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Mine own self-love, quite contrary I read,
Self, so self-loving, were iniquity :
'Tis thee (myself) that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.
A LIVING MONUMENT.
NOT marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall out-live this powerful rhyme ;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents,
Than unswept stone besmear'd with sluttish time,
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry;
Nor Nar's sword, nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory,
Gainst death, and all oblivious enmity,
Shall you pace forth ; your praise shall still find room,
Even in the eyes of all posterity,
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So till the judgment, that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lover's eyes,
FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT.
SO am I as the rich, whose blessed key
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure,
The which he will not every hour survey.
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure,
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare;
Since seldom coming, in the long year set,
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,
Or captain jewels in the carconet.
So is the time that keeps you, as my chest,
Or as the wardrobe, which the robe doth hide,
To make some special instant special blest,
By new nnfolding his imprison'd pride.
Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope,
Being had to triumph, being lack'd to hope.
IS it thy will, thy image should keep open
My heavy eye-lids to the weary night ;
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
While shadows, like to thee, do mock my sight?
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee,
So far from home, into my deeds to pry?
To find out shames, and idle hours in me,
The scope and tenure of thy jealousy?
0! no, thy love, tho' much is not so great ;
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake;
Mine own true love, that doth my rest defeat,
To play the watchman ever for thy sake.
For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
From me far off, with others all too near.
NO longer mourn for me when I am dead;
When you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world, that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell.
Nay, if you read this line remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then, should make you woe.
O ! if (I say) you look upon this verse,
When (I perhaps) compounded ain with clay;
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay :
Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
And mock you with me, after I am gone.
O ! lest the world should task you to recite
What merit liv'd in me, that you should love;
After my death (dear love!) forget me quite,
For you in me can nothing worthy prove:
Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,
To do more for me now, than mine own desert,
And hang more praise upon deceased I,
Than niggard truth would willingly impart.
O ! Jest your true love may seem false in this,
Chat vou for love speak well of me untrue;
My name be buried where my body is,
And live no more to shame nor me, nor you ;
For I'm asham'd by that which I bring forth ;
And so should you, to love things nothing worth.
But be contented, when that fell arrest,
Without all bail, shall carry me away;
My life hath in this line some interest,
Which for memorial still with thee shall stay:
When thou reviewest this, thou dost review
The very part was consecrate to thee :
The earth can have but earth, which is his due;
My sprite is thine, the better part of me.
So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,
The prey of worms, my body being dead;
The coward conquest of a wretch's knife,
Too base, of thee to be remembered.
The worth of that is that which it contains;
And that is this, and this with thee remains.
THAT thou art blam'd, shall not be thy defect,
For slander's mark was ever yet the fair :
The ornament of beauty is suspect;
A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air.
So thou be good, slander doth but approve
Their worth be greater, being woo'd of time;
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,
And thou present'st a pure unstained prime.
Thou hast pass'd by the ambush of young days,
Either not assail'd, or victor, being charg'd;
Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,
To tie up envy evermore enlarg'd;
If some suspect of ill, njask not thy show,
Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts should'st owe.
O how I faint, when I of you do write !
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name :
And in the praise thereof spends all his might,
To make me tongue-ty'd, speaking of your fame.
But since your worth (wide as the ocean is)
The humble as the proudest sail doth bear;
My saucy bark (inferior far to his)
On your broad main doth wilfully appear.
Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat,
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride;
Or (being wreck’d) I am a worthless boat,
He of tall building, and of goodly pride.
Then if he thrive, and I be cast away,
The worst was this, my love was my decay.
Or shall I live your epitaph to make ?
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten ?
From hence your memory death cannot take,
Altho' in me each part will be forgotten.