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Thy beauty and thy years full well befits,
For still temptation follows where thou art.
Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won,
Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assail'd2;
And when a woman woos, what woman's son
Will sourly leave her till she have prevail'd3.
Ah me! but yet thou might'st, my sweet, forbear4,
And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth,
Who lead thee in their riot even there
Where thou art forc'd to break a two-fold truth;
Hers, by thy beauty tempting her to thee,
Thine, by thy beauty being false to me.

• i

1 Gentle thou art, and therefore to be Won, Beauteous thou art, therefore to be Assail'd;] So, in the first Part of King Henry VI.:

"She's beautiful, and therefore to be woo'd; "She is a woman, therefore to be won." Stebvens. Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:

"That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man,"If with his tongue he cannot win a woman." Malone. 3 — till She have prevail'd.] The quarto reads :—till he have prevail'd. But the lady, and not the man, being in this case supposed the wooer, the poet without doubt wrote:"— till she have prevail'd." The emendation was proposed to me by Mr. Tyrwhitt.


♦ — but yet thou might'st, my Sweet, forbear.] The old copy reads—thou might'st my seat forbear. The context proves it to have been a corruption: for the emendation I am responsible. So, in another Sonnet:

"in my sight,

"Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside." Again, in our author's Lover's Complaint:

"But O, my sweet, what labour is't to leave," &c.
Again, in Othello:

"The sooner, sweet, for you."
Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:"Pro. Except my mistress.

"Vol. Sweet, except not any."
Here a man is addressed by a man.
Again, in Troilus and Cressida:

"Sweet, rouse yourself." Patroclus is the speaker, and Achilles the person addressed.



That thou hast her, it is not all my grief, And yet it may be said I lov'd her dearly;That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief, A loss in love that touches me more nearly. Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye:— Thou dost love her, because thou knew'st I love her;And for my sake even so doth she abuse me, Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her. If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain5, And losing her, my friend hath found that loss;Both find each other, and I lose both twain, And both for my sake lay on me this cross:But here's the joy; my friend and I are one;Sweet flattery !—then she loves but me alone.

XLIII. When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected6;
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

How would thy shadow's 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 blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade 7
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay?

Mr. Boaden is of opinion that the context shews the original word to be right. Iago, as he observes, uses the word seat with the same meaning, vol. ix. p. 315. Boswell.

J If I lose thee, my loss is my Love's gain,] If I lose thee, my mistress gains by my loss. Malone.

6 — things Unrespected] Things unnoticed, unregarded.

Malone.'— Thy fair imperfect shade—] The old copy reads—their.

All days are nights to see 8, till I see thee, And nights, bright days, when dreams do show thee me 9.


If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should not stop my way;
For then, despite of space, I would be brought
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay.
No matter then, although my foot did stand
Upon the farthest earth remov'd from thee;
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land
As soon as think the place where he would be.
But ah ! thought kills me, that I am not thought,
To leap large lengths of miles, when thou art gone,
But that, so much of earth and water wrought2,
I must attend time's leisure with my moan;
Receiving nought by elements so slow
But heavy tears, badges of either's woe:

The two words, it has been already observed, are frequently confounded in these Sonnets. Malone.

8 All days are nights to See,] We should, perhaps, read:"All days are nights to me." The compositor might have caught the word see from the end of the line. Malone.

As, fair to see (an expression which occurs in a hundred of our old ballads) signifies fair to sight, so,—all days are nights to see, means, all days are gloomy to behold, i. e. look like nights.


9 — do show Thee Me.] That is, do show thee to me.

Malone. 1 —can Jump both sea and land,] Jump has here its common signification. In Shakspeare it often signifies to hazard. This is its meaning in the well known passage in Macbeth:"We'djump the life to come." Malone.

2 — so much of Earth And Water Wrouoht,] i. e. being so thoroughly compounded of these two ponderous elements. Thus, in Antony and Cleopatra:

"— I am air and fire, my other elements "I give to baser life." Steevens. Again, in King Henry V.: "He is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him." Malone. XLV.

The other two, slight air and purging fire,
Are both with thee, wherever I abide;
The first my thought, the other my desire,
These present-absent with swift motion slide.
For when these quicker elements are gone
In tender embassy of love to thee,
My life, being made of four3, with two alone
Sinks down to death, oppress'd with melancholy;
Until life's composition be recur'd
By those swift messengers return'd from thee,
Who even but now come back again, assur'd
Of thy fair health 4, recounting it to me:
This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,
I send them back again, and straight grow sad.


Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war5,
How to divide the conquest of thy sight;
Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would bar6,
My heart mine eye the freedom of that right.
My heart doth plead, that thou in him dost lie,
(A closet never pierc'd with crystal eyes,)
But the defendant doth that plea deny,
And says in him thy fair appearance lies7.

3 My life, being made of four,—] So, in Twelfth Night:
"Does not our life consist ofthefour elements?"

Steevens. * Of Thy fair health,] The old copy has—their fair health.


5 Mine eye and heart are at a Mortal War,] So, in a passage in Golding's Translation of Ovid, 1576, which our author has imitated in The Tempest, vol. xv. p. 159:

"Among the earth-bred brothers you a mortal war did set.


6Thy picture's sight would bar,] Here also their was printed instead of thy. Malone,

'— Thy fair appearance lies.] The quarto has their. In this Sonnet, this mistake has happened four times. Malone.

To 'cide this title is impannelled 8

A quest of thoughts 9, all tenants to the heart;

And by their verdict is determined

The clear eye's moiety and the dear heart's part: As thus ; mine eye's due is thine outward part, And my heart's right thine inward love of heart.


Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
And each doth good turns now unto the other:
When that mine eye is famish'd for a look 2,
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 heart3:
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 *,
Thyself away, art present5 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 eye's delight.

8 To 'cide this title is impanelled—] To 'cide, for to decide. The old copy reads—side. Malone.

9 A auEST of thoughts,—] An inquest or jury. So, in King Richard III.:

"What lawful quest have given their verdict up"Unto the frowning judge?" Malone. 1 The clear eye's Moiety,—] Moiety in ancient language signifies any portion of a thing, though the whole may not be equally divided. Seep. 95, n. 1. Malone.

1 When that mine eye is Famish'd For A Look,] So, in The Comedy of Errors:

"While I at home starve fur a merry look." Malone.

* — Bids my heart:] i. e. invites my heart. See vol. v. p. 53, n. 1. Malone.

* So, either by Thy picture Or my love,] The modern editions read unintelligibly:

"So either by the picture ofmy love." Malone. S Thyself away, Art present—] i. e. Thyself, though away, art present, &c. The old copy is here evidently corrupt. It reads— are instead of art. Malone.

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