, if never intermix'd.
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb ?
Excuse no silence so, for't lies in thee .
To make her much out-live a gilded tomb,
And to be prais’d of ages yet to be.
Then do thy office, mufe, I teach thee how
To make her seem long hence, as the shows now.
To me, fair love, you can be old;
For as you were when first your eye 1 ey'd,
Such seems your beauty ftill. Three winters cold
Have from the forest shook three summers pride;
Three beauteous springs to yellow Autumn turn'd,
In process of the seasons, have I seen ;
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes barn’d,
Since first I saw you, 'fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no place perceiv'd ;
So your sweet hue, which, methinks, ftill does stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd.
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred,
Ere you was born, was beauty's summer dead.
Let not my love be call'd Idolatry,
my beloved as an idle show ;
Since all alike my fongs and praises be
* To one, of one, still such, and ever fo:
Kind is my love to day,'to-mcrrow kind,
Still constant in a wond'rous excellence ;
Therefore my verse to constancy confin'd,
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 wond'rous scope affords.
Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone :
Which three, till now, have never fate in one.
When in the chronicle of wasted time,
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old thime,
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 antic 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 our prefiguring ;
And, for they look'd but with divining eyes,
They had not ftill enough their worth to sing :
For we who now behold these present days,
Have eyes : to wonder, but lack tongues to praife.
My love is strength’ned, tho' more weak in seem
I love not less, tho' less the show appear :
That love is merchandiz'd, whose rich esteeming
The owner's tongue doth publish every where.
Our love was new, and then but in the spring,
When I was wont to greet it in my lays ;
As Philomel in fummer's front doth fing,
And stops his pipe in growth of riper days.
Not that the summer is less pleasant now,
Than when her mournful hymns did bush the
night ; But that wild musick burdens every bough, And sweets grown common, lose their dear delight.
Therefore like her I sometime hold my tongue,
Becaufe I would not dull you with my song.
Alack! what poverty my muse brings forth?
That having such a scope to show her pride,
The argument all bare, is of more worth,
Than when it hath my added praise beside.
Oh! blame me not, if I can no more write !
Look in your glass, and their appears a face,
That overgoes my blunt invention quite,
Dulling my lines, and doing my disgrace.
Were it not finful then, striving to mend,
To marr the subje&t that before was well ?
For to no other pass my verses tend,
Than of your graces, and your gifts' to tell:;
And more, much more, than in
verse can fit, Your own glass shows you, when you look in it.