Sonnet No For shame deny that thou bear'st love to any music arts. Sonnet No As fast as thou shalt wane so fast thou grow'st music arts. Sonnet No When I do count the clock that tells the time music arts. Sonnet No O that you were yourself, but love you are music arts. Sonnet No Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck 13 Aug Sonnet No When I consider everything that grows music arts. Sonnet No But wherefore do not you a mightier way music arts.
Sonnet No Who will believe my verse in time to come music arts. Sonnet No Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Sonnet No Devouring time blunt thou the lion's paws music arts. Sonnet No A woman's face with nature's own hand music arts. Sonnet No So is it not with me as with that Muse music arts. Sonnet No My glass shall not persuade me I am old music arts. Sonnet No As an unperfect actor on the stage music arts. Sonnet No Mine eye hath played the painter music arts. Sonnet No Let those who are in favour with their stars music arts. Sonnet No Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage music arts.
Sonnet No Weary with toil, I haste to my bed music arts. Sonnet No How can I then return in happy plight music arts. Sonnet No When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes music arts. Sonnet No When to the sessions of sweet silent thought music arts. Sonnet No Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts music arts. Sonnet No If thou survive my well contented day music arts. Sonnet No Full many a glorious morning have I seen music arts.
Sonnet No Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day? Sonnet No No more be grieved at that which thou hast done music arts. Sonnet No Let me confess that we two must be twain music arts. Sonnet No As a decrepit father takes delight music arts. Sonnet No How can my Muse want subject to invent 6 Sep Sonnet No Oh how thy worth with manners may I sing music arts. Sonnet No Take all my loves, my love, yea take them all music arts. Sonnet No Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits music arts. Sonnet No That thou hast her it is not all my grief music arts. Sonnet No When most I wink, then do my eyes best see music arts.
Sonnet No If the dull substance of my flesh were thought music arts. Sonnet No The other two, slight and purging fire music arts. Sonnet No Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war music arts. Sonnet No Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took music arts. Sonnet No How careful was I when I took my way music arts.
Sonnet No Against that time, if ever that time came music arts. Sonnet No How heavy do I journey on my way music arts. Sonnet No Thus can my love excuse the slow offence music arts. Sonnet No So am I as the rich whose blessed key music arts. Sonnet No What is your substance, whereof are you made music arts.
Sonnet No On how much more doth beauty beauteous music arts. Sonnet No Not marble, nor the gilded monuments music arts. Sonnet No Sweet love renew thy force, be it not said music arts. Sonnet No Being your slave what should I do but tend music arts. Sonnet No That God forbid, that made me first your slave music arts. Sonnet No If there is nothing new, but that which is music arts. Sonnet No Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore music arts.
Sonnet No Thy will thy image should keep open music arts. Sonnet No Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye music arts. Sonnet No Against my love shall be, as I am now music arts. Sonnet No When I have seen by Time's fell hand music arts. Sonnet No Since brass, nor stone, nor earth music arts. Sonnet No Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry music arts. Sonnet No Ah, wherefore with infection should he live music arts. Sonnet No Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn music arts.
Sonnet No Those parts of thee that the world's eye music arts. Sonnet No That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect music arts. Sonnet No No longer mourn for me when I am dead music arts. Sonnet No O, lest the world should task you to recite… music arts. Sonnet No That time of year when thou may'st in me behold… 11 Oct Sonnet No But be contented: when that fell arrest… 12 Oct Sonnet No So are you to my thoughts as food to life 13 Oct Sonnet No Why is my verse so barren of new pride? Sonnet No Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear… 15 Oct Sonnet No Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid… 17 Oct Sonnet No O, how I faint when I of you do write Sonnet No I grant thou wert not married to my Muse Sonnet No Or I shall live your epitaph to make Sonnet No Who is it that says most?
Sonnet No I never saw that you did painting need Sonnet No My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still music arts. Sonnet No Was it the proud full sail of his great verse Sonnet No Farewell! Sonnet No When thou shalt be disposed to set me light… music arts. Sonnet No Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault… music arts.
Sonnet No Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now Sonnet No Some glory in their birth, some in their skill… music arts. Sonnet No But do thy worst to steal thyself away… music arts. Sonnet No So shall I live, supposing thou art true… music arts. Sonnet No They that have power to hurt and will do none Sonnet No How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame Sonnet No Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness Sonnet No How like a winter hath my absence been Sonnet No From you have I been absent in the spring Sonnet No The forward violet thus did I chide Sonnet No Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget'st so long… music arts.
Sonnet No O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends … 8 Nov Sonnet No My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seeming … music arts. Sonnet No Alack! Sonnet No To me, fair friend, you can never be old Sonnet No Let not my love be called idolatry… 12 Nov Sonnet No When in the chronicle of wasted time… 13 Nov Sonnet No Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul 14 Nov Sonnet No What's in the brain that ink may character music arts. Sonnet No O, never say that I was false of heart music arts. Sonnet No Alas, 'tis true I have gone here and there music arts.
Sonnet No O, for my sake do you with fortune chide music arts. Sonnet No Your love and pity doth the impression fill music arts. Sonnet No Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind music arts. Sonnet No Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you music arts. Sonnet No Those lines that I before have writ do lie music arts.
Sonnet No Let me not to the marriage of true minds music arts. Sonnet No Accuse me thus, that I have scanted all music arts. Sonnet No Like as, to make our appetites more keen music arts. Sonnet No What potions have I drunk of Siren tears music arts. Sonnet No That you were once unkind, befriends me now music arts. Sonnet No 'Tis better to be vile, than vile esteemed music arts.
Sonnet No Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain Sonnet No No! Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change music arts. Sonnet No If my dear love were but the child of state Sonnet No Were't aught to me I bore the canopy Sonnet No O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power Sonnet No In the old age black was not counted fair Sonnet No How oft, when thou, my music, music play'st Verse 4 : Just as the outcome of a battle is uncertain where the opposing armies are of equal strength, our two souls, which had committed themselves to that expansion and elevation of the soul achieved by love, hung between her therefore the poem is addressed to someone other than his lover and me.
Verse 5 : And while our two souls communed there, our bodies lay like statues on a tomb; our postures were the same all day, and our bodies never spoke. Verse 6 : If anyone, who had been so refined by experience of love that they could understand the language of the soul, and through loving well had become completely spiritual, had been standing near enough, he, though he could not tell which soul spoke, because both spoke the same words with the same meaning, might have taken away from there a new refinement of alchemical metals or minerals and go away purer than he came.
Verse 7 : This ecstasy removes our perplexity, we said, by telling us what we love. Verse 8 : Just as all individual souls are a mixture, of unknown qualities, Love re-mixes these mixed souls to make one soul that yet contains both souls, so that each is also the other. Verse 9 : A single transplant from a violet, placed in richer soil, doubles in strength, colour and size, and multiplies in number, despite being poor and scant before. Verse 11 : We then, who are this new combined soul, know what we are composed and made of, because the separate parts from which we it, the combined soul grow are the individual souls, which are impervious to change.
Verse 12 : But why, alas, do we forbear to use our bodies all this time. They belong to us, though they are not us, since we are the spiritual intelligences which control them, and they are the sphere controlled by those intelligences as the celestial spheres were said to be controlled by intelligences or angels.
Verse 13 : We owe our bodies thanks, because they allowed us to meet, allowing their powers and sensory data to be used by our intellects, and are not dross, the worthless residue thrown off in refining precious metals, but an alloy, an inferior metal mixed with the precious metals of the soul. Verse 14 : Just as the stars work on man only by first imprinting the air with their influence, so soul may flow into the combined soul, though it first inhabits the body. Verse 15 : As our blood works to produce subtle vapours, as like souls as possible, because such fingers of vapour are needed to join body and soul, and so tie the knot that creates a human being also note the obvious sexual reference :.
Note: the great prince may also refer to the Earl of Essex, under house arrest at his own York House, in , when Donne was resident there, which would, if true, assign the poem to a later date. Verse 18 : And if some lover, such as we are, has heard this dialogue of two souls in the one compound soul, let him note how similar the merging of our bodies in lovemaking is to the merging of our souls spiritually.
Verse 1 : I long to talk with the ghost of some lover of olden times, who died before the god of love was born invented. I refuse to imagine that the most intense of lovers then could have sunk so low as to love a woman who scorned him. Verse 2 : Surely those who made love a god did not intend love to work like this. Nor did he when he was a new young god enforce such a perversity. Rather, when a like flame moved two hearts his role was to fit the active agent the man? His objective was to unite hearts that corresponded in their feelings. In that case it would not be Love, unless I loved a woman who also loved me.
The god of love now extends his domain over rage, lust, love-letters and flattery, all beyond his original remit. Oh if only we were roused by this tyranny of his to take away his divinity again, then in that case I would not be forced to love her who does not love me. For love could indeed do worse, and make me stop loving her, or inflict a greater suffering, and make her pretend to love me too, which since she already loves another would be a torment to see. Deceit is worse than hate, and she would be deceiving me if she, whom I love, pretended to love me.
Verse 1 : How cumbersome, unwieldy, burdensome and corpulent my love would have grown if I had not dieted, and fed it on discretion, which love suffers least happily, so as to reduce it and keep it in proportion. Verse 2 : I allowed love not more than one sigh a day, deriving from my fate and my faults.
Verse 3 : If he wrung a tear from me, I salted it with scorn or shame to the extent that it failed to nourish him. If he sucked her tear I let him know it was not a tear he had ingested, that his drink was false, as was his meat; since eyes which are always turning about to gaze at everyone do not weep, they merely exude moisture from the effort. Verse 4 : Whatever he dictated to me I would write down, but then burnt my letters. Verse 5 : So I reclaimed kept hungry and lean my buzzard, love, so as to be able to let it fly when hawking, i.
Sometimes I rest, neglecting the sport. At other times, as other falconers do, I drive a mistress, like a game-bird, from cover, swear oaths to her, write to her, and sigh, and weep, and the game killed i. Verse 1 : Before I sigh my last breath, Mighty Love, let me make my will and bequeath some legacies. Here I bequeath my eyes to Argus the mythical hundred-eyed giant of Greek mythology, i. If they lack sight I bequeath them to you, Love since Cupid is portrayed as a blind boy he is again bequeathing like to like.
I bequeath my tongue to fame which is ever spreading word , and my ears to ambassadors who are all ears ; my tears to women who are always crying or the sea which is full of salty drops. You, Love, taught me before this, by making me serve a mistress who had twenty other lovers, only to give to those who possessed too much of the gift already. You Love, by making me love where that love would not be returned, taught me only to give to those who lacked the gift.
You, Love, taught me, by making me love a woman who considers my love incongruous, only to give to those who equally consider my gift ridiculous. Verse 4 : I give my reputation to those who were my friends who are already charged with upholding it ; my diligence to my enemies who are already diligent enough , my doubts to scholars who already live by the spirit of doubt and enquiry ; my sickness to physicians who already spend their lives among the sick or to intemperance which is already well acquainted with it ; to Nature everything I have written in verse which is where I derived the inspiration for it and my wit to my companions who have already had the benefit from it.
You, Love, by making me adore a woman who had already moved me to love her, taught me to make the gesture of giving that which I was only returning or restoring. Verse 5 : I give my medical books to him who is the next to die i. You, Love, by making me love a woman who thinks mere friendship is a fit reward for younger lovers, render my gifts similarly inappropriate.
Then all your beauties, Love, will be worth no more than gold buried where it is inaccessible. And all your graces, Love, will be no more use than a sundial in a grave, where there is no light. You, Love taught me, by making me love a woman who neglects me and love also, how to find a way and then execute it of annihilating all three of us.
Verse 1 : Whoever comes to dress me in my shroud when I am dead, do not harm or examine overmuch the subtle wreath of hair made from the hair of his loved one that encircles my arm. You must not touch that symbol, that secret charm, because it is my external soul. It is the second in command to my internal soul, and can act with sovereign powers on its behalf, so that when my inward soul has gone to heaven, it will leave this external one in command, and keep the body, its material domain, from decay. Verse 2 : For if the nerves that extend from my brain to every part of my body can unify those parts all the limbs etc and make one person of the separate segments of me, then these hairs which grew upward on her head and took their strength and qualities from her more virtuous brain, can effect that unification and tie my parts together better than my nerves can.
Unless she intended by this bracelet of hair a different kind of tie, in that it would make me aware of my fate doomed to die of her love, yet tied to her by love as prisoners are manacled when they are condemned to die. Verse 3 : Whatever she meant by it, bury it with me. For since I am a martyr to Love, worship of this bracelet as a sacred object might be wrongly encouraged, if it falls into other hands. Just as it exhibited humility on my part to allow it to do to me whatever a soul can do, so it is a sign of defiance to bury a part her hair of you with me, since you refused to save me from dying of your love i.
Verse 1 : Little do you know, poor flower, that I have watched for six or seven days, and seen your birth and seen what each hour added to your growth, so as to raise you to this height, and that now laughs and triumphs on this bough, little do you know that the air will freeze soon and tomorrow I will find you fallen or reduced to nothingness. Verse 2 : Little do you know, my poor heart, that still endeavours to find a nest, and thinks by hovering here to make a conquest of a forbidden married?
Verse 3 : But you, my heart, who love to make fine distinctions to your own detriment, will ask why my going must concern you. So, since your body is going, why do you need your heart? Verse 4 : Well then, stay here, but you will realise after your stay when you have done the most you can, that a naked thinking heart without a body is to a woman only a kind of ghost; how will she know you are my heart, or since she lacks a heart how will she recognise that you are one?
Practice may make her know some other part practice of sex may make her recognise the sex organs but take my word for it that she does not know what a heart is note the conventional misogynistic sentiment. Verse 5 : Meet me in London then, twenty days from now, and you will see me more relaxed and contented from being with men, than if I had stayed behind with you and her.
If you can be likewise more content with male company, be so: once there I would present you to another friend, who will be as glad to have my body as my mind. Verse 1 : On this primrose-covered hill, where if heaven were to distil a shower of rain, each drop could fall on its own primrose there are so many, and so provide manna, i. Verse 2 : Yet I am not sure which sport I desire, one with six petals or one with four.
For if my true love is less than a woman should be a four-petalled flower she would hardly be worth anything, and if more than she should be a six-petalled flower , she would be above all thoughts of sex, and seek to make my heart merely contemplate her rather than loving her. Both such options are monstrous.
Since women are of necessity false, I would be happier with art rather than nature falsifying her. Verse 3 : So let primroses live and thrive with the regular number of petals, five. And let women who are represented by the flower associated with love be content with this mysterious number five, the number of the pentagram, was also in alchemy the number of the five elements which included the ether or quintessence.
If each woman is represented by the number five which is half ten, then each woman may consort with or take sexual connotation also five men. Or if this is not adequate, then since all numbers are odd or even, and five is the sum of the numbers two and three, even and odd, and therefore represents all numbers, then women may take all men.
Verse 1 : When my grave is re-opened so that a second body can be interred there to utilise the space, a traditional practice, the bones being interred in charnel houses , as graves have acquired that female trait, to be a bed to or simply, to bed, sleep with more than one man, and the grave-digger spies a bracelet of bright hair about the bone, surely he will leave us alone, believing that a loving couple lies there, who thought that the charm might allow them to meet at the grave, on Judgement Day, for a short while?
Verse 2 : If that should occur in a time or reign where Catholicism mis-devotion, i. Then you will be regarded as a Mary Magdalene traditionally represented with bright or golden hair and I a person associated with her, one of her lovers since Christ rose from the tomb, according to Christian belief, Donne clearly does not intend himself as Christ, anyway a blasphemous concept.
All women who all adore lovers and some men will reverence us. And since people look for miracles at such a time, I would like that future age to be taught by this poem what miracles we harmless lovers performed. Verse 3 : Firstly, we loved well and faithfully a miracle in itself , yet had no idea what or why we loved. Then we might happen to kiss on arrival or departure as is customary, but not between those moments of affection meals, in the sense of feeding on love: a third miracle.
These miracles we performed. But now alas, I would exceed all measure and the powers of language if I were to say what a miracle she was being the fifth miracle, and as The Primrose suggests five is the number associated with women. Verse 1 : When I am dead and the doctors have no idea why, and my friends, curious to know, perform an autopsy to examine each part, and they find your picture in my heart, you believe that a sudden poisonous mist of love will invade their senses, and act on them as it did on me, and so promote what you have done from murder to massacre.
Verse 2 : That is a cheap victory over us men. But if you dare to be brave, and take true satisfaction from your conquest, first kill the enormous giant Disdain, and then slay the enchantress Honour both guardians of feigned chastity , and like the Goths and Vandals deface the public records e. Verse 3 : For I could muster my giant and my witch, Constancy and Secrecy the cloaks under which a man might lay siege to a woman though I neither expect them from you, nor profess to them myself.
Kill me make me die of love, also exhaust me sexually as woman does, and let me die being a mere man. Be brave in a passive manner, and you will find that naked you have the advantage in inspiring love, and in sexual stamina over any man.
My body therefore includes hers, and hence the things I consist of, become over-abundant in me, and overburden me, and smother me instead of nourishing me. And I might live wretchedly a long time like this, except that my fire, passion, grows again with the new fuel for it. Now, as kings who wage war gain treasure by foreign conquest acquire more wealth, but spend more and are the first to become bankrupt, this death which I am amazed I can speak about has increased my expenditure of the elements in passion, sighs, tears and despair with their increase within me.
Verse 1 : You the ring are not as black as my heart, or as brittle as hers. What thought do you express or betoken? Do you symbolise both qualities of our love, nothing is more eternal just as the ring is endless, being circular nothing is sooner broken just as jet is brittle? Verse 2 : Marriage rings are not made of jet. Why should something less precious than is used for them, or less durable, be used as a token of our two loves? Verse 3 : But remain with me now you are here, and circle my finger as you did her thumb.
Be rightfully proud, and enjoy being safe in being with me, since she who broke her faith to me, would soon break you. Verse 1 : I have never stooped so low as those who can only find love in a lovely eye, cheek or lip. Because in the one case the senses, and in the other the understanding can grasp what it is that fuels their passion. My love, though foolish or innocent, is braver than theirs.
May I fail to find what I crave if it is merely something I already comprehend. Verse 2 : If the most perfect thing can only be expressed as Aquinas speculated concerning the deity by what it is not, by negatives, then my love is perfect. To all the things other men love, I say no. If any man is so skilled at deciphering mysteries that he is able to understand what we have no understanding of, our own selves, then perhaps he can teach me about that nothingness.
Verse 1 : Beware of loving me, or at least remember, I forbade you to love me.
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Not because I will restore my breath and blood with your sighs and tears, which I heedlessly wasted in producing my sighs and tears , by being to you what you once were to me, but because such great joy wears out our being, our life. Verse 2 : Beware of hating me, or triumphing too much in your conquest of me. Not because I will act on my own behalf and repay hatred with hatred, but because you will lose the right to be called a conqueror if I, your conquest, perish through your hatred.
Verse 3 : Yet, love and hate me too cf: Catullus odi et amo , so these two extreme passions cancel each other out. Love me, so I may die the gentler way through orgasm. Hate me, since your love is too powerful for me. Or let these two not destroy me themselves, and then I shall be a living exhibition, a stage, for you to display your conquest, rather than a triumph where captives were later slaughtered. Lest you destroy your love and hatred and me, in order to let me live, love and hate me too. Verse 1 : So, so, break off this last sorrowful kiss, which sucks out our two souls and turns them to vapour.
You, ghost, turn that way, and let me turn this, and let us darken our own day ourselves by parting. We never asked anyone for permission to love, nor will we owe anyone for our death, so easily obtained merely by saying: go. Verse 2 : Go, and if the word itself has not quite killed you, make my death easy by telling me to go too. Oh, if it has killed you, let the word I uttered work against me, and perform a just sentence on the murderer by executing me. Except that it is too late to kill me in that way, since I am already doubly dead through parting from you, and telling you to go also.
Verse 1 : For the first twenty years at a rate of a hundred years for each hour since yesterday, I hardly believed you had gone. For the next forty years I thought about past favours from you, and spent the next forty on hopes that you and your favours would endure. Tears drowned a hundred years, and sighs blew out two hundred, and for another thousand I neither thought nor acted, or I did not divide them, since they were all one thought of you.
Or perhaps in a further thousand years making two thousand four hundred in all, or twenty four hours I forgot that thought too. Verse 1 : No lover says: I love. Nor can any other person pass judgement on an exacting lover. For he thinks that no one else can say, I love: nor that anyone can be in love but himself. And I cannot say, I loved, because who can say that he was killed yesterday since love kills but one cannot be dead and yet alive?
Love, which possesses excess heat being younger rather than older, Death kills, through excessive cold disdain etc. We only die once, and he who loved lately died of it. Whoever says we die twice is lying. Though the lover seems to breathe after death, and move for a while, it is a sensory deception. Such an extension of apparent life is like the twilight that lingers after sunset, or like the heat left behind in solid material by a fire that has died out two hours previously.
I once loved and died, and now I am my own epitaph and tomb.
Here dead men speak their last words in epitaphs they write for themselves and so do I: I lie here slain by Love. Fools can only meet by using their feet to bring their bodies to one another; but why should our bodies hold so much power over our spirits? Verse 1 : While still inexperienced to be proven I thought Love was some kind of deity and worshipped him accordingly. As atheists at their dying hour call on some unknown power which they cannot bring themselves to name, so I craved in my ignorance for love. Just as men desire things which are as yet unknown, and their desire gives shape to them, making them seem less when the desire is less, greater when the desire is greater.
Being had sexually etc , enjoyment wanes, and what once pleased all the senses now occupies only one, and that unpleasantly, since it leaves behind a kind of sorrowing dullness in the mind traditionally the sixth sense. Galen suggested they do not feel post-coital depression. Unless wise Nature decreed it, since they say that each sexual act diminishes the length of life by a day, so that men would despise love-making because the other curse of it lasting only briefly would otherwise encourage men to repeat it often to produce posterity: children, and successive moments of pleasure.
Verse 4 : Since this is so, my mind shall not desire what no other man can find a deity in Love. I will no longer dote on and pursue things which harm me. And when I come to where beautiful women are that might move me to love, I will shun their passion though admiring their power, as men do when the summer sun is hot and they shun its heat. Every place or level of society gives opportunities for shadow or opportunities to shun society.
If all that fails, it is only a case of applying worm-seed the minute flower buds of the Levantine plant, Artemisia cina, used traditionally in Europe to expel worms from the intestine and combat fever to the tail slang for the male or female sexual organ, that is to treat the penis like a worm and treat it with a specific against worms, i. Verse 1 : Stand still, love, and I will read you a lecture about the philosophy of Love. During the three hours we have spent walking here our two shadows, which we produced, accompanied us.
But now the sun is directly overhead and so we tread on those same shadows and everywhere is free of shadow, and seen sharply clear. In the same way, while our loves had their infancy and were growing, our cautiousness meant that we masked them from others and let shadows flow from us to cloak our love. But that is not the case now.
Verse 2 : That love is not at its zenith, has not achieved its greatest intensity, which still takes care that others do not see it. Verse 3 : Unless our love remains at its zenith, we will be obliged to produce new shadows on the opposite side of us, as the sun sinks and we walk on. The first shadows were designed to conceal our love from others, but the new ones will affect us and blind our eyes.
If our love grows faint and declines towards the west like the sun, you will disguise your actions towards me, deceitfully, and I will do the same with mine towards you. Verse 4 : Love is a growing, or a constant light at its zenith , and its first minute after noon when it begins to fade is already night. About News Contact Shop Now. About News Contact. Contents The Flea. The Good-Morrow. The Undertaking. The Sun Rising.
The Indifferent. The Canonization. The Triple Fool. The Legacy. A Fever. Air and Angels. Break of Day. Another of the Same. The Anniversary. A Valediction of My Name, in the Window. Twickenham Garden. Valediction to his Book. Confined Love.
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The Dream. A Valediction of Weeping. The Message. A Nocturnal upon St. Witchcraft by a Picture. The Bait. The Apparition. The Broken Heart. A Valediction Forbidding Mourning.
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The Ecstasy. The Will. The Funeral. The Blossom. The Primrose: The Relic. The Damp. The Dissolution. A Jet Ring Sent. Negative Love. The Prohibition. The Expiration. The Computation. The Paradox. Farewell to Love. A Lecture upon the Shadow. The Flea. Mark but this flea, and mark in this, How little that which thou deniest me is; It sucked me first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea our two bloods mingled be. O stay, three lives in one flea spare, Where we almost, yea, more than married are. This flea is you and I, and this Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is.
Though use make you apt to kill me, Let not to that self-murder added be, And sacrilege, three sins in killing three. Cruel and sudden, hast thou since Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence? Wherein could this flea guilty be, Except in that drop which it sucked from thee? I wonder by my troth, what thou and I Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then? But sucked on country pleasures, childishly? And now good-morrow to our waking souls, Which watch not one another out of fear; For love all love of other sights controls, And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone; Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown; Let us possess one world; each hath one, and is one. My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears, And true plain hearts do in the faces rest; Where can we find two better hemispheres Without sharp north, without declining west? Whatever dies, was not mixed equally; If our two loves be one, or thou and I Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die. Now thou hast loved me one whole day, To-morrow when thou leavest, what wilt thou say? Wilt thou then antedate some new-made vow? Or say that now We are not just those persons which we were?
Or that oaths made in reverential fear Of Love, and his wrath, any may forswear? Or, your own end to justify, For having purposed change and falsehood, you Can have no way but falsehood to be true? I have done one braver thing Than all the Worthies did; And yet a braver thence doth spring, Which is, to keep that hid.
It were but madness now to impart The skill of specular stone, When he, which can have learned the art To cut it, can find none. So, if I now should utter this, Others — because no more Such stuff to work upon, there is — Would love but as before. But he who loveliness within Hath found, all outward loathes, For he who colour loves, and skin, Loves but their oldest clothes.
Verse 5 : And if you, as I have, have seen Virtue embodied in a woman, and dare to love that Virtue and say so and forget the external sexual aspect, the He and She, Virtue being without sex; Verse 6 : And if you hide that love, though it is invested in such a woman, from the profane since they will give it no credence, or if they do they will deride it: Verse 7 : Then you have like me done a braver deed than the nine Worthies, and a braver deed still will arise from it, namely the keeping of it hidden.
Busy old fool, unruly Sun, Why dost thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains, call on us? Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide Late school-boys and sour prentices, Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride, Call country ants to harvest offices; Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time. Thy beams so reverend, and strong Why shouldst thou think? I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, But that I would not lose her sight so long. Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere; This bed thy centre is, these walls thy sphere.
I can love both fair and brown; Her whom abundance melts, and her whom want betrays; Her who loves loneness best, and her who masks and plays; Her whom the country formed, and whom the town; Her who believes, and her who tries; Her who still weeps with spongy eyes, And her who is dry cork, and never cries. I can love her, and her, and you, and you; I can love any, so she be not true. Will no other vice content you? Will it not serve your turn to do as did your mothers? Or have you all old vices spent, and now would find out others? Or doth a fear that men are true torment you? O we are not, be not you so; Let me—and do you—twenty know; Rob me, but bind me not, and let me go.
Must I, who came to travel thorough you, Grow your fixed subject, because you are true? For every hour that thou wilt spare me now, I will allow, Usurious god of love, twenty to thee, When with my brown my grey hairs equal be. Do thy will then; then subject and degree And fruit of love, Love, I submit to thee. Who says my tears have overflowed his ground? When did my colds a forward spring remove? When did the heats which my veins fill Add one more to the plaguy bill? Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still Litigious men, which quarrels move, Though she and I do love. The phoenix riddle hath more wit By us; we two being one, are it; So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit.
We die and rise the same, and prove Mysterious by this love. Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce, For he tames it, that fetters it in verse. But when I have done so, Some man, his art and voice to show, Doth set and sing my pain; And, by delighting many, frees again Grief, which verse did restrain. Who are a little wise, the best fools be. If yet I have not all thy love, Dear, I shall never have it all; I cannot breathe one other sigh, to move, Nor can intreat one other tear to fall; And all my treasure, which should purchase thee, Sighs, tears, and oaths, and letters I have spent; Yet no more can be due to me, Than at the bargain made was meant.
If then thy gift of love were partial, That some to me, some should to others fall, Dear, I shall never have thee all. Or if then thou gavest me all, All was but all, which thou hadst then; But if in thy heart since there be or shall New love created be by other men, Which have their stocks entire, and can in tears, In sighs, in oaths, and letters, outbid me, This new love may beget new fears, For this love was not vowed by thee. And yet it was, thy gift being general; The ground, thy heart, is mine; what ever shall Grow there, dear, I should have it all.
Yet I would not have all yet.
Sonnet 147: My love is as a fever, longing still
Yesternight the sun went hence, And yet is here to-day; He hath no desire nor sense, Nor half so short a way; Then fear not me, But believe that I shall make Speedier journeys, since I take More wings and spurs than he. Let not thy divining heart Forethink me any ill; Destiny may take thy part, And may thy fears fulfil. But think that we Are but turned aside to sleep. Yet I found something like a heart, But colours it, and corners had; It was not good, it was not bad, It was entire to none, and few had part; As good as could be made by art It seemed, and therefore for our loss be sad.
I meant to send that heart instead of mine, But O! Do not die, for I shall hate All women so, when thou art gone, That thee I shall not celebrate, When I remember thou wast one. But yet thou canst not die, I know; To leave this world behind, is death; But when thou from this world wilt go, The whole world vapours with thy breath. O wrangling schools, that search what fire Shall burn this world, had none the wit Unto this knowledge to aspire, That this her fever might be it?
And yet she cannot waste by this, Nor long bear this torturing wrong, For more corruption needful is, To fuel such a fever long. These burning fits but meteors be, Whose matter in thee is soon spent; Thy beauty, and all parts, which are thee, Are unchangeable firmament. Twice or thrice had I loved thee, Before I knew thy face or name; So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame Angels affect us oft, and worshipped be. Still when, to where thou wert, I came, Some lovely glorious nothing did I see. But since my soul, whose child love is, Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do, More subtle than the parent is Love must not be, but take a body too; And therefore what thou wert, and who, I bid Love ask, and now That it assume thy body, I allow, And fix itself in thy lip, eye, and brow.
Stay, O sweet, and do not rise; The light that shines comes from thine eyes; The day breaks not, it is my heart, Because that you and I must part. Stay, or else my joys will die, And perish in their infancy. O, wilt thou therefore rise from me? Love, which in spite of darkness brought us hither, Should in despite of light keep us together.
Light hath no tongue, but is all eye; If it could speak as well as spy, This were the worst that it could say, That being well I fain would stay, And that I loved my heart and honour so That I would not from him, that had them, go. Must business thee from hence remove? He which hath business, and makes love, doth do Such wrong, as when a married man doth woo. All kings, and all their favourites, All glory of honours, beauties, wits, The sun it self, which makes time, as they pass, Is elder by a year now than it was When thou and I first one another saw. All other things to their destruction draw, Only our love hath no decay; This no to-morrow hath, nor yesterday; Running it never runs from us away, But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.
Two graves must hide thine and my corse; If one might, death were no divorce. And then we shall be throughly blest; But now no more than all the rest. Who is so safe as we, where none can do Treason to us, except one of us two? True and false fears let us refrain, Let us love nobly, and live, and add again Years and years unto years, till we attain To write threescore; this is the second of our reign.
My name engraved herein Doth contribute my firmness to this glass, Which ever since that charm hath been As hard, as that which graved it was; Thine eye will give it price enough, to mock The diamonds of either rock. As no one point, nor dash, Which are but accessories to this name, The showers and tempests can outwash So shall all times find me the same; You this entireness better may fulfil, Who have the pattern with you still. Then, as all my souls be Emparadised in you — in whom alone I understand, and grow, and see — The rafters of my body, bone, Being still with you, the muscle, sinew, and vein Which tile this house, will come again.
But glass and lines must be No means our firm substantial love to keep; Near death inflicts this lethargy, And this I murmur in my sleep; Inpute this idle talk, to that I go, For dying men talk often so. Blasted with sighs, and surrounded with tears, Hither I come to seek the spring, And at mine eyes, and at mine ears, Receive such balms as else cure every thing.
But O, self-traitor, I do bring The spider Love, which transubstantiates all, And can convert manna to gall; And that this place may thoroughly be thought True paradise, I have the serpent brought. Here more than in their books may lawyers find, Both by what titles mistresses are ours, And how prerogative these states devours, Transferred from Love himself, to womankind; Who, though from heart and eyes, They exact great subsidies, Forsake him who on them relies; And for the cause, honour, or conscience give; Chimeras vain as they or their prerogative.
In both they do excel Who the present govern well, Whose weakness none doth, or dares tell; In this thy book, such will there something see, As in the Bible some can find out alchemy. Note: the poet plays on the meaning of latitude, extent, and longitude, length, as an analogy for the extent and duration of love Community. Good we must love, and must hate ill, For ill is ill, and good good still; But there are things indifferent, Which wee may neither hate, nor love, But one, and then another prove, As we shall find our fancy bent.
If then at first wise Nature had Made women either good or bad, Then some wee might hate, and some choose; But since she did them so create, That we may neither love, nor hate, Only this rests, all all may use. If they were good it would be seen; Good is as visible as green, And to all eyes itself betrays. If they were bad, they could not last; Bad doth itself, and others waste; So they deserve nor blame, nor praise. But they are ours as fruits are ours; He that but tastes, he that devours, And he that leaves all, doth as well; Changed loves are but changed sorts of meat; And when he hath the kernel eat, Who doth not fling away the shell?
I scarce believe my love to be so pure As I had thought it was, Because it doth endure Vicissitude, and season, as the grass; Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore My love was infinite, if spring make it more. But like everything else which is composed of a mixture of elements Love must sometimes contemplate and view things in the mind, sometimes act and do things with the body is sometimes spiritual, sometimes physical Verse 2 : Yet Love has not grown greater with the advent of spring, merely more visible, as in the sky stars borrow light from the sun, and shine more brightly though they are no larger an erroneous belief of the period.
Love, any devil else but you Would for a given soul give something too. Give me thy weakness, make me blind, Both ways, as thou and thine, in eyes and mind; Love, let me never know that this Is love, or, that love childish is; Let me not know that others know That she knows my pain, lest that so A tender shame make me mine own new woe. Some man unworthy to be possessor Of old or new love, himself being false or weak, Thought his pain and shame would be lesser, If on womankind he might his anger wreak; And thence a law did grow, One might but one man know; But are other creatures so?
Are sun, moon, or stars by law forbidden To smile where they list, or lend away their light? Are birds divorced or are they chidden If they leave their mate, or lie abroad a night? Beasts do no jointures lose Though they new lovers choose; But we are made worse than those. Or built fair houses, set trees, and arbours, Only to lock up, or else to let them fall?
Good is not good, unless A thousand it possess, But doth waste with greediness. Dear love, for nothing less than thee Would I have broke this happy dream; It was a theme For reason, much too strong for fantasy. Coming and staying showed thee, thee, But rising makes me doubt, that now Thou art not thou. Let me pour forth My tears before thy face, whilst I stay here, For thy face coins them, and thy stamp they bear, And by this mintage they are something worth. On a round ball A workman, that hath copies by, can lay An Europe, Afric, and an Asia, And quickly make that, which was nothing, all.
I have loved, and got, and told, But should I love, get, tell, till I were old, I should not find that hidden mystery. Hope not for mind in women; at their best, Sweetness and wit they are, but mummy, possessed. The Curse. Whoever guesses, thinks, or dreams, he knows Who is my mistress, wither by this curse; Him, only for his purse May some dull whore to love dispose, And then yield unto all that are his foes; May he be scorned by one, whom all else scorn, Forswear to others, what to her he hath sworn, With fear of missing, shame of getting, torn.
May he dream treason, and believe that he Meant to perform it, and confesses, and die, And no record tell why; His sons, which none of his may be, Inherit nothing but his infamy; Or may he so long parasites have fed, That he would fain be theirs whom he hath bred, And at the last be circumcised for bread. May he be scorned by a woman, who is scorned by everyone else, swear falsely to others what he has sworn to her, and be torn by the fear of losing her, and the shame of having her: Verse 2 : May his sorrow turn to madness and his cramps turn to gout, merely by thinking about the woman who has inflicted him with sorrow and cramp.
Send home my long strayed eyes to me, Which, O, too long have dwelt on thee; Yet since there they have learned such ill, Such forced fashions, And false passions, That they be Made by thee Fit for no good sight, keep them still. Yet send me back my heart and eyes, That I may know, and see thy lies, And may laugh and joy, when thou Art in anguish And dost languish For some one That will none, Or prove as false as thou art now.
Study me then, you who shall lovers be At the next world, that is, at the next spring; For I am every dead thing, In whom Love wrought new alchemy. For his art did express A quintessence even from nothingness, From dull privations, and lean emptiness; He ruined me, and I am re-begot Of absence, darkness, death—things which are not.
Oft a flood Have we two wept, and so Drowned the whole world, us two; oft did we grow, To be two chaoses, when we did show Care to aught else; and often absences Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses. But I am by her death — which word wrongs her — Of the first nothing the elixir grown; Were I a man, that I were one I needs must know; I should prefer, If I were any beast, Some ends, some means; yea plants, yea stones detest, And love; all, all some properties invest. If I an ordinary nothing were, As shadow, a light, and body must be here.
But I am none; nor will my sun renew. I fix mine eye on thine, and there Pity my picture burning in thine eye; My picture drowned in a transparent tear, When I look lower I espy; Hadst thou the wicked skill By pictures made and marred, to kill, How many ways mightst thou perform thy will? Come live with me, and be my love, And we will some new pleasures prove Of golden sands, and crystal brooks, With silken lines and silver hooks.
When thou wilt swim in that live bath, Each fish, which every channel hath, Will amorously to thee swim, Gladder to catch thee, than thou him. Let others freeze with angling reeds, And cut their legs with shells and weeds, Or treacherously poor fish beset, With strangling snare, or windowy net.
He is stark mad, whoever says, That he hath been in love an hour, Yet not that love so soon decays, But that it can ten in less space devour; Who will believe me, if I swear That I have had the plague a year? Who would not laugh at me, if I should say I saw a flash of powder burn a day? All other griefs allow a part To other griefs, and ask themselves but some; They come to us, but us love draws; He swallows us and never chaws; By him, as by chain-shot, whole ranks do die; He is the tyrant pike, our hearts the fry.
I brought a heart into the room, But from the room I carried none with me. If it had gone to thee, I know Mine would have taught thine heart to show More pity unto me; but Love, alas! At one first blow did shiver it as glass. Yet nothing can to nothing fall, Nor any place be empty quite; Therefore I think my breast hath all Those pieces still, though they be not unite; And now, as broken glasses show A hundred lesser faces, so My rags of heart can like, wish, and adore, But after one such love, can love no more.
Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion, Like gold to aery thinness beat. And though it in the centre sit, Yet, when the other far doth roam, It leans, and hearkens after it, And grows erect, as that comes home. Verse 1 : Just as men of virtue die gently, and whisper to the soul telling it to depart, while some of their sad friends say the last breath has gone, and others say no: Verse 2 : Let us, now we are separating, melt and make no noise, without floods of tears or storms of sighs.
Our hands were firmly cemented By a fast balm, which thence did spring; Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread Our eyes upon one double string.