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When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of out-worn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store ;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay,
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate-
That Time will come and take my Love away:

—This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.




Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'ersways their power,

How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?

O how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout
Nor gates of steel so strong, but time decays?

O fearful meditation! where, alack!
Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid ?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back,
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid ?

O! none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.



Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.

There will we sit upon the rocks
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

There will I make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair linéd slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy buds
With coral clasps and amber studs :
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my Love.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning :
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.




Crabbed Age and Youth
Cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care;

Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather,
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare :
Youth is full of sport,
Age's breath is short,

Youth is nimble, Age is lame :
Youth is hot and bold,

Age is weak and cold,

Youth is wild, and Age is tame :

Age, I do abhor thee;

Youth, I do adore thee;

O! my Love, my Love is young!
Age, I do defy thee-

O sweet shepherd, hie thee,

For methinks thou stay'st too long.



Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,

And tune his merry note

Unto the sweet bird's throatCome hither, come hither, come hither! Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun
And loves to live i' the sun,

Seeking the food he eats

And pleased with what he getsCome hither, come hither, come hither! Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.



It was a lover and his lass

With a hey and a ho, and a hey-nonino ! That o'er the green cornfield did pass In the spring time, the only pretty ring time, When birds do sing hey ding a ding: Sweet lovers love the Spring.

Between the acres of the rye
These pretty country folks would lie :

This carol they began that hour,
How that life was but a flower :

And therefore take the present time

With a hey and a ho, and a hey-nonino !
For love is crownéd with the prime
In spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing hey ding a ding:
Sweet lovers love the Spring.




Absence, hear thou my protestation
Against thy strength,

Distance, and length;

Do what thou canst for alteration:

For hearts of truest mettle

Absence doth join, and Time doth settle.

Who loves a mistress of such quality,
He soon hath found
Affection's ground

Beyond time, place, and all mortality.
To hearts that cannot vary

Absence is Presence, Time doth tarry.

By absence this good means I gain,
That I can catch her,

Where none can watch her,

In some close corner of my brain :
There I embrace and kiss her;
And so I both enjoy and miss her.




Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire ?
I have no precious time at all to spend
Nor services to do, till you require :

Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu :

Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are, how happy you make those ;-

So true a fool is love, that in your will

Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.


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