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27

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,


The dear repose for limbs with travail tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when bodys works expired.
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see.
Save that my souls imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.
Lo thus by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.

27
Weary from work, I hasten to my bed, the sweet place
of rest for a body tired out from laboring. But then I
start to go on a journey in my head, making my mind
work after my bodys work is finished. Because when
I go to bed, my thoughts begin the trip from where I
am, far away from you, to where you are. They keep
my weary eyes wide open, staring at the darkness like
blind people do. Except, in my imagination, I see your
image, though its too dark to see anything else. Like a
shining jewel hanging in the terrifying night, your
image makes that old, black night look beautiful and
young. See, because of you, my body does not rest in
the daytime and my mind finds no peace at night.

22
My glass shall not persuade me I am old
So long as youth and thou are of one date;
But when in thee times furrows I behold,
Then look I death my days should expiate.
For all that beauty that doth cover thee
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me.
How can I then be elder than thou art?
O therefore, love, be of thyself so wary
As I, not for myself, but for thee will,
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain;
Thou gavst me thine not to give back again.

22
I wont believe my mirror when it tells me Im old, as
long as youre still young. But when I see you with
wrinkles, then Ill know death is on its way, because
your beauty is as close to my heart as beautiful
clothing to a body. Put another way, my heart beats in
your chest and yours in mine. But if thats true, then
how can I be older than you? Therefore, my love, take
care of yourself just as I will take care of myself, not
for my own sake, but because I have your heart inside
of me, which I will protect as carefully as a nurse her
baby. Dont expect to get your heart back from me
when mine is dead. You gave it to me forever, never to
be returned.

29
When in disgrace with fortune and mens eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heav'n with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this mans art, and that mans scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heavens gate.
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth
brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

29
When Im in disgrace with everyone and my luck has
deserted me, I sit all alone and cry about the fact that
Im an outcast, and bother God with useless cries,
which fall on deaf ears, and look at myself and curse
my fate, wishing that I had more to hope for, wishing I
had this mans good looks and that mans friends, this
mans skills and that mans opportunities, and totally
dissatisfied with the things I usually enjoy the most.
Yet, as Im thinking these thoughts and almost hating
myself, I happen to think about you, and then my
condition improveslike a lark at daybreak rising up
and leaving the earth far behind to sing hymns to God.
For when I remember your sweet love, I feel so
wealthy that Id refuse to change places even with
kings.

40
Take all my loves, my love; yea, take them all.
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?

40
Take all my loves, my loveyes, take them all: Take
my love for you, take away your love for me, and take

No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call.


All mine was thine before thou hadst this more.
Then if for my love thou my love receivest,
I cannot blame thee, for my love thou usest.
But yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest
By wilful taste of what thyself refusest.
I do forgive thy robb'ry, gentle thief,
Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
And yet love knows it is a greater grief
To bear loves wrong than hates known injury.
Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows,
Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes.

a lover from me. What do you have now that you


didnt have before? My love, you havent acquired
true love, because my true love was yours to begin
with, before you took this extra from me. If, instead of
accepting my love, you make love to the person, love,
I cant blame you, because youre only taking
advantage of my love. But, you should be blamed if
you deceive yourself by taking from one person what
you wont take from anotherif you willingly make
love to one person while refusing to make love to me.
I forgive you for stealing from me, gentle thief,
although youre taking the little I have. And yet every
lover knows that it hurts more to be injured by a lover
than by an enemy. You, who are gracious even when
succumbing to lust, you in whom everything bad looks
goodeven if you kill me with injuries, lets not
become enemies.

43
When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And, darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright

How would thy shadows form form happy show


To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so?
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessd made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay?
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show
thee me.

43
My eyes work best when Im asleep, because all day
they look at things I dont care about. When I sleep,
my dreaming eyes alight on you and glitter brightly in
the dark, having found your bright image there. Given
that your shadowy dream-image brightens even the
dark, how bright might you appear in daylight, when
your own light is so much clearer? How bright, when
your shadow shines so brightly to my eyes blinded by
darkness? What good would it do my eyes to see you
in the daytime when they already look at your
beautiful image in the dead of night, as I sleep? Every
day is as dark as night until I get to see you again, and
every night is as bright as day when I see you in my
dreams.

141
In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes,
For they in thee a thousand errors note;
But tis my heart that loves what they despise,
Who in despite of view is pleased to dote.
Nor are mine ears with thy tongues tune delighted,
Nor tender feeling to base touches prone,
Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited
To any sensual feast with thee alone.
But my five wits, nor my five senses, can
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,
Who leaves unswayed the likeness of a man,
Thy proud hearts slave and vassal wretch to be.
Only my plague thus far I count my gain,
That she that makes me sin awards me pain.

141
I swear, I dont love you with my eyes: They notice a
thousand flaws in you. Rather, its my heart that loves
what my eyes despise; despite what you look like, my
heart dotes on you. Nor are my ears delighted by the
sound of your voice. Nor do I want to abuse my
delicate sense of touch by groping you. Nor do my
sense of taste or smell want to be invited to any feast
of the senses in which youre the main course. But
neither my brain nor my five senses can dissuade my
foolish heart from being your servant. My body stands
here like an empty shell with no one to control it,
while my heart goes off to be your slave and wretched
property. I gain one thing from being plagued with
love for this woman: The same woman whos making

me sin rewards me with pain.


142
Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,
Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving.
O 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 profaned their scarlet ornaments
And sealed false bonds of love as oft as mine,
Robbed others' beds' revnues of their rents.
Be it lawful I love thee as thou lovst those
Whom thine eyes woo as mine imprtune thee.
Root pity in thy heart, that when it grows,
Thy pity may deserve to pitied be.
If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide,
By self-example mayst thou be denied.

142
Loving you is my sin, and your precious virtue
consists in hating my sin, a hate grounded in your own
sinful loving. But compare my moral state with your
own, and youll see I dont deserve to be reprimanded,
or if I do, not from those lips of yours, which youve
dishonored by using too much. Your lips have kissed
as many people and made as many false promises as
mine have, and both of us have cheated on our
partners, giving away sexual favors where they dont
belong. If I may be allowed to love you the same way
you love those other men whom you seduce with your
glances, have a little pity for me; then youll deserve
to be pitied yourself. If you want people to take pity
on you and sleep with you, but you dont show pity for
me, you might be turned down because of your own
example.

148
O me! what eyes hath love put in my head,
Which have 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
Loves eye is not so true as all mens: no,
How can it? O how can loves 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 keepst me blind,
Lest eyes well seeing thy foul faults should find.

148
Oh, me! What kind of eyes has love put into my head
that I dont see anything accurately? Or if my eyes do
see correctly, whats happened to my judgment to
make me wrongly criticize what they see? If the
woman I love to look at is beautiful, why does the rest
of the world say shes not? If shes not, then a person
in love doesnt see as accurately as others. Nohow
can a lover see right? Oh, how can a lovers eye work
properly when its so distressed by staying awake and
crying? Its no wonder then that Im wrong about what
I see; the sun itself doesnt see anything until the sky
is clear. Oh, ingenious love, you keep me blind with
tears so I wont discover my lovers foul faults, as I
would if my eyes worked properly.