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Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
Tho' I (once gone) to all the world must die;
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
When you intombed in men's eyes shall lie :
Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read;
And tongues to be, your being shall rehearse,
When all the breathers of this world are dead?
You still shall live (such virtue hath my pen)
Where breath most breathes, ev'n in the mouths of men.


LET me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments; love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark,

That looks on tempests, and is never shaken :

It is the star to every wand'ring bark,

Whose worth's unknown, altho' his height be taken.
Love's not time's fool, tho' rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come :
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error,and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.



I GRANT thou wert not marry'd to my muse,
And therefore may'st without attaint o'er-look
The dedicated words which writers use
Of their fair subject, blessing every book:
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue;
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise ;
And therefore art enforc'd to seek a-new
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days:
And do so love, yet when they have devis'd
What strained touches rhetoric can lend,
Thou, truly fair, wert truly sympathiz'd,
In true plain words, by thy true-telling friend.
And their gross painting might be better us❜d,
Where cheeks need blood, in thee it is abus'd.

I never saw that you did painting need,
And therefore to you fair no painting set:
I found (or thought I found) you did exceed
The barren tender of a poet's debt:

And therefore have I slept in your report,
That you yourself being extant, well might show,
How far a modern quill doth come too short,
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow.
This silence of my sin you did impute,
Which shall be most my glory, being dumb;
For I impair not beauty, being mute,

When others would give life, and bring a tomb.

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There lives more life in one of your fair eyes,
Than both your poets can in praise devise.

Who is it, that says most, which can say more
Than this rich praise, that you alone are you?
In whose confine immured is the store,
Which should example where your equal grew.
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell,
That to his subject lends not some small glory:
But he that writes of you, if he can tell
That you are you, so dignifies his story.

Let him but copy what in you is writ,
Not making worse what nature made so clear;
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit,
Making him still admired every where.

You to your beauteous blessing add a curse,
Being fond of praise, which makes your praises worse.

My tongue ty'd muse in manners holds her still,
While comments of your praise, richly compil'd,
Reserve their character with golden quill,

And precious phrase by all the muses fill'd.

I think good thoughts, whilst others write good words, And, like unletter'd clerk, still cry Amen

To every hymn that able spirit affords,

In polish'd form of well refined pen.
Hearing you praised, I say 'tis so, 'tis true,
And to the most of praise add something more;


But that is in my thought, whose love to you
(Tho' words come hindmost) holds his ranks before:
Then others, for the breath of words, respect;
Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect.


WAS it the proud full sail of his great verse,
Bound for the prize of (all-too-precious) you,
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain rehearse,
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write
Above a mortal pitch that struck me dead?
No, neither he, nor his compeers by night
Giving him aid, my verse astonished.
He nor that affable familiar ghost,
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence,
As victors, of my silence cannot boast ;
I was not sick of any fear from thence.
But when your countenance fill'd up his line,
Then lack'd I matter that enfeebled mine.

Farewel, thou art too dear for my possessing, And, like enough, thou know'st thy estimate: The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing ; My bonds in thee are all determinate.


For how do I hold thee, but by thy granting, And for that riches where is my deserving? The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting, And so my patent back again is swerving. Thyself thou gav'st thy own worth then not knowing, Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking. So thy great gift upon misprision growing, Comes home again, on better judgment making. Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter, In sleep a king, but waking, no such matter.


AS it fell upon a day,

In the merry month of May,

Sitting in a pleasant shade,

With a grove of myrtles made,

Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,

Trees did grow and plants did spring:
Every thing bid banish moan,
Save the nightingale alone;
She (poor bird!) as all forlorn,
Lean'd her breast up-till a thorn,
And there sung the dolefull'st ditty,
That to hear it was great pity.

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