To His Mistress
Grace full of grace, though in these verses here
My love complains of others than of thee,
Yet thee alone I loved, and they by me,
Thou yet unknown, only mistaken were.
Like him which feels a heat now here now there,
Blames now this cause now that, until he see
The fire indeed from whence they caused be;
Which fire I now do know is you, my dear,
Thus diverse loves dispersed in my verse
In thee alone for ever I unite,
And fully unto thee more to rehearse;
To him I fly for grace that rules above,
That by my grace I may live in delight,
Or by his grace I never more may love.
Severed from sweet content, my live's sole light,
Banished by over-weening wit from my desire,
This poor acceptance only I require:
That though my fault have forced me from thy sight
Yet that thou would'st, my sorrows to requite,
Review these sonnets, pictures of thy praise;
Wherein each woe thy wondrous worth doth raise,
Though first thy worth bereft me of delight.
See them forsaken; for I them forsook,
Forsaken first of thee, next of my sense;
And when thou deign'st on their black tears to look,
Shed not one tear, my tears to recompence;
But joy in this, though fate 'gainst me repine,
My verse still lives to witness thee divine.
To His Absent Diana
Resolved to love, unworthy to obtain,
I do no favour crave; but, humble wise,
To thee my sighs in verse I sacrifice,
Only some pity and no help to gain.
Hear then, and as my heart shall aye remain
A patient object to thy lightning eyes,
A patient ear bring thou to thund'ring cries;
Fear not the crack, when I the blow sustain.
So as thine eye bred mine ambitious thought,
So shall thine ear make proud my voice for joy.
Lo, dear, what wonders great by thee are wrought,
When I but little favour do enjoy!
The voice is made the ear for to rejoice,
And your ear giveth pleasure to my voice.
The First Decade
1 The birth and beginning of love
2 An Excuse To His Mistress Blame not my heart for flying up so high,
Sith thou art cause that it this flight begun;
For earthly vapours drawn up by the sun,
Comets become, and night suns in the sky.
Mine humble heart, so with thy heavenly eye
Drawn up aloft, all low desires doth shun;
Raise thou me up, as thou my heart hast done,
So during night in heaven remain may I.
I say again, blame not my high desire,
Sith of us both the cause thereof depends.
In thee doth shine, in me doth burn a fire,
Fire draws up other, and itself ascends.
Thine eye a fire, and so draws up my love;
My love a fire, and so ascends above.
3 Of The Birth Of His Love Fly low, dear love, thy sun dost thou not see?
Take heed, do not so near his rays aspire;
Lest, for thy pride, inflamed with wreakful ire,
It burn thy wings, as it hath burned me.
Thou haply sayst thy wings immortal be,
And so cannot consumed be with fire;
And one is hope, the other is desire,
And that the heavens bestowed them both on thee.
A muse's words made thee with hope to fly,
An angel's face desire hath begot,
Thyself engendered by a goddess' eye;
Yet for all this, immortal thou art not.
Of heavenly eye though thou begotten art,
Yet art thou born but of a mortal heart.
Sonnet 4 A friend of mine, pitying my hopeless love,
Hoping by killing hope my love to stay,
"Let not," quoth he, "thy hope, thy heart betray;
Impossible it is her heart to move."
But sith resolved love cannot remove
As long as thy divine perfections stay,
Thy godhead then he sought to take away.
Dear, seek revenge and him a liar prove;
Gods only do impossibilities.
"Impossible," saith he, "thy grace to gain."
Show then the power of divinities
By granting me thy favour to obtain.
So shall thy foe give to himself the lie;
A goddess thou shall prove, and happy I!
Sonnet 5 Thine eye the glass where I behold my heart,
Mine eye the window through the which thine eye
May see my heart, and there thyself espy
In bloody colours how thou painted art.
Thine eye the pile is of a murdering dart;
Mine eye the sight thou tak'st thy level by
To hit my heart, and never shoot'st awry.
Mine eye thus helps thine eye to work my smart.
Thine eye a fire is both in heat and light;
Mine eye of tears a river doth become.
O that the water of mine eye had might
To quench the flames that from thine eye doth come,
Or that the fires kindled by thine eye,
The flowing streams of mine eyes could make dry.
Sonnet 6 Mine eye with all the deadly sins is fraught.
First _proud_, sith it presumed to look so high.
A watchman being made, stood gazing by,
And _idle_, took no heed till I was caught.
And _envious_, bears envy that by thought
Should in his absence be to her so nigh.
To kill my heart, mine eye let in her eye;
And so consent gave to a _murder_ wrought.
And _covetous_, it never would remove
From her fair hair, gold so doth please his sight.
_Unchaste_, a baud between my heart and love.
A _glutton_ eye, with tears drunk every night.
These sins procured have a goddess' ire,
Wherefore my heart is damned in love's sweet fire.
Sonnet 7 Falsely doth envy of your praises blame
My tongue, my pen, my heart of flattery,
Because I said there was no sun but thee.
It called my tongue the partial trump of fame,
And saith my pen hath flattered thy name,
Because my pen did to my tongue agree;
And that my heart must needs a flatterer be,
Which taught both tongue and pen to say the same.
No, no, I flatter not when thee I call
The sun, sith that the sun was never such;
But when the sun thee I compared withal,
Doubtless the sun I flattered too much.
Witness mine eyes, I say the truth in this,
They have seen thee and know that so it is.
Sonnet 8Much sorrow in itself my love doth move,
More my despair to love a hopeless bliss,
My folly most to love whom sure to miss
O help me, but this last grief to remove;
All pains, if you command, it joy shall prove,
And wisdom to seek joy. Then say but this,
"Because my pleasure in thy torment is,
I do command thee without hope to love!"
So when this thought my sorrow shall augment
That my own folly did procure my pain,
Then shall I say to give myself content,
"Obedience only made me love in vain.
It was your will, and not my want of wit;
I have the pain, bear you the blame of it!"
Sonnet 9My lady's presence makes the roses red,
Because to see her lips they blush with shame.
The lily's leaves for envy pale became,
And her white hands in them this envy bred.
The marigold the leaves abroad doth spread,
Because the sun's and her power is the same.
The violet of purple colour came,
Dyed in the blood she made my heart to shed.
In brief, all flowers from her their virtue take;
From her sweet breath their sweet smells do proceed;
The living heat which her eyebeams doth make
Warmeth the ground and quickeneth the seed.
The rain wherewith she watereth the flowers,
Falls from mine eyes which she dissolves in showers.
Sonnet 10Heralds at arms do three perfections quote,
To wit, most fair, most rich, most glittering;
So when those three concur within one thing,
Needs must that thing of honour be a note.
Lately I did behold a rich fair coat,
Which wished fortune to mine eyes did bring.
A lordly coat, yet worthy of a king,
In which one might all these perfections note.
A field of lilies, roses proper bare;
Two stars in chief; the crest was waves of gold.
How glittering 'twas, might by the stars appear;
The lilies made it fair for to behold.
And rich it was as by the gold appeareth;
But happy he that in his arms it weareth!
TIf true love might true love's reward obtain,
Dumb wonder only might speak of my joy;
But too much worth hath made thee too much coy,
And told me long ago I sighed in vain.
Not then vain hope of undeserved gain
Hath made me paint in verses mine annoy,
But for thy pleasure, that thou might'st enjoy
Thy beauty's praise, in glasses of my pain.
See then, thyself, though me thou wilt not hear,
By looking on my verse. For pain in verse,
Love doth in pain, beauty in love appear.
So if thou would'st my verses' meaning see,
Expound them thus, when I my love rehearse:
"None loves like he!" that is, "None fair like me!.
Sonnet 2 It may be, love my death doth not pretend,
Although he shoots at me, but thinks it fit
Thus to bewitch thee for thy benefit,
Causing thy will to my wish to condescend.
For witches which some murder do intend,
Do make a picture and do shoot at it;
And in that part where they the picture hit,
The party's self doth languish to his end.
So love, too weak by force thy heart to taint,
Within my heart thy heavenly shape doth paint;
Suffering therein his arrows to abide,
Only to th'end he might by witches' art,
Within my heart pierce through thy picture's side,
And through thy picture's side might wound my heart.
Sonnet 3 The sun, his journey ending in the west,
Taketh his lodging up in Thetis' bed;
Though from our eyes his beams be banished,
Yet with his light th' antipodes be blest.
Now when the sun-time brings my sun to rest,
Which me too oft of rest hath hindered,
And whiter skin with white sheet covered,
And softer cheek doth on soft pillow rest,
Then I, O sun of suns! and light of lights!
Wish me with those antipodes to be,
Which see and feel thy beams and heat by nights.
Well, though the night both cold and darksome is,
Yet half the day's delight the night grants me,
I feel my sun's heat, though his light I miss.
Sonnet 4 Lady, in beauty and in favour rare,
Of favour, not of due, I favour crave.
Nature to thee beauty and favour gave;
Fair then thou art, and favour thou may'st spare.
Nor when on me bestowed your favours are,
Less favour in your face you shall not have;
If favour then a wounded soul may save,
Of murder's guilt, dear Lady, then beware.
My loss of life a million fold were less
Than the least loss should unto you befall;
Yet grant this gift; which gift when I possess,
Both I have life and you no loss at all.
For by your favour only I do live,
And favour you may well both keep and give.
Sonnet 5My reason absent did mine eyes require
To watch and ward and such foes to descry
As they should ne'er my heart approaching spy;
But traitor eyes my heart's death did conspire,
Corrupted with hope's gifts; let in desire
To burn my heart; and sought no remedy,
Though store of water were in either eye,
Which well employed, might well have quenched the fire.
Reason returned; love and fortune made
Judges, to judge mine eyes to punishment.
Fortune, sith they by sight my heart betrayed
From wished sight, adjudged them banishment;
Love, sith by fire murdered my heart was found,
Adjudged them in tears for to be drowned.
Sonnet 6Wonder it is and pity is't that she
In whom all beauty's treasure we may find,
That may unrich the body and the mind,
Towards the poor should use no charity.
My love has gone a begging unto thee.
And if that beauty had not been more kind