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From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And, tender churl, mak’st waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.
When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery, so gaz’d on now,
Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held:
Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days;
To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use,
If thou couldst answer—"This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make
old excuse" Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new-made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.
Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest,
Now is the time that face should form another;
Whose fresh repair is now thou not renewest,
Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.
For where is she so fair whose unear'da womb
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry ?
Or who is he so fond b will be the tomb
Of his self-love, to stop posterity ?
Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime:
So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,
Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time.
But if thou live, remember'd not to be,
Die single, and thine image dies with thee.
Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
Upon thyself thy beauty's legacy?
Nature's bequest gives nothing, but doth lend,
And being frank she lends to those are free.
Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse
The bounteous largess given thee to give ?
Profitless usurer, why dost thou use
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live?
For having traffic with thyself alone,
Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive,
Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone,
What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
The unus'd beauty must be tomb'd with thee,
Which, used, lives thy executor to be.
Those hours that with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Will play the tyrants to the very same,
And that unfair which fairly doth excel;
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter, and confounds him there;
Sap check’d with frost, and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o'ersnow'd, and bareness everywhere:
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 remembrance what it was.
But flowers distillid, though they with winter meet,
Leeseb 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 phial; treasure thou some place
With beauty's treasure, ere it be self-kill'd.
That use is not forbidden usury,
Which happiese 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 shouldst 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.
Lo, in the orient when the gracious light up
his burning head, each under eye
Unfair-a verb-deprive of fairness, of beauty.
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
And having climb’d the steep-up heavenly hill,
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
Attending on his golden pilgrimage;
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 outgoing in thy noon,
Unlook'd on diest, unless thou get a son.
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 shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering;b
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
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:
a Malone thus explains this passage :—“O thou whom to hear is music, why hear'st thou," &c.
b If two strings are tuned in perfect unison, and one only is struck, a very sensible vibration takes place in the other. This is called sympathetic vibration.
€ Makeless-mateless. Make and mate are synonymous in our elder writers.
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 unthrist 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.
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
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.
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 mayst 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 years would make the world away.
Let those whom Nature hath not made for store,
Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish: