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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 distilld, though they with winter meet,
Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.-5.
Then let not winter's ragged band deface
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distillid:
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 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 shouldst depart,
Leaving the living in posterity ?
Be not self-will'd, for thou art much too fair
To be Death's conquest, and make worms thine heir.–6.
Lo, in the orient when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning head, each under eye
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
And baving 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, wbo confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst 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."—8.
Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye,
That thou consum'st thyself in single life?
Ah! if thou issueless shalt bap 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.
No love toward others in that bosom sits,
That on himself such murderous shame commits.-9.
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 bate,
That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to couspire;
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.-10.
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 :
Look, whom she best endow'd, she gave thee more ;
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish :
She cary'd thee for her seal, and meant thereby
Thou shouldst print more, nor let that copy die.-11.
When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in bideous night;
Wben 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.-12.
O 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?
O! 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 season's quality :
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind,
Or say, with princes if it shall
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.-14.
When I consider everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge state presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheer'd and check'd ever 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.-15.
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 you living flowers,
Much liker than your painted counterfeit :
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.–16.
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,
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.–17.
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 bot 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.-18.
Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws,
And burn the long-liv'd phenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons, as thou fleets,
And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world, and all her fading sweets ;
But I forbid thee one most beinous crime:
O carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow,
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men.
Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.–19.
That this series of Sonnets, powerful as they are, displaying not only the most abundant variety of imagery, but the greatest felicity in making the whole har. monious, constitutes a poem ambitious only of the honours of a work of Art, is, we think, manifest. If it had been addressed to a real person, no other object could have been proposed than a display of the most brilliant ingenuity. In the next age it would have been called an exquisite “ copy of verses." But in the next age, probably-certainly in our own—the author would bave been pronounced arrogant beyond measure in the anticipation of the immortality of his rhymes. There is a show of modesty, indeed, in the expressions “ barren rhyme” and “ pupil pen;" but that is speedily cast off, and “eternal summer ” is promised through “eterval lives;" and
“ So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." Regarding these nineteen Sonnets as a continuous poem, wound up to the climax of a hyperbolical promise of immortality to the object whom it addresses, we receive the 20th Sonnet as the commencement of another poem in which the same idea is retained. The poet is bound to the youth by ties of strong affection ; but nature has called upon the possessor of that beauty
“ Which steals men's eyes, and women's souls amazeth,"
to cultivate closer ties This Sonnet, through an utter misconception of the language of Shak spere's time, has produced a comment sufficiently odious to throw an unpleasant shade over much which follows. The idea which it contains is continued in the 53rd Sonnet; and we give the two in connexion :
A woman's face, with nature's own hand painted,
Hast thon, the master-mistress of my passion;
A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted
With sbifting change, as is false women's fashion ;
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth ;
A man in hue, all hues in his controlling,
Which steals men's eyes, and women's souls amazeth,
And for a woman wert thou first created;
Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a doting,
And by addition me of thee defeated,
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
But since she prick d thee out for women's pleasure,
Miue be thy love, and thy love's use their treasure.-20.
What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend ?
Since every one hath, every one, one's shade,
And you, but one, can every shadow lend.
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit
Is poorly imitated after you ;