Lines from the sonnets

Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.

And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,

Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in thee

Nature’s bequest gives nothing, but doth lend

For never-resting time leads summer on

Beauty o’ersnowed, 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.

Make sweet some phial; treasure thou some place

And having climb’d the steep-up heavenly hill

Music to hear, why hear’st thou music sadly?

Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one

The world will be thy window, and still weep

No love toward others in that bosom sits,

That on himself such murderous shame commits.

O change thy thought, that I may change my mind!

Make thee another self, for love of me

Herein lives wisdom, beauty and increase:

That thou among the wastes of time must go,

O that you were yourself: but love, you are

You had a father; let your love say so.

But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,

And (constant stars) in them I read such art

As truth and beauty shall together thrive

Holds in perfection but a little moment

And, all in war with Time, for love of you,

And in fresh numbers number all your graces

And every fair from fair sometime declines

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

And burn the long-liv’d phoenix in her blood

Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion

O let me, true in love, but truly write

As those gold candles fix’d in heaven’s air

O learn to read what silent love hath writ

For through the painter must thou see his skill

They draw but what they see, know not the heart.

The painful warrior famoused for fight

Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage

And puts apparel on my tatter’d loving

But then begins a journey in my head

To work my mind, when body’s work expir’d:

Looking on darkness which the blind do see:

But day by night and night by day oppressed

How far I toil, still farther off than thee

I tell the day, to please him, thou art bright,

But day both daily draw my sorrows longer

And night doth nightly make grief’s strength seem stronger.

Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

I summon up remembrance of things past

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,

Their images I lov’d I view in thee

And thou (all they) has all the all of me

Theirs for their style I’ll read, his for his love.

Gilding pale streams with heavnly alchymy

Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace

Although our undivided loves are one

When thou thyself dost give invention light?

Even for this let us divided live

Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all;

When I am sometime absent from thy heart,

And, darkly bright, are bright in dark directed

And nights, bright days, when dreams do show thee me.

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,

Upon the farthest earth remov’d from thee

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

In tender embassy of love to thee

Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war,

(A closet never pierced with crystal eyes,)

A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart;

Thyself away art present still with me;

Thou, best of dearest, and mine only care,

Against that time, if ever that time come

When love, converted from the thing it was,

Within the knowledge of mine own desert

In winged speed no motion shall I know:

But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade;

That millions of strange shadows on you tend?

Since every one hath, every one, one’s shade,

But you like none, none you, for constant heart.

Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments

When wasteful war shall statues overturn,

The living record of your memory.

Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said

Let this sad interim like the ocean be

Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour,

Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you

Save, where you are how happy you make those

If there be nothing new, but that which is

That I might see what the old world could say

To this composed wonder of thy frame;

Whether we are mended, or whe’r better they,

Or whether revolution be the same.

So do our minutes hasten to their end

From me far off, with others all-too-near.

But when my glass shows me myself indeed.

And all those beauties, whereof now he’s king

That he shall never cut from memory

And brass eternal, slave to mortal rage;

Increasing store with loss; and loss with store;

Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate –

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea

Against the wreckful siege of battering days

That in black ink my love may still shine bright

And lace itself with his society?

Roses of shadow, since his rose is true

Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn,

… In him those holy antique hours are seen,

Without all ornament, itself, and true,

Making no summer of another’s green,

Robbing no old to dress his beauty new

Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend

Thine outward thus with outward praise is crown’d;

The hand that writ it; for I love thee so

After my death, dear love, forget me quite,

For you in me can nothing worthy prove;

My name be buried where my body is

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

Bare ruin’d choires, where late the sweet birds sang.

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie

Possessing or pursuing no delight

O know, sweet love, I always write of you,

So all my best is dressing old words new

Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste

Time’s thievish progress to eternity

And arts with thy sweet graces graced be;

But thou art all my art,

But since your worth (wide as the ocean is)

Or I shall live your epitaph to make,

And tongues to be, your being shall rehearse,

Than this rich praise – That you alone are you?

Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew

In sleep a king, but, waking, no such matter

Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;

If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last,

Happy to have thy love, happy to die!

In many’s looks the false heart’s history

They are the lords and owners of their faces

That tongue that tells the story of thy days

The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge

How like a winter has my absence been

Yet seem’d it winter still, you, away,

Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life;

Even those that said I could not love you dearer;

But reckoning time, whose million’d accidents

Creep in ‘twixt vows, and change decrees of kings

Crowning the present, doubting the rest

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks

That I have hoisted sails to all the winds

The constancy and virtue of your love.

What potions have I drunk of Siren tears

Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears

And ruin’d love, when it is built anew

Which die for goodness, who have lived for crime

May time disgrace, and wretched minutes kill

Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy hour

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

Prison my heart in thy steel bosom’s ward,

Among a number one is reckon’d none.

The better angel is a man right fair

And, Death once dead, there’s no more dying then.

Past cure I am, now reason is past care.

And you and love are still my argument.