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Thy proud heart's slave and vassal wretch to be:
Only my plague thus far I count my gain, That she that makes me sin, awards me pain.
Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,
Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving :
0, but with mine compare thou thine own state,
And thou shalt find it merits not reproving;
Or if it do, not from those lips of thine,
That have profan'd their scarlet ornaments,
And seald false bonds of love as oft as mine;
Robb'd others' beds revenues of their rents.
Be it lawful I love thee, as thou lov'st those
Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee:
Root pity in thy heart, that when it grows,
Thy pity may deserve to pity'd be.
If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide,
By self-example may’st thou be deny’d !
Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch
One of her feather'd creatures broke away,
Sets down her babe, and makes all swift despatch
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay;
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chace,
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent
To follow that which flies before her face,
Not prizing her poor infant's discontent;
So run'st thou after that which flies from thee,
Whilst I thy babe chace thee afar behind;
But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me,
And play the mother's part, kiss me, be kind :
So will I pray that thou may’st have thy Will,
If thou turn back, and my loud crying still.
Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
Which like two spirits do suggest 76 me still;
The better angel is a man right fair,
The worser spirit a woman, colour'd ill.
To win me soon to hell, my female evil
Tempteth my better angel from my side,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend,
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell;
But being both from me, both to each friend,
guess one angel in another's hell.
Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt,
my bad angel fire my good one out.
Those lips that Love's own hand did make,
Breath'd forth the sound that said, I hate,
To me that languish'd for her sake:
But when she saw my
woeful state, Straight in her heart did mercy come, Chiding that tongue, that ever sweet
suggest] i. e. lempt. .
Was us'd in giving gentle doom;
And taught it thus anew to greet:
I hate she alter'd with an end,
That follow'd it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who like a fiend
From heaven to hell is flown away.
I hate from hate away she threw,
And sav'd my life, saying-not you.
Poor soul,77 the centre of my sinful earth,
Fool'd by those rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within and, suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body's end ?
Then, soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross ;
Within be fed, without be rich no more :
So shalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men,
And, death once dead, there's no more dying
77 Poor soul, &c.] The two first lines of this sonnet are thus given in the old copy;
“ Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth,
My sinful earth these rebel powers that thee array.” The emendation is Malone's.
My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease;
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
The uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve,
Desire is death, which physic did except. .
Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
And frantic mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as mad men's are,
At random from the truth vainly express'd;
For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
O me! what
hath love put in my head,
Which have no correspondence with true sight?
Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled,
That censures 78 falsely what they see aright?
If that be fair whereon
What means the world to say it is not so ?
If it be not, then love doth well denote
is not so true as all men's : no, How can it ? O how can Love's
That is so vex'd with watching and with tears? No marvel then though I mistake my view; The sun itself sees not, till heaven clears.
O cunning Love! with tears thou keep’st me blind, Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.
Canst thou, O cruel ! say I love thee not,
When I, against myself, with thee partake ?79
Do I not think on thee, when I forgot
Am of myself, all tyrant, for thy sake?
Who hateth thee that I do call
On whom frown'st thou that I do fawn upon ?
Nay if thou low'rst on me, do I not spend
Revenge upon myself with present moan?
What merit do I in myself respect,
That is so proud thy service to despise,
When all my best doth worship thy defect,
Commanded by the motion of thine eyes?
But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind;
Those that can see thou lov’st, and I am blind.
0, from what power hast thou this powerful might,
With insufficiency my heart to sway?
To make me give the lie to my true sight,
And swear that brightness doth not grace the day?
Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill,
79 partake]' e. take part.