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Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
'Gainst whom the world could not hold argument,
Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
A woman I forswore; but I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee:
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;
Thy grace being gained cures all disgrace in me.
My vow was breath, and breath a vapor is:
Then, thou fair sun, that on this earth doth shine,
Exhale this vapor vow; in thee it is:
If broken, then it is no fault of mine.

If by mc broke, what fool is not so wise

To lose an oath to win a paradise?'

1 The foregoing Sonnet appears, with some variations, in Love'a Labor 's Lost, the first edition of which was printed in 1598. We give the lines in which the variations occur: —

"'Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument."
"Voios are but breath, and breath a vapor is;

Then thou fair sun, which on my earth dost shine,

ExhaVsl this vapor vow; in thee it is."

The text of the play is evidently superior to that in The Passionate Pilgrim.

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Sweet Cytherca, sitting by a brook,

With young Adonis, lovely, fresh, and green,

Did court the lad with many a lovely look,

Such looks as none could look but beauty's queen.

She told him stories to delight his ear;

She showed him favors to allure his eye;

To win his heart, she touched him here and there:

Touches so soft still conquer chastity.

But whether unripe years did want conceit,

Or he refused to take her figured proffer,

The tender uibbler would not touch the bait,

But smile and jest at every gentle offer:

Then fell she on her back, fair queen, and toward;

He rose and ran away; ah, fool, too froward!


If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?

O, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vowed:

Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll constant prove;

Those thoughts, to me like oaks, to thee like osiers bowed.

Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine eyes,

Where all those pleasures live that art can comprehend.

If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice;

Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend;

AH ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;

Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire:

Thine Lvc Jove's lightning seems, thy voice his dreadful thunder.

Which (not to anger bent) is music and sweet fire.

Celestial as thou art, O, do not love that wrong, To sing the heavens' praise with such an earthly tongue.1


Scarce had the sun dried up the dewy morn,

And scarce the herd gone to the hedge for shade,

When Cythcrea, all in love forlorn,

A longing tarriance for Adonis made,

Under an osier growing by a brook,

A brook where Adon used to cool his spleen.

Hot was the day, she hotter that did look

For his approach, that often there had been.

Anon he comes, and throws his mantle by,

And stood stark naked on the brook's green brim:

The sun looked on the world with glorious eye,

Yet not so wistly as this queen on him:

He, spying her, bounced in, whereas he stood;

O Jove, quoth she, why was not I a flood?

Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle;

Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty:

Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle;

Softer than wax, and yet, as iron, rusty:
A lily pale, with damask die to grace her,
None fairer, nor none falser to deface her.

1 This Sonnet also occurs in Love's Labor's Lost, in which copy there are variations in several lines. In the second wo read, "Ah, never faith ;" in the third, "faithful prove ;" in the fourth, 'were oaks ;" in the sixth, " would comprehend ;" in the eleventh, 'lightning bears.'1'' The concluding lines are as follows : —

"Celestial as thou art, O pardon, love, this wrong,
That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue."

Her lips to mine how often hath she joined,
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swear-
How many tales to please me hath she coined,
Dreading my love, the loss thereof still fearing!
Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings,
Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jest-

She burned with love, as straw with fire flameth,
She burned out love, as soon as straw outburneth;
She framed the love, and yet she foiled the fram-
She bade love last, and yet she fell a turning.

Was this a lover, or a lecher whether?

Bad in the best, though excellent in neither.


If music and sweet poetry agree,
As they must needs, the sister and the brother,
Then must the love be great 'twixt thee and me,
Because thou lov'st the one, and I the other.
Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch
Upon the lute doth ravish human sense;
Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such,
As, passing all conceit, needs no defence.
Thou lov'st to hear the sweet melodious sound
That Phoebus' lute, the queen of music, makes ,
And I in deep delight am chiefly drowned,
Whenas himself to singing he betakes.

One god is god of both, as potts feign;

One knight loves both, and both in thee remain.


Fair was the morn, when the fair queen of love,1 ********

Paler for sorrow than her milk-white dove,

For Adon's sake, a youngster proud and wild;

Her stand she takes upon a steep-up hill;

Anon Adonis comes with horn and hounds;

She, silly queen, with more than love's good will,

Forbade the boy he should not pass those grounds;

Once, quoth she, did I see a fair, sweet youth

Here in these brakes deep-wounded with a boar,

Deep in the thigh, a spectacle of ruth!

See in my thigh, quoth she, here was the sore:
She showed hers; he saw more wounds than one,
And blushing fled, and left her all alone.


Sweet rose, fair flower, untimely plucked, soon vaded,1

Plucked in the bud, and vaded in the spring!

Bright orient pearl, alack! too timely shaded!

Fair creature, killed too soon by death's sharp sting!
Like a green plum that hangs upon a tree,
And falls, through wind, before the fall should be.

I weep for thee, and yet no cause I have;
For why? thou left'st me nothing in thy will.
And yet thou left'et me more than I did crave;
For why? I craved nothing of thee still:

0 yes, dear friend, I pardon crave of thee;
Thy discontent thou didst bequeath to me.

1 The second line is lost.

s Vaded, faded. This form of the word often occurs in Shakijrearc, and has been too frequently changed in reprints. Vol. Viii. 30

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