Spring And Winter – William Shakespeare

WHEN daisies pied and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo! – O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
And merry larks are ploughmen’s clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo! – O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

When To The Sessions Of Sweet Silent – William Shakespeare

Sonnet 30:
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought 

I summon up remembrance of things past, 

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, 

And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste: 

Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, 

For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night, 

And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe, 

And moan the expense of many a vanished sight: 

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, 

And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er 

The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan, 

Which I new pay as if not paid before. 

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, 

All losses are restored and sorrows end.

Sonnets I – William Shakespeare

SHALL I compare thee to a Summer’s day? 

Thou art more lovely and more temperate: 

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, 

And Summer’s lease hath all too short a date: 

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, 

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d; 

And every fair from fair sometime declines, 

By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d: 

But thy eternal Summer shall not fade 

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; 

Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade, 

When in eternal lines to time thou growest: 

   So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, 

   So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

When I Consider Everything That Grows – William Shakespeare

Sonnet Xv:

When I consider everything that grows 

Holds in perfection but a little moment, 

That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows 

Whereon the stars in secret influence comment; 

When I perceive that men as plants increase, 

Cheered and check’d even by the selfsame sky, 

Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease, 

And wear their brave state out of memory; 

Then the conceit of this inconstant stay 

Sets you most rich in youth before my sight, 

Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay 

To change your day of youth to sullied night; 

And all in war with Time for love of you, 

As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

Sonnet Lx – William Shakespeare

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, 

So do our minutes hasten to their end; 

Each changing place with that which goes before, 

In sequent toil all forwards do contend. 

Nativity, once in the main of light, 

Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown’d, 

Crooked elipses ‘gainst his glory fight, 

And Time that gave doth now his gift confound. 

Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth 

And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow, 

Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth, 

And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow: 

And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand, 

Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds – William Shakespeare

Sonnet Cxvi:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds 

Admit impediments. Love is not love 

Which alters when it alteration finds, 

Or bends with the remover to remove: 

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 

That looks on tempests and is never shaken; 

It is the star to every wandering bark, 

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. 

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 

Within his bending sickle’s compass come: 

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 

But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 

If this be error and upon me proved, 

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Against My Love Shall Be As I Am Now – William Shakespeare

Sonnet 63:

Against my love shall be as I am now 

With Time’s injurious hand crushed and o’erworn, 

When hours have drained his blood and filled his brow 

With lines and wrinkles, when his youthful morn 

Hath travelled on to age’s steepy night, 

And all those beauties whereof now he’s king 

Are vanishing, or vanished out of sight, 

Stealing away the treasure of his spring: 

For such a time do I now fortify 

Against confounding age’s cruel knife, 

That he shall never cut from memory 

My sweet love’s beauty, though my lover’s life. 

His beauty shall in these black lines be seen, 

And they shall live, and he in them still green.

Those Lips That Love’s Own Hand Did Make – William Shakespeare

Sonnet 145:

Those lips that Love’s own hand did make 

Breathed forth the sound that said “I hate” 

To me that languished for her sake; 

But when she saw my woeful state, 

Straight in her heart did mercy come, 

Chiding that tongue that ever sweet 

Was used in giving gentle doom, 

And taught it thus anew to greet: 

“I hate” she altered with an end, 

That followed it as gentle day 

Doth follow night, who like a fiend 

From heaven to hell is flown away. 

“I hate” from hate away she threw, 

And saved my life, saying “not you.”

Poor Soul, The Centre Of My Sinful Earth – William Shakespeare

Sonnet 146:

Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth, 

My sinful earth these rebel powers array, 

Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth, 

Painting thy outward walls so costly gay? 

Why so large cost, having so short a lease, 

Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend? 

Shall worms, inheritors of this excess, 

Eat up thy charge? is this thy body’s end? 

Then soul live thou upon thy servant’s loss, 

And let that pine to aggravate thy store; 

Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross; 

Within be fed, without be rich no more. 

So shall thou feed on Death, that feeds on men, 

And Death once dead, there’s no more dying then.

 My Love Is As A Fever, Longing Still – William Shakespeare

Sonnet 147:

My love is as a fever, longing still 

For that which longer nurseth the disease, 

Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill, 

Th’ uncertain sickly appetite to please. 

My reason, the physician to my love, 

Angry that his prescriptions are not kept, 

Hath left me, and I desperate now approve 

Desire is death, which physic did except. 

Past cure I am, now reason is past care, 

And frantic-mad with evermore unrest; 

My thoughts and my discourse as mad men’s are, 

At random from the truth vainly expressed. 

For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, 

Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
William Shakespeare

Poem – When I Do Count The Clock That Tells The Time – William Shakespeare

Sonnet 12: 

When I do count the clock that tells the time, 

And see the brave day sunk in hideous night; 

When I behold the violet past prime, 

And sable curls all silvered o’er with white; 

When lofty trees I see barren of leaves 

Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, 

And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves 

Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard, 

Then of thy beauty do I question make 

That thou among the wastes of time must go, 

Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake 

And die as fast as they see others grow; 

And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence 

Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

Poem – To Me, Fair Friend, You Never Can Be Old – William Shakespeare

Sonnet 104: 
To me, fair friend, you never can be old, 

For as you were when first your eye I 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’d, 

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.

Poem –  From Fairest Creatures We Desire Increase – William Shakespeare

Sonnet 1:

From fairest creatures we desire increase, 

That thereby beauty’s rose might never die, 

But as the riper should by time decease, 

His tender heir might bear his memory; 

But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes, 

Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel, 

Making a famine where abundance lies, 

Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel. 

Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament, 

And only herald to the gaudy spring, 

Within thine own bud buriest thy content, 

And tender churl mak’st waste in niggarding. 

Pity the world, or else this glutton be: 

To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.

Poem – Love Is Too Young To Know What Conscience Is – William Shakespeare

Sonnet 151:

 Love is too young to know what conscience is; 

Yet who knows not conscience is born of love? 

Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss, 

Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove. 

For thou betraying me, I do betray 

My nobler part to my gross body’s treason; 

My soul doth tell my body that he may 

Triumph in love; flesh stays no farther reason, 

But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee 

As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride, 

He is contented thy poor drudge to be, 

To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side. 

No want of conscience hold it that I call, 

Her “love” for whose dear love I rise and fall.

Poem – Sweet And Twenty – William Shakespeare

O MISTRESS mine, where are you roaming?

 O, stay and hear! your true love ‘s coming, 

   That can sing both high and low: 

Trip no further, pretty sweeting; 

Journeys end in lovers meeting, 

   Every wise man’s son doth know. 
What is love? ’tis not hereafter; 

Present mirth hath present laughter; 

   What ‘s to come is still unsure: 

In delay there lies no plenty; 

Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty! 

   Youth ‘s a stuff will not endure.

Poem – Now The Hungry Lion Roars – William Shakespeare

From “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream,” Act V. Scene 2 
PUCK sings: 

NOW the hungry lion roars, 

And the wolf behowls the moon; 

Whilst the heavy ploughman snores, 

All with weary task fordone. 

Now the wasted brands do glow, 

Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud, 

Puts the wretch that lies in woe 

In remembrance of a shroud. 

Now it is the time of night, 

That the graves, all gaping wide, 

Every one lets forth his sprite, 

In the churchway paths to glide: 

And we fairies, that do run 

By the triple Hecate’s team, 

From the presence of the sun, 

Following darkness like a dream, 

Now are frolic; not a mouse 

Shall disturb this hallowed house: 

I am sent with broom before 

To sweep the dust behind the door.

Poem – Juliet’s Soliloquy – William Shakespeare

 
Farewell!–God knows when we shall meet again. 

I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins 

That almost freezes up the heat of life: 

I’ll call them back again to comfort me;– 

Nurse!–What should she do here? 

My dismal scene I needs must act alone.– 

Come, vial.– 

What if this mixture do not work at all? 

Shall I be married, then, to-morrow morning?– 

No, No!–this shall forbid it:–lie thou there.– 

What if it be a poison, which the friar 

Subtly hath minister’d to have me dead, 

Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour’d, 

Because he married me before to Romeo? 

I fear it is: and yet methinks it should not, 

For he hath still been tried a holy man:– 

I will not entertain so bad a thought.– 

How if, when I am laid into the tomb, 

I wake before the time that Romeo 

Come to redeem me? there’s a fearful point! 

Shall I not then be stifled in the vault, 

To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in, 

And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes? 

Or, if I live, is it not very like 

The horrible conceit of death and night, 

Together with the terror of the place,– 

As in a vault, an ancient receptacle, 

Where, for this many hundred years, the bones 

Of all my buried ancestors are pack’d; 

Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth, 

Lies festering in his shroud; where, as they say, 

At some hours in the night spirits resort;– 

Alack, alack, is it not like that I, 

So early waking,–what with loathsome smells, 

And shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth, 

That living mortals, hearing them, run mad;– 

O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught, 

Environed with all these hideous fears? 

And madly play with my forefathers’ joints? 

And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud? 

And, in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone, 

As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?– 

O, look! methinks I see my cousin’s ghost 

Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body 

Upon a rapier’s point:–stay, Tybalt, stay!– 

Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee.

Poem – Now The Hungry Lion Roars – William Shakespeare

From “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream,” Act V. Scene 2 
PUCK sings: 

NOW the hungry lion roars, 

And the wolf behowls the moon; 

Whilst the heavy ploughman snores, 

All with weary task fordone. 

Now the wasted brands do glow, 

Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud, 

Puts the wretch that lies in woe 

In remembrance of a shroud. 

Now it is the time of night, 

That the graves, all gaping wide, 

Every one lets forth his sprite, 

In the churchway paths to glide: 

And we fairies, that do run 

By the triple Hecate’s team, 

From the presence of the sun, 

Following darkness like a dream, 

Now are frolic; not a mouse 

Shall disturb this hallowed house: 

I am sent with broom before 

To sweep the dust behind the door.

Observations on As You Like It  – William Shakespeare 

William Shakespeare 26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616

William Shakespeare
26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616


As You Like It will be for many of you a rather difficult play to appreciate and interpret simply on the basis of a reading. The reasons for this are not difficult to ascertain. The play is, as I have observed, a pastoral comedy, that is, a comedy which involves a traditional literary style of moving sophisticated urban courtiers out into the countryside, where they have to deal with life in a very different manner from that of the aristocratic court. This play, like others in the Pastoral tradition, freely departs from naturalism, and in As You Like It (certainly by comparison with the History plays) there is little attempt to maintain any consistently naturalistic style. 
This can create problems for readers unfamiliar with the conventions of pastoral, especially those who find it just too artificial and incredible to grasp imaginatively. After all, how are we to understand the unmotivated family hatreds which launch the action? We are simply not given any sufficiently detailed look at why Oliver hates Orlando (he himself does not understand the reason) or why Duke Frederick hates Duke Senior and turns on Rosalind so suddenly or, what is most surprising of all, why the nasty people whose animosities have given rise to the plot so suddenly and so conveniently convert and become nice people just in time to wind the plot up happily under the supervision of the goddess Hymen, the Greek deity of marriage, who arrives as an unexpected but welcome guest. 
But these features of the plot which we might find unconvincing if we demand naturalism (that is, if we insist on treating the play as a “Hence” story) are little more than standard plot devices in “And then” stories, common in a genre like pastoral, which makes no claims to naturalistic motivation. Such plotting serves to launch and to conclude the comic confusion. The main point of the play here, after all, is not the working out of a carefully constructed plot, but rather the various encounters which take place in the Forest of Ardenne. In fact, the structure of the play is less a carefully complex and unfolding plot than a series of conversations between characters who happen to run into each other amid the trees. 
You will notice, for example, that most of the central part of As You Like It consists of often random encounters between different characters in the forest. In many cases, they have no particular reason to talk to each other. What these serve to bring out is a series of conversations about life (and particularly about love) in which we witness different attitudes clashing. The effect is to take us through a variety of responses to shared concerns and to get us responding to our own sense of the appropriate ways to deal with experience. 
To put this another way. The pastoral style of As You Like It does not encourage a deep psychological approach to any of the characters, to the logic of their motivation. If that’s what we demand from a story to make it interesting, then this play is not going to satisfy us. We are not in that sort of a world. There is far more direct pressure on us to see in the interactions between characters the exploration of some themes, especially issues concerning love. That is not to say that the characters are not theatrically interesting and worth talking about; it is rather to insist that the characters here are serving thematic purposes more obviously than they are in more psychologically plausible plays. So there’s little point in seeking to penetrate deeply into the plausibility of the psychological motivation or of the coincidences. 

To take one obvious example of a thematic concern, very common in pastoral, we notice in the play a repeated contrast between court and country life. The purpose here is not to provide some naturalistic contrast, for the picture of life in the country is obviously idealized a good deal (although not totally, for there are references to the harsher aspects of life away from the comforts of the court and to the realities of working for an absentee landlord). Nor is the purpose any romantic celebration of the values of country living as somehow more authentic than city life. The pastoral is primarily a vehicle for a (usually) gentle satire on urban values, on some of the corrupting manners of the court (like flattery and excessive attention to clothes or fine language). And we can see this clearly enough in this play. But there is no sense in As You Like It that, given a free choice, any of the principal characters (except Jaques) would actually prefer to live in the country rather than the court. 

The other great difficulty with As You Like It for inexperienced readers is much of the humour. Here again, what makes little sense on the page (and doesn’t come across as very funny) generally works much better in a production. This point is generally true of all comedy, where the physicality of the human interaction (something not always readily apparent from the text of the play alone) is an essential key to understanding and responding to what is going on. That aspect of comedy, especially Shakespearean comedy, is one reason why, in the curriculum of this course, the comedies are underrepresented. The only quick way to overcome this problem is to focus on seeing the play in production and there’s a useful BBC video version available in the college library. 
 

Poems – Spring

William Shakespeare 26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616

William Shakespeare
26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616


When daisies pied, and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he:
‘Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo!’ O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
And merry larks are ploughmen’s clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he:
‘Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo!’ O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.

Sonnet XCIII – William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare 26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616

William Shakespeare
26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616


So shall I live, supposing thou art true,
Like a deceived husband; so love’s face
May still seem love to me, though alter’d new;
Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place:
For there can live no hatred in thine eye,
Therefore in that I cannot know thy change.
In many’s looks the false heart’s history
Is writ in moods and frowns and wrinkles strange,
But heaven in thy creation did decree
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
Whate’er thy thoughts or thy heart’s workings be,
Thy looks should nothing thence but sweetness tell.
How like Eve’s apple doth thy beauty grow,
if thy sweet virtue answer not thy show!

The Procreation Sonnets (1 – 17) – William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare 26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616

William Shakespeare
26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616


I

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:
Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And, tender churl, mak’st waste in niggarding:
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.

II

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,
Thy youth’s proud livery so gazed on now,
Will be a totter’d weed of small worth held:
Then being asked, where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days;
To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserv’d thy beauty’s use,
If thou couldst answer ‘This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,’
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel’st it cold.

III

Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest
Now is the time that face should form another;
Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,
Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.
For where is she so fair whose unear’d womb
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
Or who is he so fond will be the tomb
Of his self-love, to stop posterity?
Thou art thy mother’s glass and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime;
So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,
Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.
But if thou live, remember’d not to be,
Die single and thine image dies with thee.

IV

Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
Upon thy self thy beauty’s legacy?
Nature’s bequest gives nothing, but doth lend,
And being frank she lends to those are free:
Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse
The bounteous largess given thee to give?
Profitless usurer, why dost thou use
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live?
For having traffic with thy self alone,
Thou of thy self thy sweet self dost deceive:
Then how when nature calls thee to be gone,
What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
Thy unused beauty must be tombed with thee,
Which, used, lives th’ executor to be.

V

Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Will play the tyrants to the very same
And that unfair which fairly doth excel;
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter, and confounds him there;
Sap checked with frost, and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o’er-snowed and bareness every where:
Then were not summer’s distillation left,
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Beauty’s effect with beauty were bereft,
Nor it, nor no remembrance what it was:
But flowers distill’d, though they with winter meet,
Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.

VI

Then let not winter’s ragged hand deface,
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distilled:
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place
With beauty’s treasure ere it be self-killed.
That use is not forbidden usury,
Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
That’s for thy self to breed another thee,
Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;
Ten times thy self were happier than thou art,
If ten of thine ten times refigured thee:
Then what could death do if thou shouldst depart,
Leaving thee living in posterity?
Be not self-willed, for thou art much too fair
To be death’s conquest and make worms thine heir.

VII

Lo! in the orient when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning head, each under eye
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
And having climbed the steep-up heavenly hill,
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
Attending on his golden pilgrimage:
But when from highmost pitch, with weary car,
Like feeble age, he reeleth from the day,
The eyes, ‘fore duteous, now converted are
From his low tract, and look another way:
So thou, thyself outgoing in thy noon
Unlooked on diest unless thou get a son.

VIII

Music to hear, why hear’st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy:
Why lov’st thou that which thou receiv’st not gladly,
Or else receiv’st with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering;
Resembling sire and child and happy mother,
Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing:
Whose speechless song being many, seeming one,
Sings this to thee: ‘Thou single wilt prove none.’

IX

Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye,
That thou consum’st thy self in single life?
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die,
The world will wail thee like a makeless wife;
The world will be thy widow and still weep
That thou no form of thee hast left behind,
When every private widow well may keep
By children’s eyes, her husband’s shape in mind:
Look what an unthrift in the world doth spend
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
But beauty’s waste hath in the world an end,
And kept unused the user so destroys it.
No love toward others in that bosom sits
That on himself such murd’rous shame commits.

X

For shame deny that thou bear’st love to any,
Who for thy self art so unprovident.
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
But that thou none lov’st is most evident:
For thou art so possessed with murderous hate,
That ‘gainst thy self thou stick’st not to conspire,
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
O! change thy thought, that I may change my mind:
Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?
Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind,
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove:
Make thee another self for love of me,
That beauty still may live in thine or thee.

XI

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow’st
In one of thine, from that which thou departest;
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow’st,
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth convertest.
Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase;
Without this folly, age, and cold decay:
If all were minded so, the times should cease
And threescore year would make the world away.
Let those whom nature hath not made for store,
Harsh, featureless, and rude, barrenly perish:
Look whom she best endow’d, she gave the more;
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish:
She carv’d thee for her seal, and meant thereby,
Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.

XII

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls, all silvered o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

XIII

O! that you were your self; but, love, you are
No longer yours, than you your self here live:
Against this coming end you should prepare,
And your sweet semblance to some other give:
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination; then you were
Yourself again, after yourself’s decease,
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold,
Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day
And barren rage of death’s eternal cold?
O! none but unthrifts. Dear my love, you know,
You had a father: let your son say so.

XIV

Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck;
And yet methinks I have Astronomy,
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well
By oft predict that I in heaven find:
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
If from thyself, to store thou wouldst convert;
Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
Thy end is truth’s and beauty’s doom and date.

XV

When I consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and checked even by the self-same sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with decay
To change your day of youth to sullied night,
And all in war with Time for love of you,
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

XVI

But wherefore do not you a mightier way
Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?
And fortify your self in your decay
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?
Now stand you on the top of happy hours,
And many maiden gardens, yet unset,
With virtuous wish would bear you living flowers,
Much liker than your painted counterfeit:
So should the lines of life that life repair,
Which this, Time’s pencil, or my pupil pen,
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,
Can make you live your self in eyes of men.
To give away yourself, keeps yourself still,
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.

XVII

Who will believe my verse in time to come,
If it were fill’d with your most high deserts?
Though yet heaven knows it is but as a tomb
Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts.
If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say ‘This poet lies;
Such heavenly touches ne’er touch’d earthly faces.’
So should my papers, yellow’d with their age,
Be scorn’d, like old men of less truth than tongue,
And your true rights be term’d a poet’s rage
And stretched metre of an antique song:
But were some child of yours alive that time,
You should live twice, in it, and in my rhyme.

When my love swears that she is made of truth – William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth,
Unlearnèd in the world’s false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue;
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O, love’s best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love, loves not to have years told.
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flattered be.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds – William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind – William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most freindship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun – William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

A Lover’s Complaint – William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare 1

FROM off a hill whose concave womb reworded
A plaintful story from a sistering vale,
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded,
And down I laid to list the sad-tuned tale;
Ere long espied a fickle maid full pale,
Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain,
Storming her world with sorrow’s wind and rain.

Upon her head a platted hive of straw,
Which fortified her visage from the sun,
Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
The carcass of beauty spent and done:
Time had not scythed all that youth begun,
Nor youth all quit; but, spite of heaven’s fell rage,
Some beauty peep’d through lattice of sear’d age.

Oft did she heave her napkin to her eyne,
Which on it had conceited characters,
Laundering the silken figures in the brine
That season’d woe had pelleted in tears,
And often reading what contents it bears;
As often shrieking undistinguish’d woe,
In clamours of all size, both high and low.

Sometimes her levell’d eyes their carriage ride,
As they did battery to the spheres intend;
Sometime diverted their poor balls are tied
To the orbed earth; sometimes they do extend
Their view right on; anon their gazes lend
To every place at once, and, nowhere fix’d,
The mind and sight distractedly commix’d.

Her hair, nor loose nor tied in formal plat,
Proclaim’d in her a careless hand of pride
For some, untuck’d, descended her sheaved hat,
Hanging her pale and pined cheek beside;
Some in her threaden fillet still did bide,
And true to bondage would not break from thence,
Though slackly braided in loose negligence.

A thousand favours from a maund she drew
Of amber, crystal, and of beaded jet,
Which one by one she in a river threw,
Upon whose weeping margent she was set;
Like usury, applying wet to wet,
Or monarch’s hands that let not bounty fall
Where want cries some, but where excess begs all.

Of folded schedules had she many a one,
Which she perused, sigh’d, tore, and gave the flood;
Crack’d many a ring of posied gold and bone
Bidding them find their sepulchres in mud;
Found yet moe letters sadly penn’d in blood,
With sleided silk feat and affectedly
Enswathed, and seal’d to curious secrecy.

These often bathed she in her fluxive eyes,
And often kiss’d, and often ‘gan to tear:
Cried ‘O false blood, thou register of lies,
What unapproved witness dost thou bear!
Ink would have seem’d more black and damned here!’
This said, in top of rage the lines she rents,
Big discontent so breaking their contents.

A reverend man that grazed his cattle nigh–
Sometime a blusterer, that the ruffle knew
Of court, of city, and had let go by
The swiftest hours, observed as they flew–
Towards this afflicted fancy fastly drew,
And, privileged by age, desires to know
In brief the grounds and motives of her woe.

So slides he down upon his grained bat,
And comely-distant sits he by her side;
When he again desires her, being sat,
Her grievance with his hearing to divide:
If that from him there may be aught applied
Which may her suffering ecstasy assuage,
‘Tis promised in the charity of age.

‘Father,’ she says, ‘though in me you behold
The injury of many a blasting hour,
Let it not tell your judgment I am old;
Not age, but sorrow, over me hath power:
I might as yet have been a spreading flower,
Fresh to myself, If I had self-applied
Love to myself and to no love beside.

‘But, woe is me! too early I attended
A youthful suit–it was to gain my grace–
Of one by nature’s outwards so commended,
That maidens’ eyes stuck over all his face:
Love lack’d a dwelling, and made him her place;
And when in his fair parts she did abide,
She was new lodged and newly deified.

‘His browny locks did hang in crooked curls;
And every light occasion of the wind
Upon his lips their silken parcels hurls.
What’s sweet to do, to do will aptly find:
Each eye that saw him did enchant the mind,
For on his visage was in little drawn
What largeness thinks in Paradise was sawn.

‘Small show of man was yet upon his chin;
His phoenix down began but to appear
Like unshorn velvet on that termless skin
Whose bare out-bragg’d the web it seem’d to wear:
Yet show’d his visage by that cost more dear;
And nice affections wavering stood in doubt
If best were as it was, or best without.

‘His qualities were beauteous as his form,
For maiden-tongued he was, and thereof free;
Yet, if men moved him, was he such a storm
As oft ‘twixt May and April is to see,
When winds breathe sweet, untidy though they be.
His rudeness so with his authorized youth
Did livery falseness in a pride of truth.

‘Well could he ride, and often men would say
‘That horse his mettle from his rider takes:
Proud of subjection, noble by the sway,
What rounds, what bounds, what course, what stop
he makes!’
And controversy hence a question takes,
Whether the horse by him became his deed,
Or he his manage by the well-doing steed.

‘But quickly on this side the verdict went:
His real habitude gave life and grace
To appertainings and to ornament,
Accomplish’d in himself, not in his case:
All aids, themselves made fairer by their place,
Came for additions; yet their purposed trim
Pieced not his grace, but were all graced by him.

‘So on the tip of his subduing tongue
All kinds of arguments and question deep,
All replication prompt, and reason strong,
For his advantage still did wake and sleep:
To make the weeper laugh, the laugher weep,
He had the dialect and different skill,
Catching all passions in his craft of will:

‘That he did in the general bosom reign
Of young, of old; and sexes both enchanted,
To dwell with him in thoughts, or to remain
In personal duty, following where he haunted:
Consents bewitch’d, ere he desire, have granted;
And dialogued for him what he would say,
Ask’d their own wills, and made their wills obey.

‘Many there were that did his picture get,
To serve their eyes, and in it put their mind;
Like fools that in th’ imagination set
The goodly objects which abroad they find
Of lands and mansions, theirs in thought assign’d;
And labouring in moe pleasures to bestow them
Than the true gouty landlord which doth owe them:

‘So many have, that never touch’d his hand,
Sweetly supposed them mistress of his heart.
My woeful self, that did in freedom stand,
And was my own fee-simple, not in part,
What with his art in youth, and youth in art,
Threw my affections in his charmed power,
Reserved the stalk and gave him all my flower.

‘Yet did I not, as some my equals did,
Demand of him, nor being desired yielded;
Finding myself in honour so forbid,
With safest distance I mine honour shielded:
Experience for me many bulwarks builded
Of proofs new-bleeding, which remain’d the foil
Of this false jewel, and his amorous spoil.

‘But, ah, who ever shunn’d by precedent
The destined ill she must herself assay?
Or forced examples, ‘gainst her own content,
To put the by-past perils in her way?
Counsel may stop awhile what will not stay;
For when we rage, advice is often seen
By blunting us to make our wits more keen.

‘Nor gives it satisfaction to our blood,
That we must curb it upon others’ proof;
To be forbod the sweets that seem so good,
For fear of harms that preach in our behoof.
O appetite, from judgment stand aloof!
The one a palate hath that needs will taste,
Though Reason weep, and cry, ‘It is thy last.’

‘For further I could say ‘This man’s untrue,’
And knew the patterns of his foul beguiling;
Heard where his plants in others’ orchards grew,
Saw how deceits were gilded in his smiling;
Knew vows were ever brokers to defiling;
Thought characters and words merely but art,
And bastards of his foul adulterate heart.

‘And long upon these terms I held my city,
Till thus he gan besiege me: ‘Gentle maid,
Have of my suffering youth some feeling pity,
And be not of my holy vows afraid:
That’s to ye sworn to none was ever said;
For feasts of love I have been call’d unto,
Till now did ne’er invite, nor never woo.

”All my offences that abroad you see
Are errors of the blood, none of the mind;
Love made them not: with acture they may be,
Where neither party is nor true nor kind:
They sought their shame that so their shame did find;
And so much less of shame in me remains,
By how much of me their reproach contains.

”Among the many that mine eyes have seen,
Not one whose flame my heart so much as warm’d,
Or my affection put to the smallest teen,
Or any of my leisures ever charm’d:
Harm have I done to them, but ne’er was harm’d;
Kept hearts in liveries, but mine own was free,
And reign’d, commanding in his monarchy.

”Look here, what tributes wounded fancies sent me,
Of paled pearls and rubies red as blood;
Figuring that they their passions likewise lent me
Of grief and blushes, aptly understood
In bloodless white and the encrimson’d mood;
Effects of terror and dear modesty,
Encamp’d in hearts, but fighting outwardly.

”And, lo, behold these talents of their hair,
With twisted metal amorously impleach’d,
I have received from many a several fair,
Their kind acceptance weepingly beseech’d,
With the annexions of fair gems enrich’d,
And deep-brain’d sonnets that did amplify
Each stone’s dear nature, worth, and quality.

”The diamond,–why, ’twas beautiful and hard,
Whereto his invised properties did tend;
The deep-green emerald, in whose fresh regard
Weak sights their sickly radiance do amend;
The heaven-hued sapphire and the opal blend
With objects manifold: each several stone,
With wit well blazon’d, smiled or made some moan.

”Lo, all these trophies of affections hot,
Of pensived and subdued desires the tender,
Nature hath charged me that I hoard them not,
But yield them up where I myself must render,
That is, to you, my origin and ender;
For these, of force, must your oblations be,
Since I their altar, you enpatron me.

”O, then, advance of yours that phraseless hand,
Whose white weighs down the airy scale of praise;
Take all these similes to your own command,
Hallow’d with sighs that burning lungs did raise;
What me your minister, for you obeys,
Works under you; and to your audit comes
Their distract parcels in combined sums.

”Lo, this device was sent me from a nun,
Or sister sanctified, of holiest note;
Which late her noble suit in court did shun,
Whose rarest havings made the blossoms dote;
For she was sought by spirits of richest coat,
But kept cold distance, and did thence remove,
To spend her living in eternal love.

”But, O my sweet, what labour is’t to leave
The thing we have not, mastering what not strives,
Playing the place which did no form receive,
Playing patient sports in unconstrained gyves?
She that her fame so to herself contrives,
The scars of battle ‘scapeth by the flight,
And makes her absence valiant, not her might.

”O, pardon me, in that my boast is true:
The accident which brought me to her eye
Upon the moment did her force subdue,
And now she would the caged cloister fly:
Religious love put out Religion’s eye:
Not to be tempted, would she be immured,
And now, to tempt, all liberty procured.

”How mighty then you are, O, hear me tell!
The broken bosoms that to me belong
Have emptied all their fountains in my well,
And mine I pour your ocean all among:
I strong o’er them, and you o’er me being strong,
Must for your victory us all congest,
As compound love to physic your cold breast.

”My parts had power to charm a sacred nun,
Who, disciplined, ay, dieted in grace,
Believed her eyes when they to assail begun,
All vows and consecrations giving place:
O most potential love! vow, bond, nor space,
In thee hath neither sting, knot, nor confine,
For thou art all, and all things else are thine.

”When thou impressest, what are precepts worth
Of stale example? When thou wilt inflame,
How coldly those impediments stand forth
Of wealth, of filial fear, law, kindred, fame!
Love’s arms are peace, ‘gainst rule, ‘gainst sense,
‘gainst shame,
And sweetens, in the suffering pangs it bears,
The aloes of all forces, shocks, and fears.

”Now all these hearts that do on mine depend,
Feeling it break, with bleeding groans they pine;
And supplicant their sighs to you extend,
To leave the battery that you make ‘gainst mine,
Lending soft audience to my sweet design,
And credent soul to that strong-bonded oath
That shall prefer and undertake my troth.’

‘This said, his watery eyes he did dismount,
Whose sights till then were levell’d on my face;
Each cheek a river running from a fount
With brinish current downward flow’d apace:
O, how the channel to the stream gave grace!
Who glazed with crystal gate the glowing roses
That flame through water which their hue encloses.

‘O father, what a hell of witchcraft lies
In the small orb of one particular tear!
But with the inundation of the eyes
What rocky heart to water will not wear?
What breast so cold that is not warmed here?
O cleft effect! cold modesty, hot wrath,
Both fire from hence and chill extincture hath.

‘For, lo, his passion, but an art of craft,
Even there resolved my reason into tears;
There my white stole of chastity I daff’d,
Shook off my sober guards and civil fears;
Appear to him, as he to me appears,
All melting; though our drops this difference bore,
His poison’d me, and mine did him restore.

‘In him a plenitude of subtle matter,
Applied to cautels, all strange forms receives,
Of burning blushes, or of weeping water,
Or swooning paleness; and he takes and leaves,
In either’s aptness, as it best deceives,
To blush at speeches rank to weep at woes,
Or to turn white and swoon at tragic shows.

‘That not a heart which in his level came
Could ‘scape the hail of his all-hurting aim,
Showing fair nature is both kind and tame;
And, veil’d in them, did win whom he would maim:
Against the thing he sought he would exclaim;
When he most burn’d in heart-wish’d luxury,
He preach’d pure maid, and praised cold chastity.

‘Thus merely with the garment of a Grace
The naked and concealed fiend he cover’d;
That th’ unexperient gave the tempter place,
Which like a cherubin above them hover’d.
Who, young and simple, would not be so lover’d?
Ay me! I fell; and yet do question make
What I should do again for such a sake.

‘O, that infected moisture of his eye,
O, that false fire which in his cheek so glow’d,
O, that forced thunder from his heart did fly,
O, that sad breath his spongy lungs bestow’d,
O, all that borrow’d motion seeming owed,
Would yet again betray the fore-betray’d,
And new pervert a reconciled maid!’

O Mistress Mine – William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene III

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love’s coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey’s end in lovers’ meeting-
Every wise man’s son doth know.

What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,-
Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

A Fairy Song – William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.

All the World’s a Stage – William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Sonnet 12: When I do count the clock that tells the time

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silvered o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Sonnet 1: From fairest creatures we desire increase

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory;
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And tender churl mak’st waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be:
To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Fear No More – William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun;
Nor the furious winter’s rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan;
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renowned be thy grave!

When that I was and a little tiny boy – William Shakespeare

When that I was and a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man’s estate,
With hey, ho, . . .
‘Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate
For the rain, . . .

But when I came, alas! to wive,
With hey, ho, . . .
By swaggering could I never thrive,
For the rain, . . .

But when I came unto my beds,
With hey, ho, . . .
With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
For the rain, . . .

A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, . . .
But that’s all one, our play is done.
And we’ll strive to please you every day.

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Bridal Song

ROSES, their sharp spines being gone,
Not royal in their smells alone,
But in their hue;
Maiden pinks, of odour faint,
Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint,
And sweet thyme true;

Primrose, firstborn child of Ver;
Merry springtime’s harbinger,
With her bells dim;
Oxlips in their cradles growing,
Marigolds on death-beds blowing,
Larks’-heels trim;

All dear Nature’s children sweet
Lie ‘fore bride and bridegroom’s feet,
Blessing their sense!
Not an angel of the air,
Bird melodious or bird fair,
Be absent hence!

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor
The boding raven, nor chough hoar,
Nor chattering pye,
May on our bride-house perch or sing,
Or with them any discord bring,
But from it fly!
William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

O Never Say That I Was False of Heart – William Shakespeare

O 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;

That is my home of love; if I have ranged,
Like him that travels, I return again,
Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
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.