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Sonnets of William Shakespeare

CXLVIII

O me! what eyes hath love put in my head,

Which hath no correspondence with true sight!

Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled,

That censures falsely what they see aright?

If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote,

What means the world to say it is not so?

If it be not, then love doth well denote

Love's eye is not so true as all men's: no,

How can it be? O how can Love's eye be true,

That is so vexed 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.

 

CXLIX

Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not,

When I, against myself, with thee partake?

Do I not think on thee, when I forgot

Am of myself, all tyrant, for thy sake?

Who hateth thee that I do call my friend?

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.

 

CL

O, 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,

That in the very refuse of thy deeds

There is such strength and warrantise of skill,

That in my mind, thy worst all best exceeds?

Who taught thee how to make me love thee more,

The more I hear and see just cause of hate?

O, though I love what others do abhor,

With others thou should'st not abhor my state;

If thy unworthiness rais'd love in me,

More worthy I to be belov'd of thee.

 

CLI

Love is too young to know what conscience is:

Yet knows not, conscience is born of love?

Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,

Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove.

For thou betraying me, I do betray

My nobler part to my gross body's treason;

My soul doth tell my body that he may

Triumph in love; flesh stays no farther reason;

But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee

As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride,

He is contented thy poor drudge to be,

To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side,

No want of conscience hold it that I call

Herólove, for whose dear love I rise and fall.

 

CLII

In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn,

But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing;

In act thy bed-vow broke, and new faith torn,

In vowing new hate after new love bearing.

But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee,

When I break twenty? I am perjur'd most;

For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee,

And all my honest faith in thee is lost:

For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness,

Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy;

And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness,

Or made them swear against the thing they see;

For I have sworn thee fair: more perjur'd I,

To swear, against the truth, so foul a lie!

 

CLIII

Cupid lay by his brand, and fell asleep:

A maid of Dian's this advantage found,

And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep

In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;

Which borrow'd from this holy fire of love

A dateless lively heat, still to endure,

And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove

Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.

But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fir'd,

The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;

I, sick withal, the help of bath desir'd,

And thither hied, a sad distemper'd guest,

But found no cure: the bath for my help lies

Where Cupid got new fire,ómy mistress' eyes.

 

CLIV

The little love-god, lying once asleep

Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,

Whilst many nymphs that vow'd chaste life to keep

Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand

The fairest votary took up that fire

Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd;

And so the general of hot desire

Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarm'd.

This brand she quenched in a cool well by,

Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual,

Growing a bath and healthful remedy

For men diseas'd; but I, my mistress' thrall,

Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,

Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.

 

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