Shakespeares Sonnets - The Alternative Text

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Edition: current; Page: [ 15 ] 20 A WOMANS face with natures owne hand painted, Haste thou the Master Mistris of my passion, A womans gentle hart but not acquainted With shifting change as is false womens fashion, An eye more bright then theirs, lesse false in rowling, Gilding the obiect where-vpon it gazeth: A man in hew all Hews in his controwling, Which steales mens eyes and womens soules amaseth.

And for a woman wert thou first created, Till nature as she wrought thee fell a dotinge, And by addition me of thee defeated, By adding one thing to my purpose nothing. But since she prickt thee out for womens pleasure, Mine be thy loue and thy loues vse their treasure. O let me true in loue but truly write, And then beleeue me, my loue is as faire, As any mothers childe, though not so bright As those gould candells fixt in heauens ayer: Let them say more that like of heare-say well, I will not prayse that purpose not to sell.


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Edition: current; Page: [ 16 ] 22 MY glasse shall not perswade me I am ould, So long as youth and thou are of one date, But when in thee times forrwes I behould, Then look I death my daies should expiate. For all that beauty that doth couer thee, Is but the seemely rayment of my heart, Which in thy brest doth liue, as thine in me, How can I then be elder then thou art? O learne to read what silent loue hath writ, To heare with eies belongs to loues fine wit. Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art, They draw but what they see, know not the hart.

The painefull warrier famosed for worth, After a thousand victories once foild, Is from the booke of honour rased quite, And all the rest forgot for which he toild: Then happy I that loue and am beloued Where I may not remoue, nor be remoued. Edition: current; Page: [ 18 ] 26 LORD of my loue, to whome in vassalage Thy merrit hath my dutie strongly knit; To thee I send this written ambassage To witnesse duty, not to shew my wit.

Duty so great, which wit so poore as mine May make seeme bare, in wanting words to shew it; But that I hope some good conceipt of thine In thy soules thought all naked will bestow it: Til whatsoeuer star that guides my mouing, Points on me gratiously with faire aspect, And puts apparrell on my tottered louing, To show me worthy of thy sweet respect, Then may I dare to boast how I doe loue thee, Til then, not show my head where thou maist proue me.

For then my thoughts from far where I abide Intend a zelous pilgrimage to thee, And keepe my drooping eye-lids open wide, Looking on darknes which the blind doe see.

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Saue that my soules imaginary sight Presents thy shaddoe to my sightles view, Which like a iewell hunge in gastly night Makes blacke night beautious, and her old face new. Loe thus by day my lims, by night my mind, For thee, and for my selfe, noe quiet finde. When daies oppression is not eazd by night, But day by night and night by day oprest. And each though enimes to ethers raigne Doe in consent shake hands to torture me, The one by toyle, the other to complaine How far I toyle, still farther off from thee. But day doth daily draw my sorrowes longer, And night doth nightly make greefes length seeme stronger.

Then can I greeue at greeuances fore-gon, And heauily from woe to woe tell ore The sad account of fore-bemoned mone, Which I new pay as if not payd before. But if the while I thinke on thee deare friend All losses are restord, and sorrowes end.

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Thou art the graue where buried loue doth liue, Hung with the tropheis of my louers gon, Who all their parts of me to thee did giue, That due of many, now is thine alone. Oh then voutsafe me but this louing thought, Had my friends Muse growne with this growing age, A dearer birth then this his loue had brought To march in ranckes of better equipage: But since he died and Poets better proue, Theirs for their stile ile read, his for his loue. Yet him for this, my loue no whit disdaineth, Suns of the world may staine, when heauens sun staineth.

Ah but those teares are pearle which thy loue sheeds, And they are ritch, and ransome all ill deeds. All men make faults, and euen I in this, Authorizing thy trespas with compare, My selfe corrupting saluing thy amisse, Excusing their sins more then their sins are: For to thy sensuall fault I bring in sence, Thy aduerse party is thy Aduocate, And gainst my selfe a lawfull plea commence: Such ciuill war is in my loue and hate, That I an accessary needs must be, To that sweet theefe which sourely robs from me.


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  • Edition: current; Page: [ 23 ] 36 LET me confesse that we two must be twaine, Although our vndeuided loues are one: So shall those blots that do with me remaine, Without thy helpe, by me be borne alone. In our two loues there is but one respect, Though in our liues a seperable spight, Which though it alter not loues sole effect, Yet doth it steale sweet houres from loues delight.

    I may not euer-more acknowledge thee, Least my bewailed guilt should do thee shame, Nor thou with publike kindnesse honour me, Vnlesse thou take that honour from thy name: But doe not so, I loue thee in such sort, As thou being mine, mine is thy good report. Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth Then those old nine which rimers inuocate, And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth Eternal numbers to out-liue long date. If my slight Muse doe please these curious daies, The paine be mine, but thine shal be the praise. What can mine owne praise to mine owne selfe bring? And that thou teachest how to make one twaine, By praising him here who doth hence remaine.

    Edition: current; Page: [ 25 ] 40 TAKE all my loues, my loue, yea take them all, What hast thou then more then thou hadst before? Lasciuious grace, in whom all il wel showes, Kill me with spights, yet we must not be foes. Thy beautie, and thy yeares full well befits, For still temptation followes where thou art. Gentle thou art, and therefore to be wonne, Beautious thou art, therefore to be assailed. And when a woman woes, what womans sonne, Will sourely leaue her till he haue preuailed? Aye me, but yet thou mighst my seate forbeare, And chide thy beauty, and thy straying youth, Who lead thee in their ryot euen there Where thou art forst to breake a two-fold truth: Hers by thy beauty tempting her to thee, Thine by thy beautie beeing false to me.

    Louing offendors thus I will excuse yee, Thou doost loue her, because thou knowst I loue her, And for my sake euen so doth she abuse me, Suffring my friend for my sake to aprooue her. Then thou whose shaddow shaddowes doth make bright, How would thy shadowes forme, forme happy show, To the cleere day with thy much cleerer light, When to vn-seeing eyes thy shade shines so? How would I say mine eyes be blessed made, By looking on thee in the liuing day?

    When in dead night thy faire imperfect shade, Through heauy sleepe on sightlesse eyes doth stay?

    All dayes are nights to see till I see thee, And nights bright daies when dreams do shew thee me. Edition: current; Page: [ 27 ] 44 IF the dull substance of my flesh were thought, Iniurious distance should not stop my way, For then dispight of space I would be brought, From limits farre remote, where thou doost stay. But ah, thought kills me that I am not thought To leape large lengths of miles when thou art gone, But that so much of earth and water wrought, I must attend times leasure with my mone.

    Receiuing naught by elements so sloe, But heauie teares, badges of eithers woe. For when these quicker Elements are gone In tender Embassie of loue to thee, My life being made of foure, with two alone, Sinkes downe to death, opprest with melancholie. This told, I ioy, but then no longer glad, I send them back againe and straight grow sad. Edition: current; Page: [ 28 ] 46 MINE eye and heart are at a morrall warre, How to deuide the conquest of thy sight, Mine eye, my heart thy pictures sight would barre, My heart, mine eye the freedome of that right, My heart doth plead that thou in him doost lye, A closet neuer pearst with christall eyes But the defendant doth that plea deny, And sayes in him thy faire appearance lyes.

    To side this title is impannelled A quest of thoughts, all tennants to the heart, And by their verdict is determined The cleere eyes moyitie, and the deare hearts part. As thus, mine eyes due is thy outward part, And my hearts right, thy inward loue of heart. So either by thy picture or my loue, Thy selfe away, are present still with me, For thou nor farther then my thoughts canst moue, And I am still with them, and they with thee.

    Or if they sleepe, thy picture in my sight Awakes my heart, to hearts and eyes delight. Edition: current; Page: [ 29 ] 48 HOW carefull was I when I tooke my way, Each trifle vnder truest barres to thrust, That to my vse it might vn-vsed stay From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust?

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    But thou, to whom my iewels trifles are, Most worthy comfort, now my greatest griefe, Thou best of deerest, and mine onely care, Art left the prey of euery vulgar theefe. Thee haue I not lockt vp in any chest, Saue where thou art not though I feele thou art, Within the gentle closure of my brest, From whence at pleasure thou maist come and part, And euen thence thou wilt be stolne I feare, For truth prooues theeuish for a prize so deare. Against that time do I insconce me here Within the knowledge of mine owne desart, And this my hand, against my selfe vpreare, To guard the lawfull reasons on thy part.

    To leaue poore me, thou hast the strength of lawes, Since why to loue, I can alledge no cause. Edition: current; Page: [ 30 ] 50 HOW heauie doe I iourney on the way, When what I seeke my wearie trauels end Doth teach that ease and that repose to say Thus farre the miles are measurde from thy friend. O what excuse will my poore beast then find, When swift extremity can seeme but slow? Then should I spurre though mounted on the wind, In winged speed no motion shall I know, Then can no horse with my desire keepe pace, Therefore desire of perfect loue being made Shall naigh noe dull flesh in his fiery race, But loue, for loue, thus shall excuse my iade, Since from thee going, he went wilfull slow, Towards thee ile run, and giue him leaue to goe.

    Therefore are feasts so sollemne and so rare, Since sildom comming in the long yeare set, Like stones of worth they thinly placed are, Or captaine Iewells in the carconet. Blessed are you whose worthinesse giues skope, Being had to tryumph, being lackt to hope.

    Since euery one, hath euery one, one shade, And you but one, can euery shaddow lend: Describe Adonis and the counterfet, Is poorely immitated after you, On Hellens cheeke all art of beautie set, And you in Grecian tires are painted new: Speake of the spring, and foyzon of the yeare, The one doth shaddow of your beautie show, The other as your bountie doth appeare, And you in euery blessed shape we know. In all externall grace you haue some part, But you like none, none you for constant heart.

    Sweet Roses doe not so, Of their sweet deathes, are sweetest odors made: And so of you, beautious and louely youth, When that shall vade, by verse distils your truth. When wastefull warre shall Statues ouer-turne, And broiles roote out the worke of masonry, Nor Mars his sword, nor warres quick fire shall burne The liuing record of your memory.

    Gainst death, and all-obliuious enmity Shall you pace forth, your praise shall stil finde roome, Euen in the eyes of all posterity That weare this world out to the ending doome.

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    So til the iudgement that your selfe arise, You liue in this, and dwell in louers eies. Edition: current; Page: [ 33 ] 56 SWEET loue renew thy force, be it not said Thy edge should blunter be then apetite, Which but too daie by feeding is alaied, To morrow sharpned in his former might. So loue be thou, although too daie thou fill Thy hungrie eies, euen till they winck with fulnesse, Too morrow see againe, and doe not kill The spirit of Loue, with a perpetual dulnesse: Let this sad Intrim like the Ocean be Which parts the shore, where two contracted new, Come daily to the banckes, that when they see Returne of loue, more blest may be the view.