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Seven Sonnets

 

SONNET 138 (ADAPTED)

When my love swears that she is made of truth

I do believe her, though I know she lies,

That she might think me some untutored youth

Unlearned in the world’s false subtleties.

 

Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,

Although she knows my days are past the best,

Simply I credit her false speaking tongue;

On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed

 

O, I lie with her, and she lies with me,

In our faults by lies we flattered be.

 

But wherefore says she not she is unjust?

And wherefore say not I that I am old?

O love’s best habit is in seeming trust,

And age in love loves not t' have years told.

I lie with her, and she lies with me,

In our faults by lies we flattered be.

 


SONNET 73

 

That time of year thou may'st in me behold

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,

Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

In me thou see'st the twilight of such day,

As after sunset fadeth in the west,

Which by-and-by black night doth take away,

Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.

In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,

As the death-bed whereon it must expire

Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.

This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,

To love that well which thou must leave ere long

 


SONNET 18

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 hot 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 ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. 

 


My true love hath my heart and I have his,

By just exchange one for the other given:

I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;

There never was a bargain better driven.

 

His heart in me keeps me and him in one;

My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:

He loves my heart, for once it was his own;

I cherish his because in me it bides.

 

His heart his wound received from my sight;

My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;

For as from me on him his hurt did light,

So still, methought, in me his hurt did smart:

 

Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,

My true love hath my heart and I have his. 

MY TRUE LOVE HATH MY HEART


SONNETS 44 AND 45

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,

Injurious distance should not stop my way;

For then despite of space I would be brought,

From limits far remote where thou dost stay.

No matter then although my foot did stand

Upon the farthest earth removed from thee;

For nimble thought can jump both sea and land

As soon as think the place where he would be.

But ah! thought kills me that I am not thought,

To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,

But that so much of earth and water wrought

I must attend time's leisure with my moan,

Receiving nought by elements so slow

But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.

 

The other two, slight air and purging fire,

Are both with thee, wherever I abide;

The first my thought, the other my desire,

These present-absent with swift motion slide.

For when these quicker elements are gone

In tender embassy of love to thee,

My life, being made of four, with two alone

Sinks down to death, oppress'd with melancholy;

Until life's composition be recured

By those swift messengers return'd from thee,

Who even but now come back again, assured

Of thy fair health, recounting it to me:

   This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,

   I send them back again and straight grow sad.


Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,

So do our minutes hasten to their end;

Each changing place with that which goes before,

In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

Nativity, once in the main of light,

Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,

Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,

And Time, that gave, doth now his gift confound.

Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,

And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,

Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,

And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow.

   And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,

   Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand. 

 

SONNET 60


O Mistress mine where are you roaming?

O stay and hear, your true love's coming,

That can sing both high and low.

Trip no further pretty sweeting.

Journeys end in lovers' meeting,

Every wise man's son doth know.

 

What is love, 'tis not hereafter,

Present mirth, hath present laughter

What's to come, is still unsure.

In delay there lies no plenty,

Then come kiss me sweet and twenty:

Youth's a stuff will not endure.

O MISTRESS MINE

(Clown’s Song from Twelfth Night)