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Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all-triumphant splendour on my brow;
But, out, alack! he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.
That time of year thou may'st in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
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 wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though 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 proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
SONNET X.-ON DEATH
(From Holy Sonnets, written before 1607)
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death; nor yet cans't thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy picture be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow:
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and souls' delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou, then?
One short sleep pass, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
CAMBER-BRITONS AND THEIR HARP
(From Poems, Lyrics and Pastorals, 1605 ?)
Fair stood the wind for France,
When we our sails advance,
And now to prove our chance
Longer not tarry,
But put unto the main,
At Caux, the mouth of Seine,
With all his warlike train,
Landed King Harry.
And taking many a fort,
Furnished in warlike sort,
Coming toward Agincourt
In happy hour,
Skirmishing day by day
With those oppose his way,
Where as the gen'ral lay
With all his power:
Which in his height of pride,
As Henry to deride,
His ransom to provide
Unto him sending;
Which he neglects the while,
As from a nation vile,
Yet with an angry smile,
Their fall portending;
And, turning to his men,
Quoth famous Henry then,
'Though they to one be ten,
Be not amazed;
Yet have we well begun,
Battles so bravely won
Ever more to the sun
By fame are raised.
'And for myself,' quoth he,
'This my full rest shall be,
England ne'er mourn for me,
Nor more esteem me.
Victor I will remain,
Or on this earth be slain,
Never shall she sustain
Loss to redeem me.
'Poyters and Cressy tell,
When most their pride did swell, Under our swords they fell,
No less our skill is
Than when our grandsire great,
Claiming the regal seat,
In many a warlike feat
Lopp'd the French lilies.'
The Duke of York so dread,
The eager vaward led;
With the main Henry sped,
Amongst his henchmen.