What with his art in youth, and youth in art, Threw my affections in his charmed power
"Among the many that mine eyes have seen, Not one whose flame my heart so much as warmed,
Or my affection put to th' smallest teen, Or any of my leisures ever charmed.
Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear, Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear, And of this book, this learning mayst thou taste.
When I do count the clock that tells the time, And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime, And sable curls, all silvered o'er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves, Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, And summer's green all girded up in sheaves, Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard, Then of thy beauty do I question make,
that you were your self; but, love, you are No longer yours, than you your self here live:
I long for you to remain, as you are now, in your very essence,
Your essence would survive even after your time
When I consider every thing that grows Holds in perfection but a little moment,
When I perceive that men as plants increase, Cheered and checked even by the self-same sky, Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease, And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay Sets you most rich in youth before my sight, Where wasteful Time debateth with decay To change your day of youth to sullied night,
And all in war with Time for love of you, As he takes from you, I engraft you new.
Now stand you on the top of happy hours, And many maiden gardens, yet unset, With virtuous wish would bear you living flowers
Much liker than your painted counterfeit: So should the lines of life that life repair, Which this, Time's pencil, or my pupil pen, Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,
Can make you live your self in eyes of men. To give away yourself, keeps yourself still, And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.
Who will believe my verse in time to come, If it were filled with your most high deserts?
You may train the eagle To stoop to your fist:
If I could write the beauty of your eyes, And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say 'This poet lies; Such heavenly touches ne'er touched earthly faces.' So should my papers, yellowed with their age,
But were some child of yours alive that time, You should live twice, in it, and in my rhyme.
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 dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed: But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men. Yet, do thy worst old Time: despite thy wrong, My love shall in my verse ever live young.
A woman's face with nature's own hand painted, Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion; A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted With shifting change, as is false women's fashion:
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling, Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth; A man in hue all hues in his controlling,
Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth. And for a woman wert thou first created; Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting, And by addition me of thee defeated,
With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems, With April's first-born flowers, and all things rare, That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems.
O! let me, true in love, but truly write, And then believe me, my love is as fair As any mother's child, though not so bright As those gold candles fixed in heaven's air:
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say The perfect ceremony of love's rite, And in mine own love's strength seem to decay, O'ercharged with burthen of mine own love's might. O! let my looks be then the eloquence
Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took, And each doth good turns now unto the other. When that mine eye is famished for a look, Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother, With my love's picture then my eye doth feast, And to the painted banquet bids my heart; Another time mine eye is my heart's guest, And in his thoughts of love doth share a part: So, either by thy picture or my love, Thy self away, art present still with me; For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move, And I am still with them, and they with thee; Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight Awakes my heart, to heart's and eyes' delight.