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For to no other pass my verses tend,
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;

And more, much more, than in my verse can sit,
Your own glass shows you, when you look in it.

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To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were, when first your eye l ey'd,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride”;
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'do,
In process of the seasons have I seen;
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv'd?;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion®, and mine eye may be deceiv'd :

For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred.-
Ere you were born, was beauty's summer dead.

“ When workmen strive to do better than well,

“ They do confound their skill.” Steevens. Again, more appositely, in King Lear:

“Striving to better, oft we mar what's well." Malone. s Have from the forests shook TAREE SUMMERS' PRIDE,] So, in Romeo and Juliet : “Let two more summers wither in their pride."

STEEVENS. 6 Three beauteous SPRINGS to yelLOW AUTUMN turn'd.] So, in Macbeth:

“— my way of life

“ Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf." MALONE. 7 Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-hand,

STEAL from his figure, and no PACE PERCEIV'D:] So, before:

“ Thou by thy dial's shady stealth may know

“ Time's thievish progress to eternity." Again, in King Richard III. :

“ - mellow'd by the stealing hours of time.” Malone.

Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idol show,
Since all alike my songs and praises be,
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence ;
Therefore my verse to constancy confin'd,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument,
Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent,
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.

Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone,
Which three, till now, never kept seat in one.

When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme,
In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights,
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow?,
I see their antique pen would have express'd
Even such a beauty as you master now?.

8 So your sweet hue, which methinks STILL DOTH STAND, Hath motion,] So, in The Winter's Tale :

“ The fixure of her eye hath motion in it.” Malone. Again, in Othello:

" - for the time of scorn

“ To point his slow, unmoving finger at.” Steevens. , 9 Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,

Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,] So, in Twelfth Night:

“ Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, &c.

“ Do give thee five-fold blazon." STEEVENS.
- such a beauty as you master row.] So, in King Henry V.;

“ Between the promise of his greener days,
“ And those he masters now." STEEVENS.


So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And for they look'd but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing ? :

For we which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise

CVII. Not mine own fears, nor the prophetick soul Of the wide world dreaming on things to come, Can yet the lease of my true love control, Suppos'd as forfeit to a confin'd doom. The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd“, And the sad augurs mock their own presage' ; Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd, And peace proclaims olives of endless age. Now with the drops of this most balmy time My love looks fresh, and death to me subscribes, Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme, While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes 6 :

2 They had not skill enough your worth to sing :] The old copy has :

« They had not still enough." For the present emendation the reader is indebted to Mr. Tyr. whitt. MALONE. 3 — the PROPHETICK SOUL-1 So, in Hamlet:

“ Oh my prophetick soul! mine uncle." STBEVENS. 4 The MORTAL MOON hath her ECLIPSE endur'd,] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :

“ Alas, our terrene moon is now eclips'd !Steevens. 5 And the sad augurs Mock their own presage,] I suppose he means that they laugh at the futility of their own predictions.

STEBVENS. 6 - and death to me suBSCRIBES,

Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme,

While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes ;7 To subscribe, is to acknowledge as a superior, to obey. So, in Troilus and Cressida:

“ For Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes
“ To tender objects." Malone.

And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent.

What's in the brain that ink may character,
Which hath not figur'd to thee my true spirit ?
What's new to speak, what new to register?,
That may express my love, or thy dear merit ?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must each day say o'er the very same;
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case $
Weighs not the dust and injury of age",
Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place,
But makes antiquity for aye his page;

Finding the first conceit of love there bred, Where time and outward form would show it dead.

0, never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify.
As easy might I from myself depart,
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie':

So, in Dr. Young's Busiris ;

“ Like death, a solitary king I'll reign,

O'er silent subjects and a desert plain." Steevens. 7 - what new to register,] The quarto is here manifestly erroneous. It reads :

“ what now to register.” Malone. Why manifestly erroneous ? 'What can I say now more than I have said already in your praise?' BOSWELL.

8 – in love's fresh case-] By the case of love the poet means his own compositions. Malone

9 Weighs not the dust, &c.] A passage in Love's Labour's Lost will at once exemplify and explain this phrase : “ You weigh me not,-0, that's you care not for me."


That is my home of love: if I have rang'd,
Like him that travels, I return again?;
Just to the time, not with the time exchang'd,-
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, though in my nature reign'd
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood",
That it could so preposterously be stain'd,
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good;

For nothing this wide universe I call,
Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.

СХ. Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there, And made myself a motley to the view * ; Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most

dear, Made old offences of affections new:

As from my soul, which in THY BREAST doth lie:] So, in Love's Labour's Lost :

“ Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast." See also Venus and Adonis, p. 45, n. 8. Malone. ? That is my home of love : if I have rang’d,

Like him that travels, I RETURN again ;] Thus, in a Midsummer-Night's Dream :

“ My heart with her but as guest-wise sojourn'd,

“ And now to Helen it is home return'd." So also, Prior:

“ No matter what beauties I saw in my way,
“ They were but my visits, but thou art my home."

MALONE. 3 All frailties that BESIEGE all kinds of blond,] So, in Timon of Athens :

“ Nature,

“ To whom all sores lay siege.” Steevens. 4 And made myself a MOTLEY to the view,] Appeared like a fool (of whom the dress was formerly a motley coat). Malone.

s Gor'd mine own thoughts,] I know not whether this be a quaintness, or a corruption. Steevens.

The text is probably not corrupt, for our author has employed the same word in Troilus and Cressida :

“My fame is shrewdly gor'd."

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