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The Merchant of Venice. 


Julius Caesar. 

A Midsummer-Night's Dream. 



Much Ado about Nothing. 

Romeo and Juliet. 

As You Like It. 

The Tempest. 

Twelfth Night. 

TTie Winter's Tale. 

King John. 

Richard II. 

Henry IV. Part I. 

Henry IV. Part II. 

Henry V. 

Henry VI. Part I. 

Henry VI. Part II. 

Richard III. 

Henry VIII. 

King Lear. 

The Taming of the Shrew. 

All 's Well that Ends Well. 


The Comedy of Errors. 


Antony and Cleopatra. 

Measure for Measure. 

Merry Wives of Windsor. 

Love's Labour 's Lost. 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. 

Timon of Athens. 

Troilus and Cressida. 

Pericles, Prince of Tyre. 

The Two Noble Kinsmen. 

Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, etc. 


Titus Andronicus. 



I . . J .' ^t)ywoRTH's SELECT POEMS. 


Any of the above works will be sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any 
part of tJie United States, on receipt of the price. 

Copyright, 1890, by HARPER & BROTHERS. 



SHAKESPEARE'S Poems have generally received less attention from 
editors and commentators than his plays, and no thoroughly annotated 
edition of them has been published in this country. It has been my 
aim to treat them with the same thoroughness as the plays. The 1599 
edition of Venus and Adonis is collated for the first time, so far as I 
am aware, though it was discovered more than twenty years ago. Cer- 
tain of the recent editors do not appear to know of its existence. 

In The Passionate Pilgrim, the pieces which are certainly not Shake- 
speare's are transferred from the text to the Notes. Most of the others 
are of doubtful authenticity, but I give Shakespeare the benefit if bene- 
fit it be of the doubt. A Lover's Complaint and The Phcenix and the 
7"urtle are now generally conceded to be his. 

In the Sonnets, I have been under special obligations to Professor 
Dowden's excellent editions. I have not, however, drawn at all from 
Part II. of the Introduction to his larger edition, which condenses into 
some seventy-five pages the entire literature of the Sonnets. For the 
critical student this careful re'sume 1 answers a double purpose : as a 
bibliography of the subject, directing him to the many books and papers 
that have been written upon the Sonnets, if he is moved to read any or 
all of them; and as a compact and convenient substitute for these books 
and papers, if he wants to know their gist and substance without the 
drud,gery of wading through them. 

For the present volume all portions of my earlier editions of Venus 
and Adonis, etc. and the Sonnets have been carefully revised, and sev- 
eral pages of new matter, giving the substance of the latest researches 
specially interesting and important in the case of the Sonnets have 
been added to the Notes. 

The text of all the poems is given without omission or expurgation. 
Cambridge, August 12, 1890. 





Copyright, 1883, by HARPER & BROTHERS 

By this, the boy that by her side lay kill'd 
Was melted like a vapour from her sight, 
And in his blood that on the ground lay spill'd, 
A purple flower sprung up. chequer' d with white, 
Resembling well his pale cheeks and the blood 
Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood. 












NOTES 9 ......<,.... 167 






Venus and Adonis was first published in quarto form, in 
1593, with the following title-page:^ 

VENVS | AND ADONIS | Villa miretur vulgus : mihi flauus 
Apollo | Pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua. \ LONDON | 
Imprinted by Richard Field, and are to be sold at | the 
signe of the white Greyhound in | Paules Church-yard. | 

* For this title-page, as well as for much of the other information we 
have given concerning the early editions, we are indebted to the " Cam- 
bridge " ed. 


The book is printed with remarkable accuracy, doubtless 
from the author's manuscript. 

A second quarto edition was published in 1594, the title- 
page of which differs from that of the first only in the date. 

A third edition in octavo form (like all the subsequent 
editions) was issued in 1596 from the same printing-office 
"for lohn Harison." 

A fourth edition was published in 1599, with the following 
title-page (as given in Edmonds's reprint) : 

VENVS | AND ADONIS. | Villa miretur vidgus : mihi 
flauus Apollo | Pocula Castalia plena minis fret aqua. \ Im- 
printed at London for William Leake, dwel- | ling in Paules 
Churchyard at the signe of | the Greyhound. 1599. 

This edition was not known until 1867, when a copy of it 
was discovered at Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire by 
Mr. Charles Edmonds, who issued a fac-simile reprint of it 
in 1870. Of course it is not included in the collation of the 
Cambridge ed., which was published before the discovery ;* 
but it was evidently printed from the 3d edition. Mr. Ed- 
monds says : " A few corrections are introduced, but they 
bear no proportion to the misprints.' 7 

Of the fifth edition a single copy is in existence (in the 
Bodleian Library), lacking the title-page, which has been 
restored in manuscript with the following imprint: " LON- 
DON | Printed by I. H. | for lohn Harrison | 1600." The 
date may be right, but, according to Halliwell t and Edmonds, 
the publisher's name must be wrong, as Harrison had as- 
signed the copyright to Leake four years previous. The 
Cambridge editors assumed in 1866 that this edition- (the 
4th of their numbering) was printed from that of 1596; but 
it is certain, since the discovery of the 1599 ed., that it 
must have been based on that. Of the text they say: "It 

* It is omitted by Hudson in his " Harvard" ed. (see account of early 
eds. of K and A. vol. xix. p. 279), published in 1881. 

t Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare (2d ed. 1882), p. 222. 


contains many erroneous readings, due, it would seem, 
partly to carelessness and partly to wilful alteration, which 
were repeated in later eds." 

Two new editions were issued in 1602, and others in 1617 
and 1620. In 1627, an edition, (of which the only known 
copy is in the British Museum) was published in Edinburgh. 
In the Bodleian Library there is a unique copy of an edi- 
tion wanting the title-page but catalogued with the date 
1630; also a copy of another edition, published in 1630 
(discovered since the Cambridge ed. appeared).* A thir- 
teenth edition was printed in 1636, "to be sold by Francis 
Coules in the Old Baily without Newgate." 

The first edition of Lucrece was published in quarto in 
1594, with the following title-page: 

LVCRECE. | LONDON. | Printed by Richard Field, for 
lohn Harrison, and are | to be sold at the signe of the 
white Greyhound j in Paules Churh-yard. 1594. 

The running title is "The Rape of Lvcrece." The Bod- 
leian Library has two copies of this edition which differ in 
some important readings, indicating that it was corrected 
while passing through the press. f 

A second edition appeared in 1598, a third in 1600, and 
a fourth in 1607, all in octavo and all " for lohn Harrison " 
(or " Harison "). 

In 1616, the year of Shakespeare's death, the poem was 
reprinted with his name as "newly revised/' but "as the 
readings are generally inferior to those of the earlier edi- 
tions, there is no reason for attaching any importance to 
an assertion which was merely intended to allure purchas- 
ers " (Camb. ed.). The title-page of this edition reads thus : 

* Bibliographical Contributions, edited by J. Winsor, Librarian of Har- 
vard University : No. 2. Shakespeare's Poems (1879). This Bibliography 
of the earlier editions of the Poems contains much valuable and curious 
information concerning their history, the extant copies, reprints, etc. 

t On variations of this kind in the early editions, cf. The Two NobU 
Kinsmen, p. 10. 


THE | RAPE | OF | LYCRECE. \ By | M r William 
Shakespeare. \ Newly Reuised. | LONDON: | Printed by T. 
S. for Roger Jackson, and are | to be solde at his shop neere 
the Conduit | in Fleet-street. 1616. 

A sixth edition, also printed for Jackson, was issued in 

The fifth and sixth editions differ considerably in their 
readings from the first four, in which there are no important 

A Lover's Complaint was first printed, so far as we know, 
in the first edition of the Sonnets, which appeared in 1609. 
It was probably not reprinted until it was included in the 
Poems of 1640, mentioned below. 

The Passionate Pilgrim was first published in 1599, with 
the following title-page : 

THE | PASSIONATE | PILGRIME. | By W.Shakespeare. 
| AT LONDON \ Printed for W. laggard, and are | to be 
sold by W. Leake, at the Grey- | hound in Paules Church- 
yard. | 1599. 

In the middle of sheet C is a second title : 

SONNETS | To sundry notes of Musicke. | AT LON- 
DON | Printed for W. laggard, and are | to be sold by W. 
Leake, at the Grey- | hound in Paules Churchyard. | 1599. 

The book was reprinted in 1612, together with some po- 
ems by Thomas Heywood, the whole being attributed to 
Shakespeare. The title at first stood thus : 

THE | PASSIONATE | PILGRIME. | or | Certaine 
Amorous Sonnets, \ betweene Venus and Adonis, | newly 
corrected and aug- \ mented. | By W. Shakespere. \ The third 
Edition. | Whereunto is newly ad- | ded two Loue-Epistles, 
the first | from Paris to Hellen, and | Hellens an s were backe | 
again e to Paris. \ Printed by W. laggard. | 1612. 

The Bodleian copy of this edition contains the following 
note by Malone : " All the poems from Sig. D. 5 were writ- 
ten by Thomas Heywood, who was so offended at Jaggard 


for printing them under the name of- Shakespeare that he 
has added a postscript to his Apology for Actors, 4to, 1612, 
on this subject ; and Jaggard in consequence of it appears 
to have printed a new title-page to please Heywood, with- 
out the name of Shakespeare in it. The former title-page 
was no doubt intended to be cancelled, but by some inad- 
vertence they were both prefixed to this copy and I have 
retained them as a curiosity." The corrected title-page is 
substantially as above, omitting " By W. Shakespere" 

It will be observed that this is called the third edition ; 
but no other between 1599 and 1612 is known to exist. 

In 1640 most of the Sonnets (see our ed. p. 10), The Pas- 
sionate Pilgrim, A Lover's Complaint, The Phoenix and the 
Turtle, the lines "Why should this a desert be," etc. (A. Y. 
L. iii. 2. 133 fol.), and "Take, O take those lips away," etc. 
{M* for M. iv. i. i fol.), with some translations from Ovid 
falsely ascribed to Shakespeare (see p. 215 below), were pub- 
lished in a volume with the following title : 

Printed at London by Tho. Cotes, and are | to be sold by 
lohn Benson, dwelling in | S fc . Dunstans Church-yard. 1640. 

The first complete edition of Shakespeare's Poems, in- 
cluding the Sonnets, was issued (according to Lowndes, 
Bibliographer's Manual] in 1709, with the following title : 

A Collection of Poems, in Two Volumes ; Being all the 
Miscellanies of Mr. William Shakespeare, which were Pub- 
lish'd by himself in the Year 1609, and now correctly Print- 
ed from those Editions. The First Volume contains, I. VE- 
Passionate Pilgrim. IV. Some Sonnets set to sundry Notes 
of Musick. The Second Volume contains One Hundred and 
Fifty Four Sonnets, all of them in Praise of his Mistress. II. 
A Lover's Complaint of his Angry Mistress. LONDON: 
Printed for Bernard Lintott, at the Cross-Keys, between the 
Two Temple-Gates in Fleet-street 


The Phoenix and the Turtle first appeared, with Shake- 
speare's name appended to it, in Robert Chester's Loves 
Martyr : or Rosalins Complaint, published in 1601 (reprint- 
ed by the New Shakspere Society in 1878). 

The earliest reference to the Venus and Adonis thaWias 
been found is in the famous passage in Meres's Palladis 
Tamia (see M. N. D. p. 9, and C. of E. p. 101). As to the 
date of its composition, Dowden says (Primer, p. 81) : " \Vhen 
Venus and Adonis appeared, Shakspere was twenty-nine years 
of age ; the Earl of Southampton, to whom it was dedicated, 
was not yet twenty. In the dedication the poet speaks of 
these 'unpolisht lines' as 'the first heire of my invention.' 
Did Shakspere mean by this that Venus and Adonis was writ- 
ten before any of his plays, or before any plays that were 
strictly original his own ' invention ?' or does he, setting 
plays altogether apart, which were not looked upon as liter- 
ature, in a high sense of the word, call it his first poem be- 
cause he had written no earlier narrative or lyrical verse? 
We cannot be sure. It is possible, but not likely, that he 
may have written this poem before he left Stratford, and 
have brought it up with him to London. More probably it 
was written in London, and perhaps not long before it's pub- 
lication. The year 1593, in which the poem appeared, was a 
year of plague ; the London theatres were closed : it may be 
that Shakspere, idle in London, or having returned for a while 
to Stratford, then wrote the poem." Even if begun some 
years earlier, it was probably revised not long before its 

The Lucrece was not improbably the "graver labour" 
promised in the dedication of the Venus and Adonis ; and, 
as Dowden remarks, it "exhibits far less immaturity than 
does the 'first heire' of Shakspere's invention." It is less 
likely than that, we think, to have been a youthful produc- 
tion taken up and elaborated at a later date. 

A Lover's Complaint was evidently written long after the 


Lucrece, but we have no means of fixing the time with any 

The Shakespearian poems in The Passionate Pilgrim were 
of course written before 1599, when the collection was pub- 
lished. The three taken from Love's Labour 's Lost must be 
as early as the date of that play (see our ed. p. 10). If the 
Venus and Adonis sonnets are Shakespeare's, they may have 
been experiments on the subject before writing the long 
poem ; but Furnivall says that they are " so much easier in 
flow and lighter in handling" that h'e cannot suppose them 
to be earlier than the poem. 

The Phcenix and the Turtle is almost certainly Shake- 
speare's, and must have been written before 1601. 


The story of the Venus and Adonis was doubtless taken 
from Ovid's Metamorphoses , which had been translated by 
Golding in 1567. Shakespeare was probably acquainted 
with this translation at the time of the composition of The 
Tempest (see our ed. p. 139, note on Ye elves, etc.) ; but we 
have no clear evidence that he made use of it in writing 
Venus and Adonis. He does not follow Ovid very closely. 
That poet " relates, shortly, that Venus, accidentally wound- 
ed by an arrow of Cupid's, falls in love with the beauteous 
Adonis, leaves her favourite haunts and the skies for him, 
and follows him in his huntings over mountains and bushy 
rocks, and through woods. She warns him against wild 
boars and lions. She and he lie down in the shade on the 
grass he without pressure on her part ; and there, with her 
bosom on his, she tells him, with kisses,* the story of how 
she helped Hippomenes to win the swift-footed Atalanta, 
and then, because he was ungrateful to her (Venus), she 
excited him and his wife to defile a sanctuary by a forbidden 

* " And, in her tale, she bussed him among." A. Golding. Ovid's 
Afet., leaf 129 bk., ed. 1602. 


act, for which they were both turned into lions. With a final 
warning against wild beasts, Venus leaves Adonis. He then 
hunts a boar, and gets his death-wound from it. Venus 
comes down to see him die, and turns his blood into a flow- 
er the anemone, or wind-flower, short-lived, because the 
winds (anemoi), which give it its name, beat it down,* so 
slender is it. Other authors give Venus the enjoyment 
which Ovid and Shakspere deny her, and bring Adonis back 
from Hades to be with her " (Furnivall). 

The main incidents of the Lucrece were doubtless familiar 
to Shakespeare from his school-days ; and they had been used 
again and again in poetry and prose. " Chaucer had, in his 
Legends of Good Women (A.D. 1386 ?), told the story of Lu- 
crece, after those of Cleopatra, Dido, Thisbe, Ypsiphile, and 
Medea, ' As saythe Ovyde and Titus Ly vyus ' (Ovid's Fasti, 
bk. ii. 741 ; Livy, bk. i. ch. 57, 58): the story is also told 
by Dionysius Halicarnassensis, bk. iv. ch. 72, and by Dio- 
dorus Siculus, Dio Cassius, and Valerius Maximus. In Eng- 
lish it is besides in Lydgate's Falles of Princes, bk. iii. ch. 5, 
and in Wm. Painter's Palace of Pleasure, 1567, vol. i. fol. 5-7, 
where the story is very shortly told : the heading is ' Sextus 
Tarquinius ravisheth Lucrece, who bewailyng the losse of her 
chastitie, killeth her self.' I cannot find the story in the 
Rouen edition, 1603, of Boaistuau and Belleforest's Histoires 
Tragiques, 7 vols. 121110; or the Lucca edition, 1554, of the 
Novelle of Bandello, 3 parts ; or the Lyons edition, 1573, of 
the Fourth Part. Painter's short Lucrece must have been 
taken by himself from one of the Latin authors he cites as 
his originals at the end of his preface. In 1568, was entered 
on the Stat. Reg. A, If. 174, a receipt for 4^. from Jn. Aide 
4 for his lycense for prynting of a ballett, the grevious com- 
playnt of Lucrece^ (Arber's Transcript, i. 379) ; and in 1570 
the like from ' James Robertes, for his lycense for the prynt- 

* Pliny (bk. i. c. 23) says it never opens but when the wind is blow- 


inge of a ballett intituled The Death of Lucryssia* (Arber's 
Transcript^ i. 416). Another ballad of the legend of Lu- 
crece was also printed in 1576, says Warton. (Far. Shak- 
speare, xx. 100.) Chaucer's simple, short telling of the story 
in 206 lines of which 95 are taken up with the visit of 
Collatyne and Tarquynyus to Rome, before Shakspere's 
start with Tarquin's journey thither alone cannot of 
course compare with Shakspere's rich and elaborate poem 
of 1855 lines, though, had the latter had more of the ear- 
lier maker's brevity, it would have attained greater fame " 

[From Knighfs "Pictorial Shakspere." *] 

" If the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall 
be sorry it had so noble a godfather." These are the words 
which, in relation to the Venus and Adonis, Shakspere ad- 
dressed, in ^593, to the Earl of Southampton. Are we to 
accept them literally? Was the Venus and Adonis the first 
production of Shakspere's imagination ? Or did he put out 
of his view those dramatic performances which he had then 
unquestionably produced, in deference to the critical opin- 
ions which regarded plays as works not belonging to " inven- 
tion " ? We think that he used the words in a literal sense. 
We regard the Venus and Adonis as the production of a very 
young man, improved, perhaps, considerably in the interval 
between its first composition and its publication, but distin- 
guished by peculiarities which belong to the wild luxuriance 
of youthful power, such power, however, as few besides 
Shakspere have ever possessed. 

A deep thinker and eloquent writer, Julius Charles Hare, 
thus describes "the spirit of self-sacrifice," as applied to 
poetry : 

" The might of the imagination is manifested by its launch- 
* Vol. ii. of Tragedies^ etc., p. 509 fol. 


ing forth from the petty creek, where the accidents of birth 
moored it, into the wide ocean of being, by its going abroad 
into the world around, passing into whatever it meets with, 
animating it, and becoming one with it. This complete union 
and identification of the poet with his poem, this suppres- 
sion of his own individual insulated consciousness, with its 
narrowness of thought and pettiness of feeling, is what we 
admire in the great masters of that which for this reason we 
justly call classical poetry, as representing that which is 
symbolical and universal, not that which is merely occasional 
and peculiar. This gives them that majestic calmness which 
still breathes upon us from the statues of their gods. This 
invests their works with that lucid transparent atmosphere 
wherein every form stands out in perfect definiteness and 
distinctness, only beautified by the distance which idealizes 
it. This has delivered those works from the casualties of 
time and space, and has lifted them up like stars into the 
pure firmament of thought, so that they do not shine on one 
spot alone, nor fade like earthly flowers, but journey on 
from clime to clime, shedding the light of beauty on genera- 
tion after generation. The same quality, amounting to a to- 
tal extinction of his own selfish being, so that his spirit be- 
came a mighty organ through which Nature gave utterance 
to the full diapason of her notes, is what we wonder at in 
our own great dramatist, and is the groundwork of all his 
other powers : for it is only when purged of selfishness that 
the intellect becomes fitted for receiving the inspirations of 

What Mr. Hare so justly considers as the great moving 
principle of "classical poetry," what he further notes as 
the pre-eminent characteristic of a our own great drama- 
tist," is abundantly found in that great dramatist's earliest 
work. Coleridge was the first to point out this pervading 

* The Victory of Faith ; and other Sermons, by Julius Charles Hare, 
M.A. (1840), p. 277. 


quality in the Venus and Adonis ; and he has done this 
so admirably that it would be profanation were we to 
attempt to elucidate the point in any other than his own 
words : 

" It is throughout as if a superior spirit, more intuitive, 
more intimately conscious, even than the characters them- 
selves, not only of every outward look and act, but of the 
flux and reflux of the mind in all its subtlest thoughts and 
feelings, were placing the whole before our view; himself 
meanwhile unparticipating in the passions, and actuated 
only by that pleasurable excitement which had resulted from 
the energetic fervour of his own spirit in so vividly exhibit- 
ing what it had so accurately and profoundly contemplated. 
I think I should have conjectured from' these poems that 
even then the great instinct which impelled the poet to the 
drama was secretly working in him, prompting him by a se- 
ries and never-broken chain of imagery, always vivid, and, 
because unbroken, often minute by the highest effort of the 
picturesque in words of which words are capable, higher 
perhaps than was ever realized by any other poet, even 
Dante not excepted to provide a substitute for that visual 
language, that constant intervention and running comment 
by tone, look, and gesture, which in his dramatic works he 
was entitled to expect from the players. His Venus and 
Adonis seem at once the characters themselves, and the 
whole representation of those characters by the most con- 
summate actors. You seem to be told nothing, but to see 
and hear everything. Hence it is, that, from the perpetual 
activity of attention required on the part of the reader, 
from the rapid flow, the quick change, and the playful nature 
of the thoughts and images, and, above all, from the alien- 
ation, and, if I may hazard such an expression, the utter 
aloofness of the poet's own feelings from those of which he is 
at once the painter and the analyst, that though the very 
subject cannot but detract from the pleasure of a delicate 


mind, yet never was poem less dangerous on a moral ac- 

Coleridge, in the preceding chapter of his Literary Life, 
says : " During the first year that Mr. Wordsworth and I 
were neighbours, our conversations turned frequently on the 
two cardinal points of poetry the power of exciting the 
sympathy of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth 
of nature, and the power of giving the interest of novelty by 
the modifying colours of imagination." In Coleridge's Lit- 
erary Remains the Venus and Adonis is cited as furnishing 
a signal example of "that affectionate love of nature and 
natural objects, without which no man could have observed 
so steadily, or painted so truly and passionately, the very 
minutest beauties of the external world." The description 
of the hare-hunt is there given at length as a specimen of 
this power. A remarkable proof of the completeness as well 
as accuracy of Shakspere's description lately presented itself 
to our mind, in running through a little volume, full of tal- 
ent, published in 1825 Essays and Sketches of Character, by 
the late Richard Ayton, Esq. There is a paper on hunting, 
and especially on hare-hunting. He says : " I am not one 
of the perfect fox-hunters of these realms ; but having been 
in the way of late of seeing a good deal of various modes of 
hunting, I would, for the benefit of the uninitiated, set down 
the results of my observations." In this matter he writes with 
a perfect unconsciousness that he is describing what any one 
has described before ; but as accurate an observer had been 
before him : 

" She (the hare) generally returns to the seat from which 
she was put up, running, as all the world knows, in a circle, 
or something sometimes like it, we had better say, that we 
may keep on good terms with the mathematical. At start- 
ing, she tears away at her utmost speed for a mile or more, 
and distances the dogs half-way : she then returns, diverging 
* Biographia Liter aria, 1817, vol. ii. p. 15. 


a little to the right or left, that she may not run into the 
mouths of her enemies a necessity which accounts for 
what we call the circularity of her course. Her flight from 
home is direct and precipitate ; but on her way back, when 
she has gained a little time for consideration and strata- 
gem, she describes a curious labyrinth of short turnings and 
windings, as if to perplex the dogs by the intricacy of her 

Compare this with Shakspere : 

"And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare, 
Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot his troubles, 
How he outruns the wind, and with what care 
He cranks and crosses, with a thousand doubles : 

The many musits through the which he goes 

Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes." 

Mr. Ayton thus goes on : 

"The hounds, whom we left in full cry, continue their mu- 
sic without remission as long as they are faithful to the scent ; 
as a summons, it should seem, like the seaman's cry, to pull 
together, or keep together, and it is a certain proof to them- 
selves and their followers that they are in the right way. 
On the instant that they are ' at fault,' or lose the scent, they 
are silent. . . . The weather, in its impression on the scent, 
is the great father of 'faults ;' but they may arise from other 
accidents, even when the day is in every respect favourable. 
The intervention of ploughed land, on which the scent soon 
cools or evaporates, is at least perilous; but sheep-stains, 
recently left by a flock, are fatal : they cut off the scent irre- 
coverably making a gap, as it were, in the clue, in which 
the dogs have not even a hint for their guidance." 

Compare Shakspere again : 

" Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep, 
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell. 
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep, 
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell ; 


And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer ; 
jtl ileviseih shins ; \vit w.iits on fear; 

there his smell with others being mingled, 
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt, 
Ceasing their cl.unounis cry till they have singled 
\\ to the cold fault cleanly out; 

Then do they spend their mouths : Echo replies, 

As if another chase were in the skies," 

One more extract from Mr. Ayton : 

** Suppose then, after the usual rounds, that you see the 
hare at last (a sorry mark for so many foes) sorely beleaguered 
looking dark and draggled and limping heavily along; 
then stopping to listen a^ain tottering on a little and 
stopping ; and at every step, and every pause, hearing 
the death-cry grow nearer and louden" 

One more comparison, and we have exhausted Shak- 
spere's description : 

"By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill, 
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear, 
To hearken if his foes pursue him still ; 
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear ; 
And now his grief may be compared well 
To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell. 
"Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch 
Turn and return, indenting with the way ; 

envious briar his weary legs doth scratch, 
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay : 
For misery is trodden on by uu 
And being low never reliev'd by any.'* 

Here, then, be it observed, are not only the same objects, 
the same accidents, the same movement, in each descrip- 
tion, but the very words employed to convey the scene to the 
mind are often the same in each. It would be easy to say 
that Mr. Ayton copied Shakspere. We believe he did not. 
There is a sturdy ingenuousness about his writings which 
would have led him to notice the Knw and Adonis if he 
had had it in his mind. Shakspere and he had each looked 


minutely and practically upon the same scene ; and the won- 
der is, not that Shakspere was an accurate describer, but that 
in him the accurate is so thoroughly fused with the poetical 
that it is one and the same life. 

The celebrated description of the courser in the Venus 
and Adonis is another remarkable instance of the accuracy 
of the young Shakspere's observation. Not the most expe- 
rienced dealer ever knew the points of a horse better. The 
whole poem indeed is full of evidence that the circumstances 
by which the writer was surrounded, in a country district, 
had entered deeply into his mind, and were reproduced 
in the poetical form. The bird " tangled in a net" the 
" didapper peering through a wave " the " blue-veined vio- 
lets "the 

" red morn, that ever yet betoken'd 
Wrack to the seaman, tempest to the field " 

the fisher that forbears the " ungrown fry " the sheep "gone 
to fold" the caterpillars feeding on "the tender leaves "- 
and, not to weary with examples, that exquisite image, 

" Look how a bright star shooteth from the sky, 
So glides he in the night from Venus' eye " 

all these bespeak a poet who had formed himself upon nat- 
ure, and not upon books. To understand the value as well 
as the rarity of this quality in Shakspere, we should open 
any contemporary poem. Take Marlowe's Hero and Lean- 
der for example. We read line after line, beautiful, gorgeous, 
running over with a satiating luxuriousness ; but we look in 
vain for a single familiar image. Shakspere describes what 
he has seen, throwing over the real the delicious tint of his 
own imagination. Marlowe looks at Nature herself very 
rarely; but he knows all the conventional images by which 
the real is supposed to be elevated into the poetical. His 
most beautiful things are thus but copies of copies. The 
mode in which each poet described the morning will illus- 
trate our meaning: 


" Lo ! here the gentle lark, weary of rest, 
From his moist cabinet mounts up on high, 
And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast 
The sun ariseth in his majesty ; 

Who doth the world so gloriously behold, 
The cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold." 

We feel that this is true. Compare 

" By this Apollo's golden harp began 
To sound forth music to the ocean ; 
Which watchful Hesperus no sooner heard 
But he the day's bright-bearing car prepar'd, 
And ran before, as harbinger of light, 
And with his flaring beams mock'd ugly Night, 
Till she, o'ercpme with anguish, shame, and rage, 
Dang'd down to hell her loathsome carriage." 

We are taught that this is classical. 

Coleridge has observed that, " in the Venus and Adonis, 
the first and most obvious excellence is the perfect sweet- 
ness of the versification; its adaptation to the subject; and 
the power displayed in varying the march of the words with- 
out passing into a loftier and more majestic rhythm than was 
demanded by the thoughts, or permitted by the propriety of 
preserving a sense of melody predominant."* This self- 
controlling power of "varying the march of the words with- 
out passing into a loftier and more majestic rhythm" is per- 
haps one of the most signal instances of Shakspere's consum- 
mate mastery of his art, even as a very young man. He who, 
at the proper season, knew how to strike the grandest music 
within the compass of our own powerful and sonorous lan- 
guage, in his early productions breathes out his thoughts 

"To the Dorian mood 
Of flutes and soft recorders." 

The sustained sweetness of the versification is never cloy- 
ing ; and yet there are no violent contrasts, no sudden ele- 
vations : all is equable in its infinite variety. The early 

* Biograpkia Litcraria^ vol. ii. p. 14. 


comedies are full of the same rare beauty. In Love's La- 
bour's Lost The Comedy of Errors A Midsummer-Nighf s 
Dream we have verses of alternate rhymes formed upon the 
same model as those of the Venus and Adonis, and producing 
the same feeling of placid delight by their exquisite harmony. 
The same principles on which he built the versification of 
the Venus and Adonis exhibited to him the grace which these 
elegiac harmonies would impart to the scenes of repose in 
the progress of a dramatic action. 

We proceed to the Lucrece. Of that poem the dale of 
the composition is fixed as accurately as we can desire. 
In the dedication to the Venus and Adonis the poet says : 
" If your honour seem but pleased I account myself highly 
praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours till I 
have honoured you with some graver labour." In 1594, a 
year after the Venus and Adonis, Lucrece was published, and 
was dedicated to Lord Southampton. This, then, was un- 
doubtedly the "graver labour;" this was the produce of the 
"idle hours" of 1593. Shakspere was then nearly thirty 
years of age the period at which it is held by some he first 
began to produce anything original for the stage. The poet 
unquestionably intended the "graver labour" for a higher 
effort than had produced the "first heir" of his invention. 
He describes the Venus and Adonis as "unpolished lines "- 
lines thrown off with youthful luxuriousness and rapidity. 
The verses of the Lucrece are "untutored lines" lines 
formed upon no established model. There is to our mind the 
difference of eight or even ten years in the aspect of these 
poems a difference as manifest as that which exists between 
Love's Labour 's Lost and Romeo and Juliet. Coleridge has 
marked the great distinction between the one poem and the 
other : 

"The Venus and Adonis did not perhaps allow the display 
of the deeper passions. But the story of Lucretia seems to 
favour, and even demand, their intensest workings. And 


yet we find in Shakespeare's management of the tale neither 
pathos nor any other dramatic quality. There is the same 
minute and faithful imagery as in the former poem, in the 
same vivid colours, inspirited by the same impetuous vigour 
of thought, and diverging and contracting with the same ac- 
tivity of the assimilative and of the modifying faculties ; and 
with a yet larger display, a yet wider range of knowledge and 
reflection : and, lastly, with the same perfect dominion, often 
domi?iation, over the whole world of language."* 

It is in this paragraph that Coleridge has marked the dif- 
ference which a critic of the very highest order could alone 
have pointed out between the power which Shakspere's 
mind possessed of going out of itself in a narrative poem, 
and the dramatic power. The same mighty, and to most 
unattainable, power, of utterly subduing the self-conscious 
to the universal, was essential to the highest excellence of 
both species of composition, the poem and the drama. 
But the exercise of that power was essentially different in 
each. Coleridge, in another place, says : " In his very first 
production he projected his mind out of his own particular 
being, and felt, and made others feel, on subjects no way 
connected with himself except by force of contemplation, 
and that sublime faculty by which a great mind becomes 
that on which it meditates." t But this "sublime faculty" 
went greatly farther when it became dramatic, hi the nar- 
rative poems of an ordinary man we perpetually see the nar- 
rator. Coleridge, in a passage previously quoted, has shown 
the essential superiority of Shakspere's narrative poems, 
where the whole is placed before our view, the poet unpar- 
ticipating in the passions. There is a remarkable example 
of how strictly Shakspere adhered to this principle in his 
beautiful poem of A Lover's Complaint. There the poet is 
actually present to the scene : 

* Biographia Literaria, vol. ii. p. 21. 
t Literary Remains, vol. ii. p. 54. 


" From off a hill whose concave womb re-worded 
A plaintful story from a sistering vale, 
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded, 
And down I laid to list the sad-tun'd tale." 

But not one word of comment does he offer upon the reve- 
lations of the " fickle maid full pale." The dramatic power, 
however, as we have said, is many steps beyond this. It 
dispenses with narrative altogether. It renders a compli- 
cated story, or stones, one in the action. It makes the char- 
acters reveal themselves, sometimes by a word. It trusts for 
everything to the capacity of an audience to appreciate the 
greatest subtleties, and the nicest shades of passion, through 
the action. It is the very reverse of the oratorical power, 
which repeats and explains. And how is it able to effect 
this prodigious mastery over the senses and the understand- 
ing? By raising the mind of the spectator, or reader, into 
such a state of poetical excitement as corresponds in some 
degree to the excitement of the poet, and thus clears away 
the mists of our ordinary vision, and irradiates the whole 
complex moral world in which we for a time live, and move, 
and have our being, with the brightness of his own intel- 
lectual sunlight. Now, it appears to us that, although the 
Venus and Adonis, and the Lucrece, do not pretend to be the 
creations of this wonderful power their forms did not de- 
mand its complete exercise they could not have been pro- 
duced by a man who did not possess the power, and had 
assiduously cultivated it in its own proper field. In the 
second poem, more especially, do we think the power has 
reached a higher development, indicating itself in "a yet 
wider range of knowledge and reflection." 

Malone says : " I have observed that Painter has inserted 
the story of Lucrece in the first volume of his Palace of Pleas- 
ure, 1567, on which I make no doubt our author formed his 
poem." Be it so. The story of Lucrece in Painter's novel 
occupies four pages. The first page describes the circum- 


stances that preceded the unholy visit of Tarquin to Lucrece ; 
nearly the whole of the last two pages detail the events that 
followed the death of Lucrece. A page and a half at most 
is given to the tragedy. This is proper enough in a narra- 
tive, whose business it is to make all the circumstances intel- 
ligible. But the narrative poet, who was also thoroughly 
master of the dramatic power, concentrates all the interest 
upon the main circumstances of the story. He places the 
scene of those circumstances before our eyes at the very 

" From the besieged Ardea all in post, 
Borne by the trustless wings of false desire, 
Lust-breathed Tarquin leaves the Roman host, 
And to Collatium bears," etc. 

The preceding circumstances which impel this journey are 
then rapidly told. Again, after the crowning action of the 
tragedy, the poet has done. He tells the consequences of 
it with a brevity and simplicity indicating the most consum- 
mate art : 

" When they had sworn to this advised doom, 
They did conclude to bear dead Lucrece thence ; 
To show her bleeding body thorough Rome, 
And so to publish Tarquin's foul offence : 
Which being done with speedy diligence, 

The Romans plausibly did give consent 

To Tarquin's everlasting banishment.' 7 

He has thus cleared away all the encumbrances to the prog- 
ress of the main action. He would have done the same had 
he made Lucrece the subject of a drama. But he has to tell 
his painful story and to tell it all : not to exhibit a portion 
of it, as he would have done had he chosen the subject for a 
tragedy. The consummate delicacy with which he has accom- 
plished this is beyond all praise, perhaps above all imitation. 
He puts forth his strength on the accessories of the main 
incident. He delights to make the chief actors analyze 
their own thoughts, reflect, explain, expostulate. All this 


is essentially undramatic, and he meant it to be so. But 
then, what pictures does he paint of the progress of the ac- 
tion, which none but a great dramatic poet, who had visions 
of future Macbeths and Othellos before him, could have paint- 
ed ! Look, for example, at that magnificent scene, when 
" No comfortable star did lend his light," 

of Tarquin leaping from his bed, and, softly smiting his fal- 
chion on a flint, lighting a torch 

" Which must be lode-star to his lustful eye." 
Look, again, at the exquisite domestic incident which tells 
of the quiet and gentle occupation of his devoted victim : 

" By the light he spies 

Lucretia's glove, wherein her needle sticks ; 
He takes it from the rushes where it lies." 

The hand to which that glove belongs is described in the 
very perfection of poetry : 

" Without the bed her other fair hand was, 
On the green coverlet ; whose perfect white 
Shovv'd like an April daisy on the grass." 

In the chamber of innocence Tarquin is painted with terrific 
grandeur, which is overpowering by the force of contrast: 

This said he shakes aloft his Roman blade, 
Which, like a falcon towering in the skies, 
Coucheth the fowl below with his wings' shade." 

The complaint of Lucrece after Tarquin has departed was 
meant to be undramatic. The action advances not. The 
character develops not itself in the action. But the poet 
makes his heroine bewail her fate in every variety of lament 
that his boundless command of imagery could furnish. The 
letter to Collatine is written ; a letter of the most touching 
simplicity : Thou wor thy lord 

Of that unworthy wife that greeteth thee, 
Health to thy person ! Next vouchsafe to afford 
(If ever, love, thy Lucrece thou wilt see) 
Some present speed to come and visit me : 


So I commend me from our house in grief; 

My woes are tedious, though my words are brief." 

Again the action languishes, and again Lucrece surrenders 
herself to her grief. The 

" Skilful painting, made for Priam's Troy " 

is one of the most elaborate passages of the poem, essentially 
cast in an undramatic mould. But this is but a prelude to 
the catastrophe, where, if we mistake not, a strength of pas- 
sion is put forth which is worthy him who drew the terrible 
agonies of Lear : 

" Here with a sigh, as if her heart would break, 
She throws forth Tarquin's name : * He, he, 7 she says, 
But more than ' he ' her poor tongue could not speak ; 
Till after many accents and delays, 
Untimely breathings, sick and short assays, 
She utters this : * Me, he, fair lords, 't is he, 
That guides this hand to give this wound to me.' " 

Malone, in his concluding remarks upon the Venus and Ado- 
nis, and Lucrece, says : "We should do Shakspeare injustice 
were we to try them by a comparison with more modern and 
polished productions, or with our present ic}ea of poetical 
excellence." This was written in the year 1780 the period 
which rejoiced in the " polished productions " of Hayley and 
Miss Seward, and founded its " idea of poetical excellence " 
on some standard which, secure in its conventional forms, 
might depart as far as possible from simplicity and nature, 
to give us words without thought, arranged in verses without 
music. It would be injustice indeed to Shakspere to try the 
Venus and Adonis, and Lucrece, by such a standard of " poet- 
ical excellence." But we have outlived that period. By way 
of apology for Shakspere, Malone adds, " that few authors 
rise much above the age in which they live." He further 
says, "the poems of Venus and Adonis, and the Rape of Lu- 
crece, whatever opinion may be now entertained of them, were 
certainly much admired in Shakspeare's lifetime." This is 


consolatory. In Shakspere's lifetime there were a few men 
that the world has since thought somewhat qualified to estab- 
lish an "idea of poetical excellence" Spenser, Drayton, 
Jonson, Fletcher, Chapman, for example. These were not 
much valued in Malone's golden age of " more modern and 
polished productions ;" but let that pass. We are coming 
back to the opinions of this obsolete school ; and we venture 
to think the majority of readers now will not require us to 
make an apology for Shakspere's poems. 

[From Dowderfs " 
The Venus and Adonis is styled by its author, in the ded- 
ication to the Earl of Southampton, " the first heir of my 
invention." Gervinus believes that the poem may have 
been written before the poet left Stratford. Although pos- 
sibly separated by a considerable interval from its companion 
poem, The Rape of Lucrece (1594), the two may be regarded 
as essentially one in kind. The specialty of these poems as 
portions of Shakspere's art has perhaps not been sufficiently 
observed, t Each is an artistic study ; and they form, as has 
been just observed, companion studies one of female lust 
and boyish coldness, the other of male lust and womanly 
chastity. Coleridge noticed " the utter aloofness of the poet's 
own feelings from those of which he is at once the painter 
and the analyst ;" but it can hardly be admitted that this 
aloofness of the poet's own feelings proceeds from a dramatic 
abandonment of self. The subjects of these two poems did 
not call and choose their poet ; they did not possess him 
and compel him to render them into art. Rather the poet 
expressly made choice of the subjects, and deliberately set 
himself down before each to accomplish an exhaustive study 
of it. 

* Shakspere: a Critical Study of his Mind and Art, by Edward Dow- 
den ; Harper's ed. p. 43 fol. 
f Coleridge touches upon the fact, and it is noted by Lloyd. 



If the Venus and Adonis sonnets in The Passionate Pil- 
grim be by Shakspere, it would seem that he had been try- 
ing various poetical exercises on this theme. And for a 
young writer of the Renascence, the subject of Shakspere's 
earliest poem was a splendid one as voluptuous and un- 
spiritual as that of a classical picture of Titian. It included 
two figures containing inexhaustible pasture for the fleshly 
eye, and delicacies and dainties for the sensuous imagina- 
tion of the Renascence the enamoured Queen of Beauty, 
and the beautiful, disdainful boy. It afforded occasion for 
endless exercises and variations on the themes Beauty, Lust, 
and Death. In holding the subject before his imagination, 
Shakspere is perfectly cool and collected. He has made 
choice of the subject, and he is interested in doing his duty 
by it in the most thorough way a young poet can ; but he 
remains unimpassioned intent wholly upon getting down 
the right colours and lines upon his canvas. Observe his 
determination to put in accurately the details of each object ; 
to omit nothing. Poor Wat, the hare, is described in a dozen 
stanzas. Another series of stanzas describes the stallion 
all his points are enumerated : 

" Round-hoof d, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long, 
Broad breast, full eye, small head and nostril wide, 
High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong, 
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide." 

This passage of poetry has been admired ; but is it poetry 
or a paragraph from an advertisement of a horse-sale ? It 
is part of Shakspere's study of an animal, and he does his 
work thoroughly. In like manner, he does not shrink from 
faithfully putting down each one of the amorous provoca- 
tions and urgencies of Venus. The complete series of ma- 
noeuvres must be detailed. 

In Lucrece the action is delayed and delayed, that every 
minute particular may be described, every minor incident 
recorded. In the newness of her suffering and shame, Lu- 


crece finds time for an elaborate tirade appropriate to the 
theme " Night," another to that of " Time," another to that 
of " Opportunity." Each topic is exhausted. Then, studi- 
ously, a new incident is introduced, and its significance for 
the emotions is drained to the last drop in a new tirade. 
We nowhere else discover Shakspere so evidently engaged 
upon his work. Afterwards he puts a stress upon his verses 
to compel them to contain the hidden wealth of his thought 
and imagination. Here he displays at large such wealth as 
he possesses ; he will have none of it half seen. The de- 
scriptions and declamations are undramatic, but they show 
us the materials laid out in detail from which dramatic 
poetry originates. Having drawn so carefully from models, 
the time comes when he can trust himself to draw from 
memory, and he possesses marvellous freedom of hand, be- 
cause his previous studies have been so laborious. It was 
the same hand that drew the stallion in Venus and Adonis 
which afterwards drew with infallible touch, as though they 
were alive, the dogs of Theseus : 

"My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind, 
So flew'd, so sanded, and their heads are hung 
With ears that sweep away the morning dew ; 
Crook-kneed, and dew-lapp'd like Thessalian bulls ; 
Slow in pursuit ; but match'd in mouth like bells, 
Each under each. A cry more tunable 
Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn, 
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly." * 

* The comparison of these two passages is from Hnzlitt, whose unfa- 
vourable criticism of Shakspere's poems expresses well one side of the 
truth. " The two poems of Venus and Adonis and of Tarquin and Ln- 
crece appear to us like a couple of ice-houses. They are about as hard, 
as glittering, and as cold. The author seems all the time to be thinking 
of his verses, and not of his subject not of what his characters would 
feel, but of what he shall say ; and, as it must happen in all such cases, 
he always puts into their mouths those things which they would be the 
last to think of, and which it shows the greatest ingenuity in him to find 
out. The whole is laboured, uphill work. The poet is perpetually sin- 


When these poems were written, Shakspere was cautiously 
feeling his way. Large, slow-growing natures, gifted with a 
sense of concrete fact and with humour, ordinarily possess no 
great self-confidence in youth. An idealist, like Milton, may 
resolve in early manhood that he will achieve a great epic 
poem, and in old age may turn into fact the ideas of his 
youth. An idealist, like -Marlowe, may begin his career with 
a splendid youthful audacity, a stupendous Tamburlaine. 
A man of the kind to which Shakspere belonged, although 
very resolute, and determined, if possible, to succeed, re- 
quires the evidence of objective facts to give him self-confi- 
dence. His special virtue lies in a peculiarly pregnant and 
rich relation with the actual world, and such relation com- 
monly establishes itself by a gradual process. Accordingly, 
instead of flinging abroad into the world while still a strip- 
ling some unprecedented creation, as Marlowe did, or as 
Victor Hugo did, and securing thereby the position of a 
leader of an insurgent school, Shakspere began, if not tim- 
idly, at least cautiously and tentatively. He undertakes 
work of any and every description, and tries and tests him- 
self upon all. He is therefore a valued person in his theat- 
rical company, ready to turn his hand to anything helpful 

gling out the difficulties of the art to make an exhibition of his strength 
and skill in wrestling with them. He is making perpetual trials of them 
as if his mastery over them were doubted. ... A beautiful thought is sure 
to be lost in an endless commentary upon it. ... There is, besides, a 
strange attempt to substitute the language of painting for that of poetry, 
to make us see their feelings in the faces of the persons." Characters of 
Shakspere 's Plays (ed. 1818), pp. 348, 349. Coleridge's much more favor- 
able criticism will be found in Biographia Literaria (ed. 1847), v l- " cn - 
ii. The peculiarity of the poems last noticed in the extract from Hazlitt 
is ingeniously accounted for by Coleridge. " The great instinct which 
impelled the poet to the drama was secretly working in him, prompting 
him ... to provide a substitute for that visual language, that constant 
intervention and running comment by tone, look, and gesture, which in 
his dramatic works he was entitled to expect from the players" (pp. 
1 8, 19). 


a Jack-of-all-trades, a "Johannes-factotum;" he is obliging 
and free from self-assertion ; he is waiting his time ; he is 
not yet sure of himself; he finds it the sensible thing not to 
profess singularity. "Divers of worship" report his "up- 
rightness of dealing ;" he is "excellent in the quality he pro- 
fesses ;"* his demeanor is civil ; he is recognized even already 
as having a " facetious grace in writing." f Let us not sup- 
pose, because Shakspere declines to assault the real world 
and the world of imagination, and take them by violence, 
that he is therefore a person of slight force of character. 
He is determined to master both these worlds, if possible. 
He approaches them with a facile and engaging air ; by-and- 
by his grasp upon facts will tighten. From Marlowe and 
from Milton half of the world escapes. Shakspere will lay 
hold of it in its totality, and, once that he has laid hold of it, 
will never let it go. 

[From Mr. F. J. FnrnwaWs Comments on the Poems. J] 
In the Venus and Adonis we have the same luxuriance of 
fancy, the same intensity of passion, as in Romeo and Juliet, 
illegitimate and unlawful though the indulgence in that 
passion is. We have the link with the Midsummer- Night 's 
Dream in the stanza " Bid me discourse," and the hounds 
hunting the hare. The poem was entered on the Station- 
ers' Register and published in 1593, and must be of nearly 
the same date as the Romeo and Juliet. It is dedicated to 
Shakspere's young patron, Henry, Earl of Southampton ; 

* On the special use of the word "quality" for the stage-player's pro- 
fession, see a note by Hermann Kurz in his article, " Shakespeare der 
Schauspieler," Shakespeare- Jahrbuch, vol. vi. pp. 317, 318. 

t Chettle's "Kind Heart's Dream," 1592. But see Mr. Howard Staun- 
ton's letter in The Athenceum, Feb. 7, 1874; Mr. Simpson's article, 
"Shakspere Allusion Books," The Academy, April n, 1874; and Dr. 
Ingleby's preface to Shakspere Allusion Books, published for the New 
Shakspere Society. 

t The Leopold Shakspere (London, 1877), p. xxx. fol. 


and I would fain believe the subject was set him by that 
patron. But from whatever source came the impulse to take 
from Ovid the heated story of the heathen goddess's lust, we 
cannot forbear noticing how through this stifling atmosphere 
Shakspere has blown the fresh breezes of English meads and 
downs. Midsummer- Nigh fs Dream itself is not fuller of 
evidence of Shakspere's intimate knowledge of, and intense 
delight in, country scenes and sights, whether shown in his 
description of horse and hounds, or in closer touches, like 
that of the hush of wind before the rain ; while such lines 
as those about the eagle flapping, "shaking its wings" (57), 
over its food, send us still to the Zoological Gardens to ver- 
ify. Two lines there are, reflecting Shakspere's own expe- 
rience of life his own early life in London possibly which 
we must not fail to note ; they are echoed in Hamlet : 

"For misery is trodden on by many, 
And being low, never reliev'd by any." 

'T was a lesson plainly taught by the Elizabethan days, 
and the Victorian preach it too. It has been the fashion 
lately to run down the Venus as compared with Marlowe's 
Hero and Leander. Its faults are manifest. It shows less 
restraint and training than the work of the earlier-ripened 
Marlowe; but to me it has a fulness of power and promise 
of genius enough to make three Marlowes. . . . 

Though the Venus was dedicated by Shakspere, when twen- 
ty-nine, to the Earl of Southampton before he was twenty,* 
and cannot be called an improving poern for a young noble- 
man to read, we must remember the difference between the 

* He was born October 6, 1573 ; his father died October 4, 1581 ; he 
entered at St. John's College, Cambridge, on December 11, 1585, just 
after he was twelve ; took his degree of Master of Arts before he was 
sixteen, on June 6, 1589 ; and soon after entered at Gray's Inn, London. 
He was a ward of Lord Burghley. He became a favourite of Queen 
Elizabeth's, but lost her favour, in 1595, for making love to Elizabeth 
Vernon (Essex's cousin), whom he married later, in 1598. (Massey's 
Shaksptrc's Sonnets, p. 53, etc.) 


Elizabethan times and our own. Then, not one in a thou- 
sand of the companions of poets would have complained of 
Shakspere's choice of subject, or thought it other than as 
legitimate as its treatment was beautiful. The same subject 
was repeated perhaps by Shakspere in some sonnets of Tht 
Passionate Pilgrim; and a like one, in higher and happier 
tone, was made the motive of his All's Well that Ends Well 
as I believe, the recast of his early Love's Labours Won. 
However it grates on one to compare the true and loving 
Helena with the lustful Venus, one must admit that the pur- 
suit of an unwilling man by a willing woman though he was 
no Joseph, and she no Potiphar's wife was not so distaste- 
ful to the Elizabethan age as it is to the Victorian. Consta- 
ble's best poem (printed in 1600) treats the same topic as 
Shakspere's first : its title is The Shepherd's Song of Venus 
and Adonis* 

Of possession and promise in Shakspere's first poem, we 
have an intense love of nature, and a conviction (which nev- 
er left him) of her sympathy with the moods of men ; a pene- 
trating eye ; a passionate soul ;| a striking power of throw- 
ing himself into all he sees, and reproducing it living and 
real to his reader; a lively fancy, command of words, and 
music of verse ; these wielded by a shaping spirit that strives 
to keep each faculty under one control, and guide it while 
doing its share of the desired whole. . . . 

The first $ allusion to the Venus is by Meres in 1598 : . . . 

* Lodge has three stanzas in his Glaucus and Scilla, 1589, on Adonis's 
death, and Venus coming down to his corpse. 

t " A young poet can, at most, give evidence of ardent feeling and 
fresh imagination." Mark Pattison, Macmillarfs Magazine, March, 1875, 
p. 386. 

J If there really was an earlier edition in 1595, or any year before 1598, 
of John Weever's Epigrammes, which we know only in the edition of 
1599, then Weever was before Meres in recognizing the merit of Shak- 
spere's Venus, Lncrece, Romeo, and Richard. See the Epigram 22, in 
the New Shakspere Society's Allusion Books, Pt. I. p. 182. 


"witness his Venus and Adonis ', his Lucrece" etc. In 1598 
the two poems were again noticed in " A Remembrance of 
some English Poets," the fourth tract in a volume called 
Poems : in Diuers Humors, of which the first tract bears 
Richard Barnfield's name : 

"And Shakespeare thou, whose hony-flowing Vaine, 
(Pleasing the World) thy Praises doth obtaine ; 
Whose Venus, and whose Lucrece (sweete and chaste), 
Thy Name in fame's immortall Booke have plac't. 

Liue ever you ! at least, in Fame liue ever ! 

Well may the Bodye dye ; but Fame dies neuer." 

In the same year, 1598, the satirist, John Marston,* pub- 
lished " the first heir of his invention," which he called (p. 202) 
"the first bloomes of my poesie," "The Metamorphosis of 
Pigmalion's Image. And Certaine Satyres" (Works, 1856, 
iii. 199), and in it, says Mr. Minto (Characteristics of Eng- 
lish Poets, 1874, p. 437), reviving an old theory, "Shakspere's 
Venus and Adonis was singled out as the type of dangerously 
voluptuous poetry, and unmercifully parodied ; the acts of 
the goddess to win over the cold youth being coarsely par- 
alleled in mad mockery by the acts of Pygmalion to bring 
his beloved statue to life." Now the fact is, that there is no 
trace of " mad mockery " or parody in Marston's poem, 
though there are echoes in it of Venus, as there are si Rich- 
ard ///.,t Hamlet, etc., in Marston's Scourge of Villanie^ his 

* See the character given of him in the most interesting Return from 
Parnassus (about 1602, published 1606), Hazlitt's DoJsley,\x. 116, .uj. 
Also the anecdote in Manningham's Diary. 

t " A horse ! a horse ! My kingdom for a horse !" (1607. What You 
Will, act ii. sc. i. Works, i. 239). " A man ! a man ! a kingdom for a 
man!" (1598. Scourge of Villanie. Works, iii. 278). And he repeats 
the call, " A man, a man !" thrice in the next two pages (Shakspere Allu- 
sion Books, i. 1 88. New Shakspere Society). See, too, " A foole, a foole, 
a foole, my coxcombe for a foole !" (Fawn, 1606, act v. sc. i. Works, ii. 
89) ; and on p. 23, Hercules's imitation of lago's speech to Roderigo, in 
Othello, ii. 40-60 (Nicholson). Again, in The Malcontent, 1607, act iii. 
sc. iii. ( Works, i. 239), " Ho, ho ! ho, ho ! arte there, olde true pennye ;" 


Fawn, etc. ; and the far more probable view of the case is 
that put forward by Dr. Brinsley Nicholson : that Marston, 
being young, and of a warm temperament and licentious dis- 
position, followed the lead of a poem then in everybody's 
mouth* (Shakspere's Venus\ and produced his Pigmalion's 
Image; but being able only to heighten the Venus's sensual- 
ity, and leave out its poetry and bright outdoor life, he dis- 
gusted his readers, had his poem suppressed by Whitgtft and 
Bancroft's order, and then tried to get out of the scrape by 
saying that he had written his nastiness only to condemn 
other poets for writing theirs ! A likely story Indeed ! But 
let him tell it himself. In his " Satyre VI." of his Scourge of 
Villanie, 1598 (completed in 1599), Works, 1856, iii. 274, 275, 

he says : 

" Curio ! know'st my sprite ; 
Yet deem'st that in sad seriousness I write 
Such nasty stuffe as is Pigmalion? 
Such maggot-tainted, lewd corruption ! . . . 
Think'st thou that I, which was create to whip 
Incarnate fiends . . . 
Think'st thou that I in melting poesie 
Will pamper itching sensualitie, 
That in the bodies scumme, all fatally 
Intombes the soules most sacred faculty? 

from Hamlet, etc. Compare, too, Lampatho in The Mahontent (vol. i. p. 
236) with Armado in Love's Labours Lost. Marston was steeped in Shak- 
spere, though to little good. 

* See The Fair Maid of the Exchange: 

" Crip{ple\ But heave you sir? reading so much as you haue done, 
Doe you not remember one pretty phrase, 
To scale the walles of a faire wenches loue ? 

Bow(dler\. I never read any thing but Venus and Adonis. 

Crip. Why that 's the very quintessence of loue ; 
If you remember but a verse or two, 
He pawne my head, goods, lands, and all, 't will doe." 

In R. Baron's ''Fortune's Tennis-ball" (Pocula Castalia, 1640) are, says 
Dr. B. Nicholson, many appropriations from Venus and Adonis, suddenly 
occurring where hunting is spoken of. Falstaff is also referred to ; and 
at the end are many appropriations from Ben Jonson's Hymcn&L 


Hence, thou misjudging censor ! know, I wrot 
Those idle rimes to note the odious spot 
And blemish that deformes the lineaments 
Of moderne poesies habiliments. 
Oh that the beauties of invention* 
For want of judgements disposition, 
Should all be spoil'd ! " . . . 

Then, after describing seven types of poets of whom the 
fifth may be Shakspere,f and the sixth Ben Jonson (comp. p. 
245) Marston goes on to satirize the readers of his and 
other writers' loose poems, for whom he " slubber'd up that 
chaos indigest " of his Pigmalion. This epithet is certainly 
not consistent with the dedication of his poem to Good Opin- 
ion and his Mistress ; and his excuse for his failure in it is 
plainly an after-thought. But whatever we determine as to 
Marston's motives and honesty, we shall all join in regret- 
ting the " want of judgements disposition " that let Shakspere 
choose Venus \ for an early place in his glorious gallery of 
women forms whose radiant purity and innocence have 
won all hearts; though we will remember this fault only as 
the low level from which he rose on stepping-stones of his 
dead self to higher things. He who put Venus near the be- 
ginning of his career, ended with Miranda, Perdita, Imogen, 
and Queen Katherine. Let them make atonement for her ! 

* Comp. Shakspere's " First heir of my invention." 
t Yon 's one whose straines haue flowne so high a pitch, 

That straight he flags, and tumbles in a ditch. 
His sprightly hot high-soring poesie 
Is like that dream'd-of imagery, 
Whose head was gold, brest silver, brassie thigh, 
Lead leggs, clay feete : O faire fram'd poesie f 
That Shakspere's subject was clay, and his verse gold, is certainly true. 

J The author of the Return from Parnassus (written about 1602, pub- 
lished 1606), puts it thus (Hazlitt's Dodsley, ix. 118) : 

"William Shakespeare? 
Who loves Adonis' love or Lucrece rape: 
His sweeter verse contains heart-robbing life, 
Could but a graver subject him content, 
Without love's foolish, lazy languishment." 






I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to 
your Lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so 
strong a prop to support so weak a burthen : only if your honour seem 
but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow to take advan- 
tage of all idle hours till I have honoured you with some graver labour. 
But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it 
had so noble a godfather, and never after ear so barren a land, for fear 
it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, 
and your honour to your heart's content, which I wish may always 
answer your own \vish, and the world's hopeful expectation. 
Your Honour's in all duty, 



EVEN as the sun with purple-colour'd face 
Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn, 
Rose-cheek'd Adonis hied him to the chase; 
Hunting he lov'd, but love he laugh'd to scorn : 
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him, 
And like a bold-fac'd suitor gins to woo him. 

* Thrice fairer than myself/ thus she began, 
4 The field's chief flower, sweet above compare, 
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man, 
More white and red than doves or roses are, 
Nature that made thee, with herself at strife, 
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life. 

' Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed, 
And rein his proud head to the saddle-bow ; 
If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed 
A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know: 
Here come and sit, where never serpent hisses, 
And being set I '11 smother thee with kisses j 


' And yet not cloy thy lips with loath'd satiety, 
. But rather famish them amid their plenty, 
Making them red and pale with fresh variety, 
Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty: 
A summer's day will seem an hour but short, 
Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.' 

With this she seizeth on his sweating palm, 
The precedent of pith and livelihood, 
And, trembling in her passion, calls it balm, 
Earth's sovereign salve to do a goddess good ; 
Being so enrag'd, desire doth lend her force 
Courageously to pluck him from his horse. 

Over one arm the lusty courser's rein, 

Under her other was the tender boy, 

Who blush'd and pouted in a dull disdain, 

With leaden appetite, unapt to toy; 

She red and hot as coals of glowing fire, 
He red for shame, but frosty in desire. 

The studded bridle on a ragged bough 

Nimbly she fastens O, how quick is love! 

The steed is stalled up, and even now 

To tie the rider she begins to prove; 

Backward she push'd him, as she would be thrust, 
And govern'd him in strength, though not in lust. 

So soon was she along as he was down, 
Each leaning on their elbows and their hips; 
Now doth she stroke his cheek, now doth he frown, 
And gins to chide, but soon she stops his lips, 
And kissing speaks, with lustful language broken, 
1 If thou wilt chide, thy lips shall never open.' 

He burns with bashful shame, she with her tears 
Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheeks; 


4 5 

Then with her windy sighs and golden hairs 
To fan and blow them dry again she seeks : 

He saith she is immodest, blames her miss; 

What follows more she murthers with a kiss. 

Even as an empty eagle, sharp by fast, 
Tires with her beak on feathers, flesh, and bone, 
Shaking her wings, devouring all in haste, 
Till either gorge be stufFd, or prey be gone; 
Even so she kiss'd his brow, his cheek, his chin, 
And where she ends she doth anew begin. 60 

Forc'd to content, but never to obey, 
Panting he lies, and breatheth in her face: 
She feedeth on the steam as on a prey, 
And calls it heavenly moisture, air of grace; 

Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowers, 
So they were dew'd with such distilling showers. 

Look how a bird lies tangled in a net, 

So fasten'd in her arms Adonis lies ; 

Pure shame and awed resistance made him fret, 

Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes : 70 

Rain added to a river that is rank 
Perforce will force it overflow the bank. 

Still she entreats, and prettily entreats, 

For to a pretty ear she tunes her tale ; 

Still is he sullen, still he lowers and frets, 

'Twixt crimson shame and anger ashy-pale : 
Being red, she loves him best ; and being white, 
Her best is better'd with a more delight. 

Look how he can, she cannot choose but love; 

And by her fair immortal hand she swears 80 

From his soft bosom never to remove 

Till he take truce with her contending tears, 


Which long have rain'd, making her cheeks all wet; 
And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt. 

Upon this promise did he raise his chin, 
Like a divedapper peering through a wave, 
Who, being look'd on, ducks as quickly in ; 
So offers he to give what she did crave, 
But when her lips were ready for his pay, 
He winks, and turns his lips another way. 90 

Never did passenger in summer's heat 
More thirst for drink than she for this good turn. 
Her help she sees, but help she cannot get; 
She bathes in water, yet her fire must burn : 

'O, pity/ gan she cry, 'flint-hearted boy! 

'T is but a kiss I beg ; why art thou coy ? 

1 1 have been woo'd, as I entreat thee now, 
Even by the stern and direful god of war, 
Whose sinewy neck in battle ne'er did bow, 
Who conquers where he comes in every jar; 100 

Yet hath he been my captive and my slave, 
And begg'd for that which thou unask'd shalt have, 

'Over my altars hath he hung his lance, 
His batter'd shield, his uncontrolled crest, 
And for my sake hath learn'd to sport and dance, 
To toy, to wanton, dally, smile, and jest, 
Scorning his churlish drum and ensign red, 
Making my arms his field, his tent my bed. 

' Thus he that overrul'cl I oversway'd, 

Leading him prisoner in a red-rose chain ; no 

Strong-temper'd steel his stronger strength obey'd, 

Yet was he servile to my coy disdain. 

O, be not proud, nor brag not of thy might, 
For mastering her that foil'd the god of fight! 


'Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine, 
Though mine be not so fair, yet are they red, 
The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine. 
What seest thou in the ground? hold up thy head: 

Look in mine eye-balls, there thy beauty lies ; 

Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes? 120 

4 Art thou asham'd to kiss ! then wink again, 

And I will wink; so shall the day seem night; 

Love keeps his revels where there are but twain; 

Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight : 
These blue-vein'd violets whereon we lean 
Never can blab, nor know not what we mean. 

' The tender spring upon thy tempting lip 

Shows thee unripe ; yet mayst thou well be tasted ; 

Make use of time, let not advantage slip ; 

Beauty within itself should not be wasted : 130 

Fair flowers that are not gather'd in their prime 
Rot and consume themselves in little time. 

6 Were I hard-favour'd, foul, or wrinkled-old, 
Ill-nurtur'd, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice, 
O'erworn, despised, rheumatic and cold, 
Thick-sighted, barren, lean and lacking juice, 

Then mightst thou pause, for then I were not for thee ; 

But having no defects, why dost abhor me? 

'Thou canst not see one wrinkle in my brow; 

Mine eyes are gray and bright and quick in turning; 

My beauty as the spring doth yearly grow ; r 4 i 

My flesh is soft and plump, my marrow burning; 
My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt, 
Would in thy palm dissolve, or seem to melt. 

' Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear, 
Or, like a fairy, trip upon the green, 



Or, like a nymph, with long dishevell'd hair, 
Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen ; 

Love is a spirit all compact of fire, 

Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire. 150 

* Witness this primrose bank whereon I lie ; 

These forceless flowers like sturdy trees support me ; 
Two strengthless doves will draw me through the sky, 
From morn till night, even where I list to sport me : 
Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be 
That thou shouldst think it heavy unto thee? 

1 Is thine own heart to thine own face affected ? 

Can thy right hand seize love upon thy left? 

Then woo thyself, be of thyself rejected, 

Steal thine own freedom and complain on theft. 160 
Narcissus so himself himself forsook, 
And died to kiss his shadow in the brook. 

* Torches are made to light, jewels to wear, 
Dainties to taste, fresh beauty for the use, 
Herbs for their smell, and sappy plants to bear; 
Things growing to themselves are growth's abuse : 

Seeds spring from seeds and beauty breedeth beauty : 
Thou wast begot; to get it is thy duty. 

1 Upon the earth's increase why shouldst thou feed, 
Unless the earth with thy increase be fed ? 170 

By law of nature thou art bound to breed, 
That thine may live when thou thyself art dead ; 

And so, in spite of death, thou dost survive, 

In that thy likeness still is left alive.' 

By this the love-sick queen began to sweat, 
For where they lay the shadow had forsook them, 
And Titan, tired in the mid-day heat, 
With burning eye did hotly overlook them ; 


Wishing Adonis had his team to guide, 
So he were like him and by Venus' side. 

And now Adonis, with a lazy spright, 

And with a heavy, dark, disliking eye, 

His lowering brows o'erwhelming his fair sight, 

Like misty vapours when they blot the sky, 

Souring his cheeks, cries * Fie, no more of love! 

The sun cloth burn my face; I must remove.' 

' Ay me,' quoth Venus, ' young and so unkind ? 
What bare excuses mak'st thou to be gone ! 
I '11 sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind 
Shall cool the heat of this descending sun: 

I '11 make a shadow for thee of my hairs; 

If they burn too, I '11 quench them with my tears. 

'The sun that shines from heaven shines but warm, 
And, lo, I lie between that sun and thee : 
The heat I have from thence doth little harm, 
Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me; 
And were I not immortal, life were done 
Between this heavenly and earthly sun. 

' Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel, 
Nay, more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth? 
Art thou a woman's son, and canst not feel 
What 't is to love? how want of love tormenteth? 
O, had thy mother borne so hard a mind, 
She had not brought forth thee, but died unkind ! 

4 What am I, that thou shouldst contemn me this? 

Or what great danger dwells upon my suit? 

What were thy lips the worse for one poor kiss? 

Speak, fair; but speak fair words, or else be mute: 
Give me one kiss, I '11 give it thee again, 
And one for interest, if thou wilt have twain. 


1 Fie, lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone, 
Well-painted idol, image dull and dead, 
Statue contenting but the eye alone, 
Thing like a man, but of no woman bred! 

Thou art no man, though of a man's complexion ; 

For men will kiss even by their own direction.' 

This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue, 

And swelling passion doth provoke a pause; 

Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong; 

Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause: 220 
And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak, 
And now her sobs do her intendments break. 

Sometimes she shakes her head and then his hand, 
Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground; 
Sometimes her arms infold him like a band: 
She would, he will not in her arms be bound; 

And when from thence he struggles to be gone, 

She locks her lily fingers one in one. 

* Fondling,' she saith, ' since I have hemm'd thee here 
Within the circuit of this ivory pale, 230 

I '11 be a park, and thou shalt be my deer; 
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale: 
Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry, 
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie. 

'Within this limit is relief enough, 
Sweet bottom-grass and high delightful plain, 
Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough, 
To shelter thee from tempest and from rain : 

Then be my deer, since I am such a park; 

No dog shall rouse thee, though a thousand bark.' 240 

At this Adonis smiles as in disdain, 

That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple: 


Love made those hollows, if himself were slain, 

He might be buried in a tomb so simple ; 
Foreknowing well, if there he came to lie, 
Why, there Love liv'd and there he could not die. 

These lovely caves, these round enchanting pits, 

Open'd their mouths to swallow Venus' liking. 

Being mad before, how doth she now for wits? 

Struck dead at first, what needs a second striking? 250 
Poor queen of love, in thine own law forlorrr, 
To love a cheek that smiles at thee in scorn ! 

Now which way shall she turn? what shall she say? 

Her words are done, her woes the more increasing; 

The time is spent, her object will away, 

And from her twining arms doth urge releasing. 
' Pity,' she cries, 'some favour, some remorse!' 
Away he springs and hasteth to his horse. 

But, lo, from forth a copse that neighbours by, 
A breeding jennet, lusty, young, and proud, 360 

Adonis' trampling courser doth espy, 
And forth she rushes, snorts, and neighs aloud ; 
The strong-neck'd steed, being tied unto a tree, 
Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he. 

Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds, 
And now his woven girths he breaks asunder; 
The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds, 
Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven's thunder; 
The iron bit he crushes 'tween his teeth, 
Controlling what he was controlled with. 270 

His ears up-prick'd ; his braided hanging mane 
Upon his compass'd crest now stand on end; 
His nostrils drink the air, and forth again, 
As from a furnace, vapours doth he send; 


His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire, 
Shows his hot courage and his high desire. 

Sometime he trots, as if he told the steps, 

With gentle majesty and modest pride; 

Anon he rears upright, curvets, and leaps, 

As who should say ' Lo, thus my strength is tried, 280 
And this I do to captivate the eye 
Of the fair breeder that is standing by.' 

What recketh he his rider's angry stir, 

His flattering ' Holla,' or his ' Stand, I say'? 

What cares he now for curb or pricking spur? 

For rich caparisons or trapping gay? 

He sees his love, and nothing else he sees, 
For nothing else with his proud sight agrees. 

Look, when a painter would surpass the life, 
In limning out a well-proportion'd steed, 290 

His art with nature's workmanship at strife, 
As if the dead the living should exceed ; 
So did this horse excel a common one 
In shape, in courage, colour, pace, and bone. 

Round-hoof'd, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long, 
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide, 
High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong, 
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide : 
Look, what a horse should have he did not lack, 
Save a proud rider on so proud a back. 3 oo 

Sometime he scuds far off, and there he stares; 

Anon he starts at stirring of a feather; 

To bid the wind a base he now prepares, 

And whether he run or fly they know not whether; 
For through his mane and tail the high wind sings, 
Fanning the hairs, who wave like feather'd wings. 


He looks upon his love and neighs unto her; 
She answers him as if she knew his mind : 
Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her, 
She puts on outward strangeness, seems unkind, 310 
Spurns at his love and scorns the heat he feels, 
Beating his kind embracements with her heels. 

Then, like a melancholy malcontent, 

He vails his tail that, like a falling plume, 

Cool shadow to his melting buttock lent; 

He stamps and bites the poor flies in his fume. 
His love, perceiving how he is enrag'd, 
Grew kinder, and his fury was assuag'd. 

His testy master goeth about to take him; 

When, lo, the unback'd breeder, full of fear, 320 

Jealous of catching, swiftly doth forsake him, 

With her the horse, and left Adonis there : 

As they were mad, unto the wood they hie them, 
Out-stripping crows that strive to over-fly them. 

All swoln with chafing, down Adonis sits, 
Banning his boisterous and unruly beast: 
And now the happy season once more fits, 
That love-sick Love by pleading may be blest; 
For lovers say, the heart hath treble wrong 
When it is barr'd the aidance of the tongue. 330 

An oven that is stopp'd, or river stay'd, 
Burneth more hotly, swelleth with more rage: 
So of concealed sorrow may be said ; 
Free vent of words love's fire doth assuage; 

But when the heart's attorney once is mute. 

The client breaks, as desperate in his suit. 

He sees her coming, and begins to glow, 
Even as a dying coal revives with wind, 


And with his bonnet hides his angry brow; 

Looks on the dull earth with disturbed mind, 340 

Taking no notice that she is so nigh, 
Jior all askance he holds her in his eye. 

O, what a sight it was, wistly to view 
How she came stealing to the wayward boy! 
To note the fighting conflict of her hue, 
How white and red each other did destroy ! 
But now her cheek was pale, and by and by 
It flash'd forth fire, as lightning from the sky. 

Now was she just before him as he sat, 

And like a lowly lover down she kneels; 350 

With one fair hand she heaveth up his hat, 

Her other tender hand his fair cheek feels: 

His tenderer cheek receives her soft hand's print, 
As apt as new-fallen snow takes any dint. 

O, what a war of looks was then between them ! 

Her eyes petitioners to his eyes suing; 

His eyes saw her eyes as they had not seen them ; 

Her eyes woo'd still, his eyes disdain'd the wooing : 
And all this dumb play had his acts made plain 
With tears, which, chorus-like, her eyes did rain. 3^ 

Full gently now she takes him by the hand, 

A lily prison'd in a gaol of snow, 

Or ivory in an alabaster band : 

So white a friend engirts so white a foe: 

This beauteous combat, wilful and unwilling, 
Show'd like two silver doves that sit a-billing. 

Once more the engine of her thoughts began : 

*O fairest mover on this mortal round, 

Would thou wert as I am, and I a man, 

My heart all whole as thine, thy heart my wound ; 370 


For one sweet look thy help I would assure thee, 
Though nothing but my body's bane would cure thee.' 

'Give me my hand/ saith he, ' why dost thou feel it?' 
1 Give me my heart,' saith she, ' and thou shalt have it ; 
O, give it me, lest thy hard heart do steel it, 
And being steel'd, soft sighs can never grave it : 
Then love's deep groans I never shall regard, 
Because Adonis' heart hath made mine hard.' 

* For shame,' he cries, ' let go, and let me go; 

My day's delight is past, my horse is gone, 380 

And 't is your fault I am bereft him so: 

I pray you hence, and leave me here alone; 
For all my mind, my thought, my busy care, 
Is how to get my palfrey from the mare.' 

Thus she replies: 'Thy palfrey, as he should, 
Welcomes the warm approach of sweet desire : 
Affection is a coal that must be cool'd ; 
Else, suffer'd, it will set the heart on fire: 

The sea hath bounds, but deep desire hath none; 

Therefore no marvel though thy horse be gone. 390 

' How like a jade he stood, tied to the tree, 

Servilely master'd with a leathern rein ! 

But when he saw his love, his youth's fair fee, 

He held such petty bondage in disdain ; 

Throwing the base thong from his bending crest, 
Enfranchising his mouth, his back, his breast. 

'Who sees his true-love in her naked bed, 
Teaching the sheets a whiter hue than white, 
But, when his glutton eye so full hath fed, 
His other agents aim at like delight? 400 

Who is so faint that dares not be so bold 
To touch the fire, the weather being cold ? 


I Let me excuse thy courser, gentle boy; 
And learn of him, I heartily beseech thee, 
To take advantage on presented joy ; 

Though I were dumb, yet his proceedings teach thee : 
O, learn to love ; the lesson is but plain, 
And once made perfect, never lost again.' 

I 1 know not love,' quoth he, ' nor will not know it, 
Unless it be a boar, and then I chase it; 410 
'T is much to borrow, and I will not owe it ; 

My love to love is love but to disgrace it; 
For I have heard it is a life in death, 
That laughs and weeps, and all but with a breath. 

* Who wears a garment shapeless and unfinished ? 
Who plucks the bud before one leaf put forth ? 
If springing things be any jot diminish'd, 

They wither in their prime, prove nothing worth ; 
The colt that 's back'd and burden'd being young 
Loseth his pride and never waxeth strong. 420 

* You hurt my hand with wringing ; let us part, 
And leave this idle theme, this bootless chat: 
Remove your siege from my unyielding heart; 
To love's alarms it will not ope the gate: 

Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your flattery; 
For where a heart is hard they make no battery.' 

' What ! canst thou talk ?' quoth she, ' hast thou a tongue ? 

O, would thou haclst not, or I had no hearing ! 

Thy mermaid's voice hath done me double wrong; 

I had my load before, now press'd with bearing : 430 
Melodious discord, heavenly tune harsh-sounding, 
Ear's deep-sweet music, and heart's deep-sore wound- 


i Had I no eyes but ears, my ears would love 

That inward beauty and invisible; 

Or were I deaf, thy outward parts would move 

Each part in me that were but sensible : 

Though neither eyes nor ears, to hear nor see, 
Yet should I be in love by touching thee. 

1 Say, that the sense of feeling were bereft me, 
And that I could not see, nor hear, nor touch, 440 

And nothing but the very smell were left me, 
Yet would my love to thee be still as much ; 
For from the stillitory of thy face excelling 
Comes breath perfum'd that breedeth love by smelling. 

4 But, O, what banquet wert thou to the taste, 

Being nurse and feeder of the other four! 

Would they not wish the feast might ever last, 

And bid Suspicion double-lock the door, 
Lest Jealousy, that sour unwelcome guest, 
Should, by his stealing in, disturb the feast ?' 450 

Once more the ruby-colour'd portal open'cl, 
Which to his speech did honey passage yield; 
Like a red morn, that ever yet betoken'd 
Wrack to the seaman, tempest to the field, 
Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds, 
Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds. 

This ill presage advisedly she marketh ; 
Even as the wind is hush'd before it raineth, 
Or as the wolf doth grin before he barketh, 
Or as the berry breaks before it staineth, *'*> 

Or like the deadly bullet of a gun, 
His meaning struck her ere his words begun. 

And at his look she flatly falleth down, 

For looks kill love and love by looks reviveth ; 


A smile recures the wounding of a frown ; 

But blessed bankrupt, that by love so thriveth ! 
The silly boy, believing she is dead, 
Claps her pale cheek, till clapping makes it red ; 

And all amaz'd brake off his late intent, 

For sharply he did think to reprehend her, 47 

Which cunning love did wittily prevent: 

Fair fall the wit that can so well defend her ! 
For on the grass she lies as she were slain, 
Till his breath breatheth life in her again. 

He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheeks, 
He bends her fingers, holds her pulses hard, 
He chafes her lips ; a thousand ways he seeks 
To mend the hurt that his unkindness marr'd : 
He kisses her; and she, by her good will, 
Will never rise, so he will kiss her still. 480 

The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day; 
Her two blue windows faintly she upheaveth, 
Like the fair sun, when in his fresh array 
He cheers the morn and all the earth relieveth ; 

And as the bright sun glorifies the sky, 

So is her face illumin'd with her eye, 

Whose beams upon his hairless face are fix'd, 
As if from thence they borrow'd all their shine. 
Were never four such lamps together mix'd, 
Had not his clouded with his brow's repine ; 490 

But hers, which through the crystal tears gave light, 
Shone like the moon in water seen by night. 

' O, where am I ?' quoth she, ' in earth or heaven, 
Or in the ocean drench'd, or in the fire ? 
What hour is this ? or morn or weary even ? 
Do I delight to die, or life desire ? 


But now I liv'd, and life was death's annoy ; 
But now I died, and death was lively joy. 

*O, thou didst kill me; kill me once again : 
Thy eyes' shrewd tutor, that hard heart of thine, 500 
Hath taught them scornful tricks and such disdain 
That they have murther'd this poor heart of mine ; 
And these mine eyes, true leaders to their queen, 
But for thy piteous lips no more had seen. 

'Long may they kiss each other for this cure ! 

O, never let their crimson liveries wear ! 

And as they last, their verdure still endure, 

To drive infection from the dangerous year ! 
That the star-gazers, having writ on death, 
May say, the plague is banish'd by thy breath. so 

'Pure lips, sweet seals in my soft lips imprinted, 
What bargains may I make, still to be sealing ? 
To sell myself I can be well contented, 
So thou wilt buy and pay and use good dealing; 
Which purchase if thou make, for fear of slips 
Set thy seal-manual on my wax-red lips. 

'A thousand kisses buys my heart from me; 

And pay them at thy leisure, one by one. 

What is ten hundred touches unto thee ? 

Are they not quickly told and quickly gone ? s*> 

Say, for non-payment that the debt should double, 
Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble ?' 

i Fair queen,' quoth he, ' if any love you owe me, 
Measure my strangeness with my unripe years : 
Before I know myself, seek not to know me; 
No fisher but the ungrown fry forbears : 

The mellow plum doth fall, the green sticks fast, 

Or being early pluck'd is sour to taste. 


'Look, the world's comforter, with weary gait, 
His day's hot task hath ended in the west; 53 

The owl, night's herald, shrieks, " 'T is very late ;" 
The sheep are gone to fold, birds to their nest, 
And coal-black clouds that shadow heaven's light 
Do summon us to part and bid good night. 

' Now let me say " Good night," and so say you ; 
If you will say so, you shall have a kiss.' 
'Good night,' quoth she, and, ere he says 'Adieu/ 
The honey fee of parting tender'd is: 

Her arms do lend his neck a sweet embrace; 

Incorporate then they seem ; face grows to face : 54^ 

Till, breathless, he disjoin'd, and backward drew 
The heavenly moisture, that sweet coral mouth, 
Whose precious taste her thirsty lips well knew, 
Whereon they surfeit, yet complain on drouth: 
He with her plenty press'd, she faint with dearth, 
Their lips together glued, fall to the earth. 

Now quick desire hath caught the yielding prey, 

And glutton-like she feeds, yet never filleth; 

Her lips are conquerors, his lips obey, 

Paying what ransom the insulter willeth; 550 

Whose vulture thought doth pitch the price so high. 
That she will draw his lips' rich treasure dry: 

And having felt the sweetness of the spoil, 
With blindfold fury she begins to forage; 
Her face doth reek and smoke, her blood doth boil, 
And careless lust stirs up a desperate courage; 
Planting oblivion, beating reason back, 
Forgetting shame's pure blush and honour's wracL 

Hot, faint, and weary, with her hard embracing, 

Like a wild bird being tam'd with too much handling, 



Or as the fleet-foot roe that 's tir'd with chasing, 561 
Or like the froward infant still'd with dandling, 
He now obeys, and now no more resisteth, 
While she takes all she can, not all she listeth. 

What wax so frozen but dissolves with tempering, 
And yields at last to every light impression ? 
Things out of hope are compass'd oft with venturing, 
Chiefly in love, whose leave exceeds commission; 
Affection faints not like a pale-fac'd coward, 
But then wooes best when most his choice is froward. 

When he did frown, O, had she then gave over, 571 

Such nectar from his lips she had not suck'd. 

Foul words and frowns must not repel a lover; 

What though the rose have prickles, yet 't is pluck'd: 
Were beauty under twenty locks kept fast, 
Yet love breaks through and picks them all at last. 

For pity now she can no more detain him ; 

The poor fool prays her that he may depart: 

She is resolv'd no longer to restrain him ; 

Bids him farewell, and look well to her heart, 580 

The which, by Cupid's bow she doth protest, 
He carries thence incaged in his breast. 

' Sweet boy,' she says, ' this night I '11 waste in sorrow, 

For my sick heart commands mine eyes to watch. 

Tell me, Love's master, shall we meet to-morrow ? 

Say, shall we ? shall we ? wilt thou make the match ?' 
He tells her, no; to-morrow he intends 
To hunt the boar with certain of his friends. 

4 The boar!' quoth she; whereat a sudden pale, 
Like lawn being spread upon the blushing rose, 59 

Usurps her cheek ; she trembles at his tale, 
And on his neck her yoking arms she throws: 


She sinketh down, still hanging by his neck, 
He on her belly falls, she on her back. 

Now is she in the very lists of love, 

Her champion mounted for the hot encounter: 

All is imaginary she doth prove, 

He will not manage her, although he mount her ; 
That worse than Tantalus' is her annoy, 
To clip Elysium and to lack her joy. 600 

Even as poor birds, deceiv'd with painted grapes, 

Do surfeit by the eye and pine the maw, 

Even so she languisheth in her mishaps, 

As those poor birds that helpless berries saw. 
The warm effects which she in him finds missing 
She seeks to kindle with continual kissing. 

But all in vain ; good queen, it will not be : 

She hath assay'd as much as may be prov'd ; 

Her pleading hath deserv'd a greater fee ; 

She 's Love, she loves, and yet she is not lov'd. 6m 

6 Fie, fie/ he says, 'you crush me; let me go; 

You have no reason to withhold me so.' 

* Thou hadst been gone,' quoth she, ' sweet boy, ere this, 
But that thou told'st me thou wouldst hunt the boar. 
O, be advis'd ! thou know'st not what it is 
With javelin's point a churlish swine to gore, 

Whose tushes never sheath'd he whetteth still, 

Like to a mortal butcher bent to kill. 

1 On his bow-back he hath a battle set 

Of bristly pikes, that ever threat his foes ; 620 

His eyes, like glow-worms, shine when he doth fret ; 

His snout digs sepulchres where'er he goes; 
Being mov'd, he strikes whatever is in his way, 
And whom he strikes his crooked tushes slay. 


1 His brawny sides, with hairy bristles arm'd, 

Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter; 

His short thick neck cannot be easily harm'd; 

Being ireful, on the lion he will venture: 

The thorny brambles and embracing bushes, 

As fearful of him, part, through whom he rushes. 630 

' Alas, he nought esteems that face of thine, 
To which Love's eyes pay tributary gazes; 
Nor thy soft hands, sweet lips, and crystal eyne, 
Whose full perfection all the world amazes; 

But having thee at vantage, wondrous dread ! 
Would root these beauties as he roots the mead. 

<O, let him keep his loathsome cabin still; 

Beauty hath nought to do with such foul fiends : 

Come not within his danger by thy will; 

They that thrive well take counsel of their friends. 640 
When thou didst name the boar, not to dissemble, 
I fear'd thy fortune, and my joints did tremble. 

* Didst thou not mark my face ? was it not white ? 

Saw'st thou not signs of fear lurk in mine eye ? 

Grew I not faint? and fell I not downright? 

Within -my bosom, whereon thou dost lie, 

My boding heart pants, beats, and takes no rest, 
But, like an earthquake, shakes thee on my breast. 

' For where Love reigns, disturbing Jealousy 

Doth call himself Affection's sentinel; 6 so 

Gives false alarms, suggesteth mutiny, 

And in a peaceful hour doth cry " Kill, kill !" 

Distempering gentle Love in his desire, 

As air and water do abate tr^e fire. 

'This sour informer, this bate-breeding spy, 
This canker that eats up Love's tender spring, 


This carry-tale, dissentious Jealousy, 

That sometime true news, sometime false doth bring, 
Knocks at my heart and whispers in mine ear 
That if I love thee, I thy death should fear : 660 

' And more than so, presented! to mine eye 
The picture of an angry-chafing boar, 
Under whose sharp fangs on his back doth lie 
An image like thyself, all stain'd with gore ; 
Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed 
Doth make them droop with grief and hang the head. 

4 What should I do, seeing thee so indeed, 

That tremble at the imagination ? 

The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed, 

And fear doth teach it divination ; 670 

I prophesy thy death, my living sorrow, 
If thou encounter with the boar to-morrow. 

'But if thou needs wilt hunt, be rul'd by me; 

Uncouple at the timorous flying hare, 

Or at the fox, which lives by subtlety, 

Or at the roe, which no encounter dare : 
Pursue these fearful creatures o'er the downs, 
And on thy well-breath'd horse keep with thy hounds. 

f And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare, 
Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot his troubles 680 
How he outruns the wind, and with what care 
He cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles ; 

The many musits through the which he goes 

Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes. 

1 Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep, 
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell, 
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep, 
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell, 


And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer; 

Danger deviseth shifts, wit waits on fear : 690 

1 For there his smell with others being mingled, 
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt, 
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled 
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out; 

Then do they spend their mouths : Echo replies, 

As if another chase were in the skies. 

' By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill, 

Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear, 

To hearken if his foes pursue him still : 

Anon their loud alarums he doth hear; 700 

And now his grief may be compared well 
To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell. 

'Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch 
Turn, and return, indenting with the way; 
Each envious brier his weary legs doth scratch, 
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay: 

For misery is trodden on by many, 

And being low never relieved by any. 

1 Lie quietly, and hear a little more; 

Nay, do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise : 710 

To make thee hate the hunting of the boar, 

Unlike myself thou hear'st me moralize, 

Applying this to that, and so to so; 

For love can comment upon every woe. 

' Where did I leave ?' ' No matter where,' quoth he ; 

' Leave me, and then the story aptly ends : 

The night is spent/ ' Why, what of that ?' quoth she. 

6 1 am/ quoth he, ' expected of my friends ; 
And now 't is dark, and going I shall fall.' 
* In night,' quoth she, ' desire sees best of all. 7* 


1 But if thou fall, O, then imagine this, 

The earth, in love with thee, thy footing trips, 

And all is but to rob thee of a kiss. 

Rich preys make true men thieves; so do thy lips 
Make modest Dian cloudy and forlorn, 
Lest she should steal a kiss and die forsworn. 

4 Now of this dark night I perceive the reason: 
Cynthia for shame obscures her silver shine, 
Till forging Nature be condemned of treason, 
For stealing moulds from heaven that were divine ; 73 
Wherein she fram'd thee in high heaven's despite, 
To shame the sun by day and her by night. 

1 And therefore hath she brib'd the Destinies 
To cross the curious workmanship of nature, 
To mingle beauty with infirmities, 
And pure perfection with impure defeature, 
Making it subject to the tyranny 
Of mad mischances and much misery; 

' As burning fevers, agues pale and faint, 
Life-poisoning pestilence and frenzies wood, 740 

The marrow-eating sickness, whose attaint 
Disorder breeds by heating of the blood : 

Surfeits, imposthumes, grief, and damn'd despair, 
Swear Nature's death for framing thee so fair. 

* And not the least of all these maladies 
But in one minute's fight brings beauty under: 
Both favour, savour, hue, and qualities, 
Whereat the impartial gazer late did wonder, 
Are on the sudden wasted, thaw'd, and done, 
As mountain snow melts with the mid-day sun. 750 

' Therefore, despite of fruitless chastity, 
Love-lacking vestals and self-loving nuns, 


That on the earth would breed a scarcity 
And barren dearth of daughters and of sons, 
Be prodigal; the lamp that burns by night 
Dries up his oil to lend the world his light. 

' What is thy body but a swallowing grave, 

Seeming to bury that posterity 

Which by the rights of time thou needs must have, 

If thou destroy them not in dark obscurity ? ' 760 

If so, the world will hold thee in disdain, 
Sith in thy pride so fair a hope is slain. 

1 So in thyself thyself art made away; 
A mischief worse than civil home-bred strife, 
Or theirs whose desperate hands themselves do slay, 
Or butcher-sire that reaves his son of life. 
Foul-cankering rust the hidden treasure frets, 
But gold that 's put to use more gold begets.' 

4 Nay, then/ quoth Adon, ' you will fall again 
Into your idle over-handled theme : 770 

The kiss I gave you is bestow'd in vain, 
And all in vain you strive against the stream; 
For, by this black-fac'd night, desire's foul nurse, 
Your treatise makes me like you worse and worse. 

' If love have lent you twenty thousand tongues. 
And every tongue more moving than your own, 
Bewitching like the wanton mermaid's songs, 
Yet from mine ear the tempting tune is blown ; 
For know, my heart stands armed in mine ear, 
And will not let a false sound enter there, 780 

'Lest the deceiving harmony should run 
Into the quiet closure of my breast; 
And then my little heart were quite undone, 
In his bedchamber to be barr'd of rest. 


No, lady, no; my heart longs not to groan, 
But soundly sleeps, while now it sleeps alone. 

* What have you urg'd that I cannot reprove ? 

The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger: 

I hate not love, but your device in love, 

That lends embracements unto every stranger. 790 

You do it for increase; O strange excuse, 
When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse ! 

1 Call it not love, for Love to heaven is fled, 
Since sweating Lust on earth usurp'd his name; 
Under whose simple semblance he hath fed 
Upon fresh-beauty, blotting it with blame; 

Which the hot tyrant stains and soon bereaves, 

As caterpillars do the tender leaves. 

4 Love comforteth like sunshine after rain, 
But Lust's effect is tempest after sun ; SOQ 

Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain, 
Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done; 

Love surfeits not, Lust like a glutton dies; 

Love is all truth, Lust full of forged lies. 

'More I could tell, but more I dare not say; 

The text is old, the orator too green. 

Therefore, in sadness, now I will away: 

My face is full of shame, my heart of teen ; 
Mine ears, that to your wanton talk attended, 
Do burn themselves for having so offended.' 8ia 

With this, he breaketh from the sweet embrace 
Of those fair arms which bound him to her breast, 
And homeward through the dark laund runs apace, 
Leaves Love upon her back deeply distress'd. 
Look, how a bright star shooteth from the sky, 
So glides he in the night from Venus' eye; 


Which after him she darts, as one on shore 
Gazing upon a late-embarked friend, 
Till the wild waves will have him seen no more, 
Whose ridges with the meeting clouds contend : 8 ao 
So did the merciless and pitchy night 
Fold in the object that did feed her sight. 

Whereat amaz'd, as one that unaware 
Hath dropp'd a precious jewel in the flood, 
Or 'stonish'd as night-wanderers often are, 
Their light blown out in some mistrustful wood, 
Even so confounded in the dark she lay, 
Having lost the fair discovery of her way. 

And now she beats her heart, whereat it groans, 

That all the neighbour caves, as seeming troubled, s 30 

Make verbal repetition of her moans; 

Passion on passion deeply is redoubled : 

' Ay me !' she cries, and twenty times ' Woe, woe !' 
And twenty echoes twenty times cry so. 

She marking them begins a wailing note 

And sings extemporally a woeful ditty: 

How love makes young men thrall and old men dote; 

How love is wise in folly, foolish-witty. 
Her heavy anthem still concludes in woe, 
And still the choir of echoes answer so. 840 

Her song was tedious and outwore the night, 
For lovers' hours are long, though seeming short ; 
If pleas'd themselves, others, they think, delight 
In such-like circumstance, with such-like sport; 
Their copious stories oftentimes begun 
End without audience and are never done. 

For who hath she to spend the night withal 
But idle sounds resembling parasites, 


Like shrill-tongued tapsters answering every call. 
Soothing the humour of fantastic wits ? 850 

She says ' 'T is so :' they answer all ' 'T is so/ 
And would say after her, if she said ' No.' 

Lo, here the gentle lark, weary of rest, 
From his moist cabinet mo'unts up on high, 
And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast 
The sun ariseth in his majesty; 

Who doth the world so gloriously behold 
That cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold. 

Venus salutes him with this fair good-morrow : 
4 O thou clear god, and patron of all light, S6c 

From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow 
The beauteous influence that makes him bright, 
There lives a son that suck'd an earthly mother, 
May lend thee. light, as thou dost lend to other/ 

This said, she hasteth to a myrtle grove, 
Musing the morning is so much o'erworn, 
And yet she hears no tidings of her love : 
She hearkens for his hounds and for his horn ; 

Anon she hears them chant it lustily, 

And all in haste she coasteth to the cry. 8 7 o 

And as she runs, the bushes in the way 
Some catch her by the neck, some kiss her face, 
Some twine about her thigh to make her stay; 
She wildly breaketh from their strict embrace, 
Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ache, 
Hasting to feed her fawn hid in some brake. 

By this, she hears the hounds are at a bay ; 
Whereat she starts, like one that spies an adder 
Wreath'd up in fatal folds just in his way, 8 79 

The fear whereof doth make him shake and shudder : 


Even so the timorous yelping of the hounds 
Appals her senses and her spirit confounds. 

For now she knows it is no gentle chase, 

But the blunt boar, rough bear, or lion proud, 

Because the cry remaineth in one place, 

Where fearfully the dogs exclaim aloud ; 
Finding their enemy to be so curst, 
They all strain courtesy who shall cope him first. 

This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear, 
Through which it enters to surprise her heart, 890 

Who, overcome by doubt and bloodless fear, 
With cold-pale weakness numbs each feeling part ; 
Like soldiers, when their captain once doth yield, 
They basely fly and dare not stay the field. 

Thus stands she in a trembling ecstasy, 

Till, cheering up her senses all dismay'd, 

She tells them 't is a causeless fantasy, 

And childish error, that they are afraid; 

Bids them leave quaking, bids them fear no more : 
And with that word she spied the hunted boar, 900 

Whose frothy mouth, bepainted all with red, 
Like milk and blood being mingled both together, 
A second fear through all her sinews spread, 
Which madly hurries her she knows not whither: 
This way she runs, and now she will no further, 
But back retires to rate the boar for murther. 

A thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways; 

She treads the path that she untreads again; 

Her more than haste is mated with delays, 

Like the proceedings of a drunken brain, 9> 

Full of respects, yet nought at all respecting, 
In hand with all things, nought at all effecting. 


Here kennell'd in a brake she finds a hound, 
And asks the weary caitiff for his master, 
And there another licking of his wound, 
'Gainst venom'd sores the only sovereign plaster ; 
And here she meets another sadly scowling, 
To whom she speaks, and he replies with howling. 

When he hath ceas'd his ill-resounding noise, 
Another flap-mouth'd mourner, black and grim, 9*c 

Against the welkin volleys out his voice; 
Another and another answer him, 

Clapping their proud tails to the ground below. 
Shaking their scratch'd ears, bleeding as they go. 

Look, how the world's poor people are amaz'd 

At apparitions, signs, and prodigies, 

Whereon with fearful eyes they long have gaz'd, 

Infusing them with dreadful prophecies; 

So she at these sad signs draws up her breath, 

And, sighing it again, exclaims on Death. 930 

1 Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean, 
Hateful divorce of love/ thus chides she Death, 
4 Grim-grinning ghost, earth's worm, what dost thou mean 
To stifle beauty and to steal his breath 

Who, when he liv'd, his breath and beauty set 

Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet ? 

* If he be dead, O no, it cannot be, 

Seeing his beauty, thou shouldst strike at it : 

O yes, it may ; thou hast no eyes to see, 

But hatefully at random dost thou hit. 940 

Thy mark is feeble age, but thy false dart 
Mistakes that aim and cleaves an infant's heart. 

' Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke, 
And, hearing him, thy power had lost his power. 


The Destinies will curse thee for this stroke ; 

They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluck'st a flower : 
Love's ^golden arrow at him should have fled, 
And not Death's ebon dart, to strike him dead. 

6 Dost thou drink tears, that thou provok'st such weeping? 

What may a heavy groan advantage thee? 950 

Why hast thou cast into eternal sleeping 

Those eyes that taught all other eyes to see ? 
Now Nature cares not for thy mortal vigour, 
Since her best work is ruin'd with thy rigour/ 

Here overcome, as one full of despair, 
She vail'd her eyelids, who, like sluices, stopt 
The crystal tide that from her two cheeks fair 
In the sweet channel of her bosom dropt ; 

But through the flood-gates breaks the silver rain, 
And with his strong course opens them again. 960 

O, how her eyes and tears did lend and borrow ! 

Her eyes seen in the tears, tears in her eye; 

Both crystals, where they view'd each other's sorrow, 

Sorrow that friendly sighs sought still to dry; 
But like a stormy day, now wind, now rain, 
Sighs -dry her cheeks, tears make them wet again. 

Variable passions throng her constant woe, 

As striving who should best becorne her grief; 

All entertained, each passion labours so, 

That every present sorrow seemeth chief, 97 

But none is best : then join they all together, 
Like many clouds consulting for foul weather. 

By this, far off she hears some huntsman hollo ; 
A nurse's song ne'er pleas'd her babe so well : 
The dire imagination she did follow 
This sound of hope doth labour to expel ; 


For now reviving joy bids her rejoice, 
And flatters her it is Adonis' voice. 

Whereat her tears began to turn their tide, 
Being prison'd in her eye like pearls in glass ; 980 

Yet sometimes falls an orient drop beside, 
Which her cheek melts, as scorning it should pass, 
To wash the foul face of the sluttish ground, 
Who is but drunken when she seemeth drown'd. 

hard-believing love, how strange it seems 
Not to believe, and yet too credulous ! 

Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes ; 

Despair and hope makes thee ridiculous : 

The one doth flatter thee in thoughts unlikely, 

In likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly. 990 

Now she unweaves the web that she hath wrought ; 

Adonis lives, and Death is not to blame ; 

It was not she that call'd him all to naught : 

Now she adds honours to his hateful name ; 

She clepes him king of graves and grave for kings, 
Imperious supreme of all mortal things. 

1 No, no,' quoth she, ' sweet Death, I did bqt jest ; 
Yet pardon me I felt a kind of fear 

Whenas I met the boar, that bloody beast, 
Which knows no pity, but is still severe ; uxx> 

Then, gentle shadow, truth I must confess, 
I rail'd on thee, fearing my love's decease. 

' T is not my fault ; the boar provok'd my tongue : 

Be wreak'd on him, invisible commander; 

T is he, foul creature, that hath done thee wrong ; 

I did but act, he 's author of thy slander : 

Grief hath two tongues, and never woman yet 
Could rule them both without ten women's wit.' 


Thus hoping that Adonis is alive, 

Her rash suspect she doth extenuate ; I0 i 

And that his beauty may the better thrive, 

With Death she humbly doth insinuate ; 

Tells him of trophies, statues, tombs, and stories 
His victories, his triumphs, and his glories. 

'O Jove,' quoth she, 'how much a fool was I 

To be of such a weak and silly mind 

To wail his death who lives and must not die 

Till mutual overthrow of mortal kind! 

For he being dead, with him is beauty slain, 

And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again. ioao 

'Fie, fie, fond love, thou art so full of fear 
As one with treasure laden hemm'd with thieves ; 
Trifles, unwitnessed with eye or ear, 
Thy coward heart with false bethinking grieves.' 
Even at this word she hears a merry horn, 
Whereat she leaps that was but late forlorn. 

As falcon to the lure, away she flies 

The grass stoops not, she treads on it so light 

And in her haste unfortunately spies 

The foul boar's conquest on her fair delight ; 1030 

Which seen, her eyes, as murther'd with the view, 
Like stars asham'd of clay, themselves withdrew; 

Or, as the snail, whose tender horns being hit, 
Shrinks backward in his shelly cave with pain, 
And there, all smother'd up, in shade doth sit, 
Long after fearing to creep forth again ; 

So, at his bloody view, her eyes are fled 

Into the deep-dark cabins of her head, 

Where they resign their office and their light 

To the disposing of her troubled brain ; 1040 


Who bids them still consort with ugly night, 
And never wound the heart with looks again ; 
Who, like a king perplexed in his throne, 
By their suggestion gives a deadly groan, 

Whereat each tributary subject quakes ; 
As when the wind, imprison'd in the ground, 
Struggling for passage, earth's foundation shakes, 
Which with cold terror doth men's minds confound. 
This mutiny each part doth so surprise 
That from their dark beds once more leap her eyes, 

And, being open'd, threw unwilling light 1051 

Upon the wide wound that the boar had trench'd 
In his soft flank, whose wonted lily white 
With purple tears that his wound wept was drench'd ; 
No flower was nigh, no grass, herb, leaf, or weed, 
But stole his blood and seem'd with him to bleed. 

This solemn sympathy poor Venus noteth ; 

Over one shoulder doth she hang her head ; 

Dumbly she passions, franticly she doteth ; 

She thinks he could not die, he is not dead : 1060 

Her voice is stopt, her joints forget to bow ; 

Her eyes are mad that they have wept till now. 

Upon his hurt she looks so steadfastly, 

That her sight dazzling makes the wound seem three ; 

And then she reprehends her mangling eye, 

That makes more gashes where no breach should be : 

His face seems twain, each several limb is doubled ; 

For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being troubled. 

1 My tongue cannot express my grief for one, 

And yet,' quoth she, ' behold two Adons dead ! io 7 c 

My sighs are blown away, my salt tears gone, 

Mine eyes are turn'd to fire, my heart to lead : 


Heavy heart's lead, melt at mine eyes' red fire ! 
So shall I die by drops of hot desire. 

' Alas, poor world, what treasure hast thou lost ! 
What face remains alive that 's worth the viewing? 
Whose tongue is music now ? what canst thou boast 
Of things long since, or any thing ensuing? 

The flowers are sweet, their colours fresh and trim ; 

But true-sweet beauty liv'd and died with him. 1080 

' Bonnet nor veil henceforth no creature wear! 

Nor sun nor wind will ever strive to kiss you : 

Having no fair to lose, you need not fear ; 

The sun doth scorn you and the wind doth hiss you : 
But when Adonis liv'd, sun and sharp air 
Lurk'd like two thieves, to rob him of his fair. 

' And therefore would he put his bonnet on, 
Under whose brim the gaudy sun would peep ; 
The wind would blow it off and, being gone, 
Play with his locks : then would Adonis weep ; 1090 

And straight, in pity of his tender years, 
They both would strive who first should dry his tears. 

4 To see his face the lion walk'd along 

Behind some hedge, because he would not fear him ; 

To recreate himself when he hath sung, 

The tiger would be tame and gently hear him ; 
If he had spoke, the wolf would leave his prey, 
And never fright the silly lamb that day. 

1 When he beheld his shadow in the brook, 
The fishes spread on it their golden gills ; oo 

When he was by, the birds such pleasure took, 
That some would sing, some other in their bills 

Would bring him mulberries and ripe-red cherries ; 

He fed them with his sight, they him with berries. 


' But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted boar, 
Whose downward eye still looketh for a grave, 
Ne'er saw the beauteous livery that he wore ; 
Witness the entertainment that he gave: 
If he did see his face, why then I know 
He thought to kiss him, and hath kill'd him so. n 

' 'T is true, 't is true ; thus was Adonis slain : 
He ran upon the boar with his sharp spear, 
Who did not whet his teeth at him again, 
But by a kiss thought to persuade him there ; 
And nuzzling in his flank, the loving swine 
Sheath'd unaware the tusk in his soft groin. 

' Had I been tooth'd like him, I must confess, 

With kissing him I should have kill'd him first ; 

But he is dead, and never did he bless 

My youth with his ; the more am I accurst/ n 

With this, she falleth in the place she stood, 
And stains her face with his congealed blood. 

She looks upon his lips, and they are pale ; 

She takes him by the hand, and that is cold ; 

She whispers in his ears a heavy tale, 

As if they heard the woeful words she told ; 
She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes, 
Where, lo, two lamps burnt out in darkness lies ; 

Two glasses, where herself herself beheld 

A thousand times, and now no more reflect ; n 

Their virtue lost, wherein they late excell'd, 

And every beauty robb'd of his effect : 

' Wonder of time,' quoth she, i 'this is my spite, 
That, thou being dead, the day should yet be light. 

* Since thou art dead, lo, here I prophesy : 
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend ; 


It shall be waited on with jealousy, 

Find sweet beginning, but unsavoury end ; 

Ne'er settled equally, but high or low, 

That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe. 1140 

6 It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud, 

Bud and be blasted in a breathing-while ; 

The bottom poison, and the top o'erstraw'd 

With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile : 
The strongest body shall it make most weak, 
Strike the wise dumb, and teach the fool to speak. 

' It shall be sparing and too full of riot, 
Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures ; 
The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet, 
Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures ; 
It shall be raging-mad and silly-mild, nst 

Make the young old, the old become a child. 

k It shall suspect where is no cause of fear ; 

It shall not fear where it should most mistrust ; 

It shall be merciful and too severe, 

And most deceiving when it seems most just; 
Perverse it- shall be where it shows most toward, 
Put fear to valour, courage to the coward. 

1 It shall be cause of war and dire events, 

And set dissension 'twixt the son and sire ; n6o 

Subject and servile to all discontents, 

As dry combustious matter is to fire : 

Sith in his prime Death cloth my love destroy, 
They that love best their loves shall not enjoy/ 

By this, the boy that by her side lay kill'd 
Was melted like a vapour from her sight, 
And in his blood that on the ground lay spill'd, 
A purple flower sprung up, chequer'd with white, 


Resembling well his pale cheeks and the blood 1169 
Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood. 

She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to. smell, 
Comparing it to her Adonis' breath, 
And says, within her bosom it shall dwell, 
Since he himself is reft from her by death ; 
She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears 
Green-dropping sap, which she compares to tears. 

1 Poor flower,' quoth she, ' this was thy father's guise 

Sweet issue of a more sweet-smelling sire 

For every little grief to wet his eyes: 

To grow unto himself was his desire, n8o 

And so 't is thine ; but know, it is as good 

To wither in my breast as in his blood. 

' Here was thy father's bed, here in my breast ; 

Thou art the next of blood, and 't is thy right : 

Lo, in this hollow cradle take thy rest, 

My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night ; 
There shall not be one minute in an hour 
Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower.' 

Thus weary of the world, away she hies, 

And yokes her silver doves, by whose swift aid i r9 o 

Their mistress mounted through the empty skies 

In her light chariot quickly is convey'd ; 

Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen 
Means to immure herself and not be seen. 





The love I dedicate to your lordship is without end ; whereof this 
pamphlet, without beginning, is but a superfluous moiety. The warrant 
I have of your honourable disposition, not the worth of my untutored 
lines, makes it assured of acceptance. What I have done is yours ; 
what I have to do is yours ; being part in all I have, devoted yours. 
Were my worth greater, my duty would show greater ; meantime, as it 
is, it is bound to your lordship, to whom I wish long life, still lengthened 
with all happiness. Your lordship's in all duty, 




Lucius TARQUINIUS, for his excessive pride surnamed Superbus, after 
he had caused his own father-in-law Servius Tullius to be cruelly mur- 
thered, and, contrary to the Roman laws and customs, not requiring or 
staying for the people's suffrages, had possessed himself of the kingdom, 
went, accompanied with his sons and other noblemen of Rome, to besiege 
Ardea. During which siege the principal men of the army meeting one 
evening at the tent of Sextus Tarquinius, the kind's son, in their dis- 
courses after supper every one commended the virtues of his own wife ; 
among whom Collatinus extolled the incomparable chastity of his wife 
Lucretia. In that pleasant humour they all posted to Rome ; and intend- 
ing, by their secret and sudden arrival, to make trial of that which every 
one had before avouched, only Collatinus finds his wife, though it were 


late in the night, spinning amongst her maids : the other ladies were all 
found dancing and revelling, or in several disports. Whereupon the no- 
blemen yielded Collatinus the victory, and his wife the fame. At that 
time Sextus Tarquinius, being inflamed with Lucrece' beauty, yet smoth- 
ering his passions for the present, departed with the rest back to the 
camp ; from whence he shortly after privily withdrew himself, and was, 
according to his estate, royally entertained and lodged by Lucrece at 
Collatium. The same night he treacherously stealeth into her chamber, 
violently ravished her, and early in the morning speedeth away. Lucrece, 
in this lamentable plight, hastily dispatcheth messengers, one to Rome for 
her father, another to the tamp for Collatine. They came, the one ac- 
companied with Junius Brutus, the other with Publius Valerius, and 
finding Lucrece attired in mourning habit, demanded the cause of her 
sorrow. She, first taking an oath of them for her revenge, revealed the 
actor and whole manner of his dealing, and withal suddenly stabbed 
herself. Which done, with one consent they all vowed to root out the 
whole hated family of the Tarquins ; and bearing the dead body' to Rome, 
Brutus acquainted the people with the doer and manner of the vile deed, 
with a bitter invective against the tyranny of the king : wherewith the 
people were so moved, that with one consent and a general acclamation 
the Tarquins were all exiled, and the state government changed from 
kings to consuls. 

FROM the besieged Ardea all in post, 
Borne by the trustless wings of false desire, 
Lust-breathed Tarquin leaves the Roman host, 
And to Collatium bears the lightless fire 
Which, in pale embers hid, lurks to aspire 
And girdle with embracing flames the waist 
Of Collatine's fair love, Lucrece the chaste. 

Haply that name of ' chaste ' unhappily set 
This bateless edge on his keen appetite, 
When Collatine unwisely did not let 
To praise the clear unmatched red and white 
Which triumph'd in that sky of his delight, 

Where mortal stars, as bright as heaven's beauties, 
With pure aspects did him peculiar duties. 


For he the night before, in Tarquin's tent, 

Unlock'd the treasure of his happy state; 

What priceless wealth the heavens had him lent 

In the possession of his beauteous mate ; 

Reckoning his fortune at such high-proud rate, 

That kings might be espoused to more fame, *> 

But king nor peer to such a peerless dame. 

O happiness enjoy'd but of a few! 

And, if possess'd, as soon decay'd and done 

As is the morning's silver-melting dew 

Against the golden splendour of the sun ! 

An expir'd date, cancelPd ere well begun : 
Honour and beauty, in the owner's arms, 
Are weakly fortress'd from a world of harms. 

Beauty itself doth of itself persuade 

The eyes of men without an orator ; 3 o 

What needeth then apologies be made, 

To set forth that which is so singular? 

Or why is Collatine the publisher 

Of that rich jewel he should keep unknown 
From thievish ears, because it is his own ? 

Perchance his boast of Lucrece' sovereignty 

Suggested this proud issue of a king, 

For by our ears our hearts oft tainted be ; 

Perchance that envy of so rich a thing, 

Braving compare, disdainfully did sting 40 

His high-pitch'd thoughts, that meaner men should 

That golden hap which their superiors want. 

But some untimely thought did instigate 
His all-too-timeless speed, if none of those ; 
His honour, his affairs, his friends, his state, 


Neglected all, with swift intent he goes 
To quench the coal which in his liver glows. 
O rash false heat, wrapp'd in repentant cold, 
Thy hasty spring still blasts, and ne'er grows old ! 

When at Collatium this false lord arriv'd, 5 o 

Well was he welcom'd by the Roman dame, 
Within whose face beauty and virtue striv'd 
Which of them both should underprop her fame : 
When virtue bragg'd, beauty would blush for shame ; 
When beauty boasted blushes, in despite 
Virtue would stain that o'er with silver white. 

But beauty, in that white intituled, 
From Venus' doves doth challenge that fair field : 
Then virtue claims from beauty beauty's red, 
Which virtue gave the golden age to gild 60 

Their silver cheeks, and .call'd it then their shield ; 
Teaching them thus to use it in the fight, 
When shame assail'd, the red should fence the white. 

This heraldry in Lucrece' face was seen, 
Argued by beauty's red and virtue's white : 
Of either's colour was the other queen, 
Proving from world's minority their right ; 
Yet their ambition makes them still to fight, 
The sovereignty of either being so great, 
That oft they interchange each other's seat. 7 

This silent war of lilies and of roses, 
Which Tarquin view'd in her fair face's field, 
In their pure ranks his traitor eye encloses ; 
Where, lest between them both it should be kill'd, 
The coward captive vanquished doth yield 

To those two armies that would let him go, 

Rather than triumph in so false a foe. 


Now thinks he that her husband's shallow tongue 
The niggard prodigal that prais'd her so 
In that high task hath done her beauty wrong, go 

Which far exceeds his barren skill to show ; 
Therefore that praise which Collatine doth owe 

Enchanted Tarquin answers with surmise, 

In silent wonder of still-gazing eyes. 

This earthly saint, adored by this devil, 

Little suspecteth the false worshipper, 

For unstain'd thoughts do seldom dream on evil ; 

Birds never lim'd no secret bushes fear: 

So guiltless she securely gives good cheer 

And reverend welcome to her princely guest, 90 

Whose inward ill no outward harm express'd : 

For that he colour'd with his high estate, 

Hiding base sin in plaits of majesty, 

That nothing in him seem'd inordinate, 

Save sometime too much wonder of his eye, 

Which, having all, all could not satisfy ; 
But, poorly rich, so wanteth in his store, 
That, cloy'd with much, he pineth still for more. 

But she, that never cop'd with stranger eyes, 
Could pick no meaning from their parling looks, 100 
Nor read the subtle-shining secrecies 
Writ in the glassy margents of such books : 
She touch'd no unknown baits, nor fear'd no hooks; 
Nor could she moralize his wanton sight, 
More than his eyes were open'd to the light. 

He stories to her ears her husband's fame, 

Won in the fields of fruitful Italy, 

And decks with praises Collatine's high name, 


Made glorious by his manly chivalry 

With bruised arms and wreaths of victory ; 130 

Her joy with heav'd-up hand she doth express, 
And, wordless, so greets heaven for his success. 

Far from the purpose of his coming hither, 
He makes excuses for his being there : 
No cloudy show of stormy blustering weather 
Doth yet in his fair welkin once appear ; 
Till sable Night, mother of dread and fear, 
Upon the world dim darkness doth display, 
And in her vaulty prison stows the day. 

For then is Tarquin brought unto his bed, 120 

Intending weariness with heavy spright ; 
For, after supper, long he questioned 
With modest Lucrece, and wore out the night: 
Now leaden slumber with life's strength doth fight, 
And every one to rest themselves betake, 
Save thieves, and cares, and troubled minds, that wake. 

As one of which doth Tarquin lie revolving 

The sundry dangers of his will's obtaining, 

Yet ever to obtain his will resolving, 

Though weak-built hopes persuade him to abstaining; 

Despair to gain doth traffic oft for gaining, i 3 r 

And when great treasure is the meed propos'd, 
Though death be adjunct, there 's no death suppos'd. 

Those that much covet are with gain so fond, 
For what they have not, that which they possess 
They scatter and unloose it from their bond, 
And so, by hoping more, they have but less ; 
Or, gaining more, the profit of excess 
Is but to surfeit, and such griefs sustain, 
That they prove bankrupt in this poor-rich gain. MO 


The aim of all is but to nurse the life 
With honour, wealth, and ease, in waning age ; 
And in this aim there is such thwarting strife, 
That one for all or all for one we gage, 
As life for honour in fell battle's rage, 

Honour for wealth ; and oft that wealth doth cost 

The death of all, and all together lost. 

So that in venturing ill we leave to be 

The things we are for that which we expect ; 

And this ambitious foul infirmity, 150 

In having much, torments us with defect 

Of that we have : so then we do neglect 

The thing we have ; and, all for want of wit, 
Make something nothing by augmenting it. 

Such hazard now must doting Tarquin make, 

Pawning his honour to obtain his lust, 

And for himself himself he must forsake ; 

Then where is truth, if there be no self-trust ? 

When shall he think to find a stranger just, 

When he himself himself confounds, betrays 'fc> 

To Slanderous tongues and wretched hateful days ? 

Now stole upon the time the dead of night, 
When heavy sleep had clos'd up mortal eyes : 
No comfortable star did lend his light, 
No noise but owls' and wolves' death-boding cries ; 
Now serves the season that they may surprise 

The silly lambs : pure thoughts are dead and still, 
While lust and murther wakes to stain and kill. 

And now this lustful lord leap'd from his bed, 
Throwing his mantle rudely o'er his arm; 
Is madly toss'd between desire and dread : 
Th' one sweetly flatters, th' other feareth harm ; 
But honest fear, bewitch'd with lust's foul charm, 


Doth too too oft betake him to retire, 
Beaten away by brain-sick rude desire. 

His falchion on a flint he softly smiteth, 
That from the cold stone sparks of fire do fly ; 
Whereat a waxen torch forthwith he lighteth, 
Which must be lode-star to his lustful eye, 
And to the flame thus speaks advisedly: i&i 

' As from this cold flint I enforced this fire. 
So Lucrece must I force to my desire.' 

Here pale with fear he doth premeditate 
The dangers of his loathsome enterprise, 
And in his inward mind he doth debate 
What following sorrow may on this arise; 
Then looking scornfully, he doth despise 
His naked armour of still-slaughter'd lust, 
And justly thus controls his thoughts unjust; 

* Fair torch, burn out thy light, and lend it not 190 
To darken her whose light excelleth thine ; 

And die, unhallow'd thoughts, before you blot 
With your uncleanness that which is divine ; 
Offer pure incense to so pure a shrine : 

Let fair humanity abhor the deed 

That spots and stains love's modest snow-white weed. 

'O shame to knighthood and to shining arms! 

O foul dishonour to my household's grave ! 

O impious act, including all foul harms ! 

A martial man to be soft fancy's slave ! 200 

True valour still a true respect should have ; 

Then my digression is so vile, so base, 

That it will live engraven in my face. 

* Yea, though I die, the scandal will survive, 
And be an eye-sore in my golden coat ; 
Some loathsome clash the herald will contrive, 


To cipher me how fondly I did dote ; 

That my posterity, sham'd with the note, 
Shall curse my bones, and hold it for no sin 
To wish that I their father had not been. 210 

* What win I, if I gain the thing I seek ? 

A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy. 

Who buys a minute's mirth to wail a week, 

Or sells eternity to get a toy? 

For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy ? 
Or what fond beggar, but to touch the crown, 
Would with the sceptre straight be strucken down ? 

' If Collatinus dream of my intent, 
Will he not wake, and in a desperate rage 
Post hither, this vile purpose to prevent? 220 

This siege that hath engirt his marriage, 
This blur to youth, this sorrow to the sage, 
This dying virtue, this surviving shame, 
Whose crime will bear an ever-during blame? 

*O, what excuse can my invention make 
When thou shalt charge me with so black a deed? 
Will not my tongue be mute, my frail joints shake, 
Mine eyes forego their light, my false heart bleed? 
The guilt being great, the fear doth still exceed ; 

And extreme fear can neither fight nor fly, 230 

But coward-like with trembling terror die. 

' Had Collatinus kill'd my son or sire, 

Or lain in ambush to betray my life, 

Or were he not my dear friend, this desire 

Might have excuse to work upon his wife, 

As in revenge or quittal of such strife ; 
But as he is my kinsman, my dear friend, 
The shame and fault finds no excuse nor end. 


' Shameful it is ; ay, if the fact be known : 
Hateful it is ; there is no hate in loving : 240 

I '11 beg her love ; but she is not her own : 
The worst is but denial and reproving ; 
My will is strong, past reason's weak removing. 
Who fears a sentence or an old man's saw 
Shall by a painted cloth be kept in awe.' 

Thus, graceless, holds he disputation 
'Tween frozen conscience and hot-burning will, 
And with good thoughts makes dispensation, 
Urging the worser sense for vantage still ; 
Which in a moment doth confound and kill 250 

All pure effects, and doth so far proceed, 
That what is vile shows like a virtuous deed. 

Quoth he, ' She took me kindly by the hand, 

And gaz'd for tidings in my eager eyes, 

Fearing some hard news from the warlike band, 

Where her beloved Collatinus lies. 

O, how her fear did make her colour rise ! 
First red as roses that on lawn we lay, 
Then white as lawn, the roses took away. 

'And how her hand, in my hand being lock'd, 260 

Forc'd it to tremble with her loyal fear ! 

Which struck her sad, and then it faster rock'd, 

Until her husband's welfare she did hear ; 

Whereat she smiled with so sweet a cheer, 
That had Narcissus seen her as she stood, 
Self-love had never drown'cl him in the flood. 

'Why hunt I then for colour or excuses? 

All orators are dumb when beauty pleadeth ; 

Poor wretches have remorse in poor abuses ; 269 

Love thrives not in the heart that shadows dreadeth ; 

Affection is my captain, and he leadeth; 


And when his gaudy banner is displayed, 
The coward fights and will not be dismay'd. 

1 Then, childish fear avaunt ! debating die ! 
Respect and reason wait on wrinkled age ! 
My heart shall never countermand mine eye : 
Sad pause and deep regard beseems the sage ; 
My part is youth, and beats these from the stage : 

Desire my pilot is, beauty my prize ; 

Then who fears sinking where such treasure lies ?' 280 

As corn o'ergrown by weeds, so heedful fear 

Is almost chok'd by unresisted lust. 

Away he steals with open listening ear, 

Full of foul hope and full of fond mistrust ; 

Both which, as servitors to the unjust, 

So cross him with their opposite persuasion, 
That now he vows a league, and now invasion. 

Within his thought her heavenly image sits, 

And in the self-same seat sits Collatine : 

That eye which looks on her confounds his wits ; 290 

That eye which him beholds, as more divine, 

Unto a view so false will not incline, 

But with a pure appeal seeks to the heart, 
Which once corrupted takes the worser part ; 

And therein heartens up his servile powers, 
Who, flatter'd by their leader's jocund show, 
Stuff up his lust, as minutes fill up hours ; 
And as their captain, so their pride doth grow, 
Paying more slavish tribute than they owe. 

By reprobate desire thus madly led, 3> 

The Roman lord marcheth to Lucrece' bed. 

The locks between her chamber and his will, 
Each one by him enforc'cl, retires his ward ; 
But, as they open, they all rate his ill, 


Which drives the creeping thief to some regard : 
The threshold grates the door to have him heard ; 

Night-wandering weasels shriek to see him there ; 

They fright him, yet he still pursues his fear. 

As each unwilling portal yields him way, 

Through little vents and crannies of the place 310 

The wind wars with his torch to make him stay, 

And blows the smoke of it into his face, 

Extinguishing his conduct in this case ; 

But his hot heart, which fond desire doth scorch, 
Puffs forth another wind that fires the torch : 

And being lighted, by the light he spies 

Lucretia's glove, wherein her needle sticks : 

He takes it from the rushes where it lies, 

And griping it, the needle his finger pricks ; 

As who should say 'This glove to wanton tricks 320 

Is not inur'd ; return again in haste ; 

Thou see'st our mistress' ornaments are chaste.' 

But all these poor forbiddings could not stay him ; 

He in the worst sense construes their denial : 

The doors, the wind, the glove, that did delay him, 

He takes for accidental things of trial ; 

Or as those bars which stop the hourly dial, 
Who with a lingering stay his course doth let, 
Till every minute pays the hour his debt. 

1 So, so/ quoth he, ' these lets attend the time, 330 

Like little frosts that sometime threat the spring, 
To add a more rejoicing to the prime, 
And give the sneaped birds more cause to sing. 
Pain pays the income of each precious thing ; 

Huge rocks, high winds, strong pirates, shelves and 

The merchant fears, ere rich at home he lands.' 



Now is he come unto the chamber-door 
That shuts him from the heaven of his thought, 
Which with a yielding latch, and with no more, 
Hath barr'd him from the blessed thing he sought. 340 
So from himself impiety hath wrought, 
That for his prey to pray he doth begin, 
As if the heavens should countenance his sin. 

But in the midst of his unfruitful prayer, 
Having solicited the eternal power 
That his foul thoughts might compass his fair fair, 
And they would stand auspicious to the hour, 
Even there he starts : quoth he, ' I must deflower ; 
The powers to whom I pray abhor this fact, 
How can they then assist me in the act? ' 3S o 

'Then Love and Fortune be my gods, my guide ! 

My will is back'd with resolution : 

Thoughts are but dreams till their effects be tried ; 

The blackest sin is clear'd with absolution ; 

Against love's fire fear's frost hath dissolution. 
The eye of heaven is out, and misty night 
Covers the shame that follows sweet delight.' 

This said, his guilty hand pluck'd up the latch, 

And with his knee the door he opens wide. 

The dove sleeps fast that this night-owl will catch ; 360 

Thus treason works ere traitors be espied. 

Who sees the lurking serpent steps aside; 

But she, sound sleeping, fearing no such thing, 

Lies at the mercy of his mortal sting. 

Into the chamber wickedly he stalks, 
And gazeth on her yet unstained bed. 
The curtains being close, about he walks, 
Rolling his greedy eyeballs in his head ; . 
By their high treason is his heart misled, 

9 6 


Which gives the watchword to his hand full soon 
To draw the cloud that hides the silver moon. 371 

Look, as the fair and fiery-pointed sun, 
Rushing from forth a cloud, bereaves our sight, 
Even so, the curtain drawn, his eyes begun 
To wink, being blinded with a greater light ; 
Whether it is that she reflects so bright, 

That dazzleth them, or else some shame suppos'd, 
But blind they are, and keep themselves enclos'cl. 

O, had they in that darksome prison died ! 

Then had they seen the period of their ill ; 3 8o 

Then Collatine again, by Lucrece' side, 

In his clear bed might have reposed still ; 

But they must ope, this blessed league to kill, 
And holy-thoughted Lucrece to their sight 
Must sell her joy, her life, her world's delight. 

Her lily hand her rosy cheek lies under, 

Cozening the pillow of a lawful kiss, 

Who, therefore angry, seems to part in sunder, 

Swelling on either side to want his bliss; 

Between whose hills her head entombed is, 390 

Where, like a virtuous monument, she lies. 

To be admir'd of lewd unhallow'd eyes. 

Without the bed her other fair hand was, 
On the green coverlet, whose perfect white 
Show'd like an April daisy on the grass, 
With pearly sweat, resembling dew of night. 
Her eyes, like marigolds, had sheath'd their light, 

And canopied in darkness sweetly lay, 

Till they might open to adorn the day. 

Her hair, like golden threads, play'd with her breath ; 
O modest wantons! wanton modesty! 4 oi 

Showing life's triumph in the map of death, 


And death's dim look in life's mortality; 

Each in her sleep themselves so beautify, 
As if between them twain there were no strife, 
But that life liv'd in death, and death in life. 

Her breasts, like ivory globes circled with blue, 
A pair of maiden worlds unconquered, 
Save of their lord no bearing yoke they knew, 
And him by oath they truly honoured. 4 io 

These worlds in Tarquin new ambition bred, 
Who, like a foul usurper, went about 
From this fair throne to heave the owner out. 

What could he see but mightily he noted ? 
What did he note but strongly he desir'd ? 
What he beheld, on that he firmly doted, 
And in his will his wilful eye he tir'd. 
With more than admiration he admir'd 

Her azure veins, her alabaster skin, 

Her coral lips, her snow-white dimpled chin. 420 

As the grim lion fawneth o'er his prey, 
Sharp hunger by the conquest satisfied, 
So o'er this sleeping soul doth Tarquin stay, 
His rage of lust by gazing qualified ; , 
Slack'd, not suppress'd, for standing by her side, 
His eye, which late this mutiny restrains, 
Unto a greater uproar tempts his veins: 

And they, like straggling slaves for pillage fighting, 
Obdurate vassals fell exploits effecting, 
In bloody death and ravishment delighting, 43 

Nor children's tears nor mothers' groans respecting, 
Swell in their pride, the onset still expecting; 
Anon his beating heart, alarum striking, 
Gives the hot charge and bids them do their liking. 


His drumming heart cheers up his burning eye, 
His eye commends the leading to his hand; 
His hand, as proud of such a dignity, 
Smoking with pride, march'd on to make his stand 
On her bare breast, the heart of all her land, 

Whose ranks of blue veins, as his hand did scale, 440 
Left their round turrets destitute and pale. 

They, mustering to the quiet cabinet 
Where their dear governess and lady lies, 
Do tell her she is dreadfully beset, 
And fright her with confusion of their cries ; 
She, much amaz'd, breaks ope her lock'd-up eyes, 
Who, peeping forth this tumult to behold, 
Are by his flaming torch dimm'd and controlFd. 

Imagine her as one in dead of night 
From forth dull sleep by dreadful fancy waking, 4S o 
That thinks she hath beheld some ghastly sprite, 
Whose grim aspect sets every joint a-shaking; 
What terror 't is ! but she, in worser taking, 
From sleep disturbed, needfully doth view 
The sight which makes supposed terror true. 

Wrapp'd and confounded in a thousand fears, 

Like to a new-kill'd bird she trembling lies; 

She dares not look; yet, winking, there appears 

Quick-shifting antics, ugly in her eyes : 

Such shadows are the weak brain's forgeries, 4 6o 

Who, angry that the eyes fly from their lights, 
In darkness daunts them with more dreadful sights. 

His hand, that yet remains upon her breast, 
Rude ram, to batter such an ivory wall ! 
May feel her heart poor citizen ! distress'd, 
Wounding itself to death, rise up and fall, 
Beating her bulk, that his hand shakes withal. 


This moves in him more rage and lesser pity, 
To make the breach and enter this sweet city. 

First, like a trumpet, doth his tongue begin 470 

To sound a parley to his heartless foe, 

Who o'er the white sheet peers her whiter chin, 

The reason of this rash alarm to know, 

Which he by dumb demeanour seeks to show; 

But she with vehement prayers urgeth still 

Under what colour he commits this ill. 

Thus he replies : ' The colour in thy face, 

That even for anger makes the lily pale, 

And the red rose blush at her own disgrace, 

Shall plead for me and tell my loving tale; 4 8o 

Under that colour am I come to scale 

Thy never-conquer'd fort : the fault is thine, 
For those thine eyes betray thee unto mine. 

4 Thus I forestall thee, if thou mean to chide : 
Thy beauty hath ensnar'd thee to this night, 
Where thou with patience must my will abide ; 
My will that marks thee for my earth's delight, 
W 7 hich I to conquer sought with all my might, 
But as reproof and reason beat it dead, 
By thy bright beauty was it newly bred. 4<* 

; I see what crosses my attempt will bring ; 

I know what thorns the growing rose defends ; 

I think the honey guarded with a sting ; 

All this beforehand counsel comprehends : 

But will is deaf and hears no heedful friends ; 
Only he hath an eye to gaze on beauty, 
And dotes on what he looks, 'gainst law or duty. 

6 1 have debated, even in my soul, 

What wrong, what shame, what sorrow I shall breed ; 

But nothing can affection's course control, 500 


Or stop the headlong fury of his speed. 
I know repentant tears ensue the deed, 

Reproach, disdain, and deadly enmity; 

Yet strive I to embrace mine infamy.' 

This said, he shakes aloft his Roman blade, 
Which, like a falcon towering in the skies, 
Coucheth the fowl below with his wings' shade, 
Whose crooked beak threats if he mount he dies ; 
So under his insulting falchion lies 

Harmless Lucretia, marking what he tells 
With trembling fear, as fowl hear falcon's bells. 

'Lucrece,' quoth he, 'this night I must enjoy thee; 
If thou deny, then force must work my way, 
For in thy bed I purpose to destroy thee : 
That done, some worthless slave of thine I '11 slay, 
To kill thine honour with thy life's decay ; 

And in thy dead arms do I mean to place him, 
Swearing I slew him, seeing 'thee embrace him. 

* So thy surviving husband shall remain 
The scornful mark of every open eye ; 
Thy kinsmen hang their heads at this disdain, 
Thy issue blurr'd with nameless bastardy : 
And thou, the author of their obloquy, 

Shalt have thy trespass cited up in rhymes, 
. And sung by children in succeeding times. 

1 But if thou yield, I rest thy secret friend : 
The fault unknown is as a thought unacted; 
A little harm done to a great good end 
For lawful policy remains enacted. 
The poisonous simple sometimes is compacted 

In a pure compound ; being so applied, 

His venom in effect is purified. 



'Then, for thy husband and thy children's sake, 
Tender my suit: bequeath not to their lot 
The shame that from them no device can take, 
The blemish that will never be forgot, 
Worse than a slavish wipe or birth-hour's blot; 
For marks descried in men's nativity 
Are nature's faults, not their own infamy.' 

Here with a cockatrice' dead-killing eye s 4 c 

He rouseth up himself and makes a pause ; 

While she, the picture of pure piety, 

Like a white hind under the gripe's sharp claws, 

Pleads, in a wilderness where are no laws, 

To the rough beast that knows no gentle right, 

Nor aught obeys but his foul appetite. 

But when a black-fac'd cloud the world doth threat, 
In his dim mist the aspiring mountains hiding, 
From earth's dark womb some gentle gust doth get, 
Which blows these pitchy vapours from their biding, 
Hindering their present fall by this dividing ; ss\ 

So his unhallow'd haste her words delays, 
And moody Pluto winks while Orpheus plays. 

Yet, foul night-waking cat, he doth but dally, 
While in his hold-fast foot the weak mouse panteth: 
Her sad behaviour feeds his vulture folly, 
A swallowing gulf that even in plenty wanteth; 
His ear her prayers admits, but his heart granteth 
No penetrable entrance to her plaining : 
Tears harden lust, though marble wear with raining. 

Her pity-pleading eyes are sadly fix'd 56* 

In the remorseless wrinkles of his face ; 
Her modest eloquence with sighs is mix'd, 
Which to her oratory adds more grace. 
She puts the period often from bis place, 



And midst the sentence so her accent breaks, 
That twice she doth begin ere once she speaks. 

She conjures him by high almighty Jove, 
By knighthood, gentry, and sweet friendship's oath, 
By her untimely tears, her husband's love, 57 o 

By holy human law, and common troth, 
By heaven and earth, and all the power of both, 
That to his borrow'd bed he make retire, 
And stoop to honour, not to foul desire. 

Quoth she, ' Reward not hospitality 
With such black payment as thou hast pretended ; 
Mud not the fountain that gave drink to thee ; 
Mar not the thing that cannot be amended ; 
End thy ill aim before thy shoot be ended ; 

He is no woodman that doth bend his bow i 580 

To strike a poor unseasonable doe. 

1 My husband is thy friend ; for his sake spare me : 
Thyself art mighty ; for thine own sake leave me : 
Myself a weakling ; do not then ensnare me : 
Thou look'st not like deceit ; do not deceive me. 
My sighs, like whirlwinds, labour hence to heave thee : 
If ever man were mov'd with woman's moans, 
Be moved with my tears, my sighs, my groans ; 

'All which together, like a troubled ocean, 

Beat at thy rocky and wrack-threatening heart, 590 

To soften it with their continual motion, 

For stones dissolved to water do convert. 

O, if no harder than a stone thou art, 

Melt at my tears, and be compassionate ! 

Soft pity enters at an iron gate. 

' In Tarquin's likeness I did entertain thee ; 
Hast thou put on his shape to do him shame? 
To all the host of heaven I complain me, 


Thou wrong'st his honour, wound'st his princely name. 
Thou art not what thou seem'st ; and if the same, 600 

Thou seem'st not what thou art, a god, a king ; 

For kings like gods should govern every thing. 

' How will thy shame be seeded in thine age, 
When thus thy vices bud before' thy spring ! 
If in thy hope thou dar'st do such outrage, 
What dar'st thou not when once thou art a king? 
O, be remember'd, no outrageous thing 

From vassal actors can be wip'd away ; 

Then kings' misdeeds cannot be hid in clay. 

* This deed will make thee only lov'd for fear, 610 
But happy monarchs still are fear'd for love; 

With foul offenders thou perforce must bear, 
When they in thee the like offences prove : 
If but for fear of this, thy will remove ; 

For princes are the glass, the school, the book, 
W T here subjects' eyes do learn, do read, do look. 

i And wilt thou be the school where Lust shall learn ? 

Must he in thee read lectures of such shame ? 

Wilt thou be glass wherein it shall discern 

Authority for sin, warrant for blame, 620 

To privilege dishonour in thy name ? 

Thou back'st reproach against long-living laud, 
And mak'st fair reputation but a bawd. 

* Hast thou command ? by him that gave it thee, 
From a pure heart command thy rebel will ; 
Draw not thy sword to guard iniquity, 

For it was lent thee all that brood to kill. 

Thy princely office how canst thou fulfil, 

When, pattern'd by thy fault, foul sin may say, 

He learn'd to sin, and thou didst teach the way? 630 


1 Think but how vile a spectacle it were, 
To view thy present trespass in another. 
Men's faults do seldom to themselves appear ; 
Their own transgressions partially they smother : 
This guilt would seem death-worthy in thy brother. 
O, how are they.wrapp'd in with infamies 
That from their own misdeeds askance their eyes ! 

1 To thee, to thee, my heav'd-up hands appeal, 

Not to seducing lust, thy rash relier : 

I sue for exil'd majesty's repeal ; 6 4 o 

Let him return,- and flattering thoughts retire: 

His true respect will prison false desire, 

And wipe the dim mist from thy doting eyne, 
That thou shalt see thy state and pity mine.' 

4 Have done,' quoth he; 'my uncontrolled tide 

Turns not, but swells the higher by this let. 

Small lights are soon blown out, huge fires abide, 

And with the wind in greater fury fret ; 

The petty streams that pay a daily debt 

To their salt sovereign, with their fresh falls' haste 
Add to his flow, but alter not his taste.' 6 5I 

' Thou art,' quoth she, ' a sea, a sovereign king ; 
And lo, there falls into thy boundless flood 
Black lust, dishonour, shame, misgoverning, 
Who seek to stain the ocean of thy blood. 
If all these petty ills shall change thy good, 
Thy sea within a puddle's womb is hears'd, 
And not the puddle in thy sea dispers'd. 

' So shall these slaves be king, and thou their slave ; 
Thou nobly base, they basely dignified ; 660 

Thou their fair life, and they thy fouler grave ; 
Thou loathed in their shame, they in thy pride : 
The lesser thing should not the greater hide ; 


The cedar stoops not to the base shrub's foot, 
But low shrubs wither at the cedar's root. 

' So let thy thoughts, low vassals to thy state '- 
* No more,' quoth he ; ' by heaven, I will not hear thee : 
Yield to my love ; if not, enforced hate, 
Instead of love's coy touch, shall rudely tear thee ; 
That done, despitefully I mean to bear thee 6 7 o 

Unto the base bed of some rascal groom, 
To be thy partner in this shameful doom.' 

This said, he sets his foot upon the light, 

For light and lust are deadly enemies; 

Shame folded up in blind concealing night, 

When most unseen, then most doth tyrannize. 

The wolf hath seiz'd his prey, the poor lamb cries ; 
Till with her own white fleece her voice controlled 
Entombs her outcry in her lips' sweet fold : 

For with the nightly linen that she wears 6&> 

He pens her piteous clamours in her head, 

Cooling his hot face in the chastest tears 

That ever modest eyes with sorrow shed. 

O, that prone lust should stain so pure a bed ! 
The spots whereof could weeping purify, 
Her tears should drop on them perpetually. 

But she hath lost a dearer thing than life, 
And he hath won what he would lose again : 
This forced league doth force a further strife ; 
This momentary joy breeds months of pain ; 690 

This hot desire converts to cold disdain; 
Pure Chastity is rifled of her store, 
And Lust, the thief, far poorer than before. 

Look, as the full-fed hound or gorged hawk, 
Unapt for tender smell or speedy flight, 
Make slow pursuit, or altogether balk 


The prey wherein by nature they delight, 
So surfeit-taking Tarquin fares this night ; 
His taste delicious, in digestion souring, 
Devours his will, that liv'd by foul devouring. 7 o 

O, deeper sin than bottomless conceit 
Can comprehend in still imagination ! 
Drunken Desire must vomit his receipt, 
Ere he can see his own abomination. 
While Lust is in his pride, no exclamation 
, Can curb his heat or rein his rash desire, 
Till like a jade Self-will himself doth tire. 

And then with lank and lean discolour'd cheek, 
With heavy eye, knit brow, and strengthless pace, 
Feeble Desire, all recreant, poor, and meek, 7 i 

Like to a bankrupt beggar wails his case : 
The flesh being proud, Desire doth fight with Grace, 

For there it revels; and when that decays, 

The guilty rebel for remission prays. 

So fares it with this faultful lord of Rome, 

Who this accomplishment so hotly chas'd ; 

For now against himself he sounds this doom, 

That through the length of times he stands disgraced : 

Besides, his soul's fair temple is defac'd ; 

To whose weak ruins muster troops of cares, 72 

To ask the spotted princess how she fares. 

She says, her subjects with foul insurrection 
Have batter'd down her consecrated wall, 
And by their mortal fault brought in subjection 
Her immortality, and made her thrall 
To living death and pain perpetual; 

Which in her prescience she controlled still, 
But her foresight could not forestall their will. 


Even in this thought through the dark night he slealeth, 
A captive victor that hath lost in gain ; 730 

Bearing away the wound that nothing healeth, 
The scar that will, despite of cure, remain ; 
Leaving his spoil perplex'd in greater pain. 

She bears the load of lust he left behind, 

And he the burthen of a guilty mind. 

He like a thievish dog creeps sadly thence; 

She like a wearied lamb lies panting there ; 

He scowls and hates himself for his offence; 

She, desperate, with her nails her flesh doth tear; 

He faintly flies, sweating with guilty fear; 740 

She stays, exclaiming on the direful night; 

He runs, and chides his vanish'd, loath'd delight. 

He thence departs a heavy convertite ; 

She there remains a hopeless castaway ; 

He in his speed looks for the morning light; 

She prays she never may behold the day, 

' For day/ quoth she, ' night's scapes doth open lay, 
And my true eyes have never practised how 
To cloak offences with a cunning brow. 

1 They think not but that every eye can see 75 

The same disgrace which they themselves behold ; 

And therefore would they still in darkness be, 

To have their unseen sin remain untold; 

For they their guilt with weeping will unfold, 
And grave, like water that doth eat in steel, 
Upon my cheeks what helpless shame I feel. 

Here she exclaims against repose and rest, 

And bids her eyes hereafter still be blind ; 

She wakes her heart by beating on her breast, 

And bids it leap from thence, where it may find 760 

Some purer chest to close so pure a mind. 


Frantic with grief thus breathes she forth her spite 
Against the unseen secrecy of night : 

'O comfort-killing Night, image of hell ! 

Dim register and notary of shame ! 

Black stage for tragedies and murthers fell ! 

Vast sin-concealing chaos ! nurse of blame ! 

Blind muffled bawd ! dark harbour for defame ! 
Grim cave of death ! whispering conspirator 
With close-tongued treason and the ravisher! 770 

' O hateful, vaporous, and foggy Night ! 
Since thou art guilty of my cureless crime, 
Muster thy mists to meet the eastern light, 
Make war against proportion'd course of time ; 
Or if thou wilt permit the sun to climb 
His wonted height, yet ere he go to bed 
Knit poisonous clouds about his golden head. 

'With rotten damps ravish the morning air; 

Let their exhal'd unwholesome breaths make sick 

The life of purity, the supreme fair, 7 8o 

Ere he arrive his weary rtoon-tide prick ; 

And let thy misty vapours march so thick, 
That in their smoky ranks his smother'd light 
May set at noon and make perpetual night. 

1 Were Tarquin Night, as he is but Night's child, 
The silver-shining queen he would distain; 
Her twinkling handmaids too, by him defil'd, 
Through Night's black bosom should not peep again : 
So should I have co-partners in my pain ; 

And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage, 79 o 

As palmers' chat makes short their pilgrimage: 

' Where now I have no one to blush with me, 

To cross their arms and hang their heads with mine, 

To mask their brows and hide their infamy ; 


But I alone alone must sit and pine, 
Seasoning the earth with showers of silver brine, 
Mingling my talk with tears, my grief with groans, 
Poor wasting monuments of lasting moans. 

'O Night, thou furnace of foul-reeking smoke, 

Let not the jealous Day behold that face 8oc 

Which underneath thy black all-hiding cloak 

Immodestly lies martyr'd with disgrace! 

Keep still possession of thy gloomy place, 

That all the faults which in thy reign are made 
May likewise be sepulchred in thy shade ! 

'Make me not object to the tell-tale Day! 

The light will show, character'd in my brow, 

The story of sweet chastity's decay, 

The impious breach of holy wedlock vow; 

Yea, the illiterate, that know not how 810 

To cipher what is writ in learned books, 
Will quote my loathsome trespass in my looks. 

4 The nurse, to still her child, will tell my story, 

And fright her crying babe with Tarquin's name ; 

The orator, to deck his oratory, 

Will couple my reproach to Tarquin's shame ; 

Feast-finding minstrels, tuning my defame, 
Will tie the hearers to attend each line, 
How Tarquin wronged me, I Collatine. 

1 Let my good name, that senseless reputation, 820 

For Collatings dear love be kept unspotted; 
If that be made a theme for disputation, 
The branches of another root are rotted, 
And undeserved reproach to him allotted 

That is as clear from this attaint of mine 

As I, ere this, was pure to Collatine. 


'O unseen shame! invisible disgrace! 

unfelt sore ! crest-wounding, private scar ! 
Reproach is stamp'd in Collatinus' face, 

And Tarquin's eye may read the mot afar, 830 

How he in peace is wounded, not in war. 
Alas, how many bear such shameful blows, 
Which not themselves, but he that gives them knows ! 

' If, Collatine, thine honour lay in me, 

From me by strong assault it is bereft. 

My honey lost, and I, a drone-like bee, 

Have no perfection of my summer left, 

But robb'd and ransack'd by injurious theft; 
In thy weak hive a wandering wasp hath crept, 
And suck'd the honey which thy chaste bee kept. 840 

6 Yet am I guilty of thy honour's wrack ; 
Yet for thy honour did I entertain him ; 
Coming from thee, I could not put him back, 
For it had been dishonour to disdain him : 
Besides, of weariness he did complain him, 
And talk'd of virtue ; O unlook'd-for evil, 
When virtue is profan'd in such a devil ! 

1 Why should the worm intrude the maiden bud? 
Or hateful cuckoos hatch in sparrows' nests? 

Or toads infect fair founts with venom mud ? 8 5 

Or tyrant folly lurk in gentle breasts ? 

Or kings be breakers of their own behests? 

But no perfection is so absolute, 

That some impurity doth not pollute. 

'The aged man that coffers up his gold 

Is plagued with cramps and gouts and painful fits. 

And scarce hath eyes his treasure to behold, 

But like still-pining Tantalus he sits, 

And useless barns the harvest of his wits; 


Having no other pleasure of his gain 860 

But torment that it cannot cure his pain. 

1 So then he hath it when he cannot use it, 
And leaves it to be master'd by his young, 
Who in their pride do presently abuse it; 
Their father was too weak, and they too strong, 
To hold their cursed-blessed fortune long. 
The sweets we wish for turn to loathed sours 
Even in the moment that we call them ours. 

* Unruly blasts wait on the tender spring; 
Unwholesome weeds take root with precious flowers ; 
The adder hisses where the sweet birds sing; 8 7 i 

What virtue breeds iniquity devours: 
We have no good that we can say is ours, 

But ill-annexed Opportunity 

Or kills his life or else his quality. 

*O Opportunity, thy guilt is great ! 

'T is thou that execut'st the traitor's treason: 

Thou set'st the wolf where he the lamb may get; 

Whoever plots the sin, thou point'st the season ; 

'T is thou that spurn'st at right, at law, at reason ; 880 
And in thy shady cell, where none may spy him, 
Sits Sin, to seize the souls that wander by him. 

'Thou mak'st the vestal violate her oath; 

Thou blow'st the fire when temperance is thaw'd ; 

Thou smother'st honesty, thou murther'st troth ; 

Thou foul abettor ! thou notorious bawd ! 

Thou plantest scandal and displaces! laud ; 
Thou ravisher, thou traitor, thou false thief, 
Thy honey turns to gall, thy joy to grief! 

'Thy secret pleasure turns to open shame, 890 

Thy private feasting to a public fast, 
Thy smoothing titles to a ragged name, 


Thy sugar'd tongue to bitter wormwood taste ; 

Thy violent vanities can never last. 
How comes it then, vile Opportunity, 
Being so bad, such numbers seek for thee ? 

1 When wilt thou be the humble suppliant's friend, 
And bring him where his suit may be obtain'd ? 
When wilt thou sort an hour great strifes to end? 
Or free that soul which wretchedness hath chain'd ? 900 
Give physic to the sick, ease to the pain'd ? 

The poor, lame, blind, halt, creep, cry out for thee; 

But they ne'er meet with Opportunity. 

'The patient dies while the physician sleeps; 

The orphan pines while the oppressor feeds ; 

Justice is feasting while the widow weeps ; 

Advice is sporting while infection breeds. 

Thou grant'st no time for charitable deeds; 

Wrath, envy, treason, rape, and murther's rages, 
Thy heinous hours wait on them as their pages. 910 

' When Truth and Virtue have to do with thee, 
A thousand crosses keep them from thy aid: 
They buy thy help; but Sin ne'er gives a fee, 
He gratis comes; and thou art well appaid 
As well to hear as grant what he hath said. 
My Collatine would else have come to me 
When Tarquin did, but he was stay'd by thee. 

' Guilty thou art of murther and of theft, 

Guilty of perjury and subornation, 

Guilty of treason, forgery, and shift, 920 

Guilty of incest, that abomination ; 

An accessary by thine inclination 

To all sins past, and all that are to come, 
From the creation to the general doom. 


' Misshapen Time, copesmate of ugly Night, 
Swift subtle post, carrier of grisly care, 
Eater of youth, false slave to false delight, 
Base watch of woes, sin's pack-horse, virtue's snare, 
Thou nursest all and murther'st all that are ; 

O, hear me then, injurious, shifting Time ! 930 

Be guilty of my death, since of my crime. 

' Why hath thy servant, Opportunity, 
Betray'd the hours thou gav'st me to repose, 
Cancell'd my fortunes, and enchained me 
To endless date of never-ending woes? 
Time's office is to fine the hate of foes, 

To eat up errors by opinion bred, 

Not spend the dowry of a lawful bed. 

' Time's glory is to calm contending kings, 
To unmask falsehood and bring truth to light, 940 

To stamp the seal of time in aged things, 
To wake the morn and sentinel the night, 
To wrong the wronger till he render right, 
To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours, 
And smear with dust their glittering golden towers; 

1 To fill with worm-holes stately monuments, 
To feed oblivion with decay of things, 
To blot old books and alter their contents, 
To pluck the quills from ancient ravens' wings, 
To dry the old oak's sap and cherish springs, 950 

To spoil antiquities of hammer'd steel, 
And turn the giddy round of Fortune's wheel ; 

' To show the beldam daughters of her daughter, 
To make the child a man, the man a child, 
To slay the tiger that doth live by slaughter, 
To tame the unicorn and lion wild, 
To mock the subtle in themselves beguil'd, 


To cheer the ploughman with increaseful crops, 
And waste huge stones with little water-drops. 

4 Why work'st thou mischief in thy pilgrimage, 9 6o 

Unless thou couldst return to make amends? 

One poor retiring minute in an age 

Would purchase thee a thousand thousand friends, 

Lending him wit that to bad debtors lends; 

O, this dread night, wouldst thou one hour come back, 
I could prevent this storm and shun thy wrack ! 

1 Thou ceaseless lackey to eternity, 
With some mischance cross Tarquin in his flight: 
Devise extremes beyond extremity, 
To make him curse this cursed crimeful night; 970 

Let ghastly shadows his lewd eyes affright, 
And the dire thought of his committed evil 
Shape every bush a hideous shapeless devil. 

' Disturb his hours of rest with restless trances, 
Afflict him in his bed with bedrid groans ; 
Let there bechance him pitiful mischances, 
To make him moan, but pity not his moans; 
Stone him with hardened hearts, harder than stones; 
And let mild women to him lose their mildness, 
Wilder to him than tigers in their wildness. 980 

'Let him have time to tear his curled hair, 
Let him have time against himself to rave, 
Let him have time of Time's help to despair, 
Let him have time to live a loathed slave, 
Let him have time a beggar's orts to crave, 
And time to see one that by alms doth live 
Disdain to him disdained scraps to give. 

1 Let him have time to see his friends his foes, 

And merry fools to mock at him resort; 

Let him have time to mark how slow time goes 990 


In time of sorrow, and how swift and short 

His time of folly and his time of sport ; 
And ever let his unrecalling crime 
Have time to wail the abusing of his time. 

*O Time, thou tutor both to good and bad, 

Teach me to curse him that thou taught'st this ill ! 

At his own shadow let the thief run mad, 

Himself himself seek every hour to kill ! 

Such wretched hands such wretched blood should spill ; 
For who so bae would such an office have 1000 

As slanderous deathsman to so base a slave? 

* The baser is he, coming from a king, 
To shame his hope with deeds degenerate ; 
The mightier man, the mightier is the thing 
That makes him honour'd or begets him hate, 
For greatest scandal waits on greatest state. 
The moon being clouded presently is miss'd, 
But little stars may hide them when they list. 

'The crow may bathe his coal-black wings in mire, 

And unperceiv'd fly with the filth away; 1010 

But if the like the snow-white swan desire, 

The stain upon his silver down will stay. 

Poor grooms are sightless night, kings glorious day; 

Gnats are unnoted wheresoe'er they fly, 

But eagles gaz'd upon with every eye. 

' Out, idle words, servants to shallow fools ! 

Unprofitable sounds, weak arbitrators ! 

Busy yourselves in skill-contending schools; 

Debate where leisure serves with dull debaters; 

To trembling clients be you mediators : 1020 

For me, I force not argument a straw, 
Since that my case is past the help of law. 


1 In vain I rail at Opportunity, 
At Time, at Tarquin, and uncheerful Night; 
In vain I cavil with mine infamy, 
In vain I spurn at my confirm'd despite: 
This helpless smoke of words doth me no right. 
The remedy indeed to do me good 
Is to let forth my foul-defiled blood. 

' Poor hand, why quiver'st thou at this decree ? 

Honour thyself to rid me of this shame ; 

For if I die, my honour lives in thee ; 

But if I live, thou liv'st in my defame : 

Since thou couldst not defend thy loyal dame, 
And wast afeard to scratch her wicked foe, 
Kill both thyself and her for yielding so.' 

This said, from her betumbled couch she starteth, 
To find some desperate instrument of death; 
But this no slaughterhouse no tool imparteth 
To make more vent for passage of her breath, 
Which, thronging through her lips, so vanisheth 
As smoke from ^Etna, that in air consumes, 
Or that which from discharged cannon fumes. 

1 In vain/ quoth she, ' I live, and seek in vain 
Some happy mean to end a hapless life. 
I fear'd by Tarquin's falchion to be slain, 
Yet for the selfsame purpose seek a knife. 
But when I fear'd I was a loyal wife ; 

So am I now : O no, that cannot be; 

Of that true type hath Tarquin rifled me. 

'O, that is gone for which I sought to live, 
And therefore now I need not fear to die. 
To clear this spot by death, at least I give 
A badge of fame to slander's livery, 
A dying life to living infamy; 


Poor helpless help, the treasure stolen away, 
To burn the guiltless casket where it lay ! 

' Well, well, dear Collatine, thou shalt not know 
The stained taste of violated troth; 
I will not wrong thy true affection so, 1060 

To flatter thee with an infringed oath; 
This bastard graff shall never come to growth : 
He shall not boast who did thy stock pollute 
' That thou art doting father of his fruit. 

1 Nor shall he smile at thee in secret thought, 
Nor laugh with his companions at thy state ; 
But thou shalt know thy interest was not bought 
Basely with gold, but stolen from forth thy gate. 
For me, I am the mistress of my fate, 

And with my trespass never will dispense, 1070 

Till life to death acquit my forc'd offence. 

' 1 will not poison thee with my attaint, 
Nor fold my fault in cleanly-coin'd excuses ; 
My sable ground of sin I will not paint, 
To hide the truth of this false night's abuses: 
My tongue shall utter all ; mine eyes, like sluices, 
As from a mountain-spring that feeds a dale, 
Shall gush pure streams to purge my impure tale.' 

By this, lamenting Philomel had ended 
The well-tun'd warble of her nightly sorrow, 1080 

And solemn night with slow sad gait descended 
To ugly hell ; when, lo, the blushing morrow 
Lends light to all fair eyes that light will borrow: 
But cloudy Lucrece shames herself to see, 
And therefore still in night would cloister'd be. 

Revealing day through every cranny spies, 

And seems to point her out where she sits weeping; 

To whom she sobbing speaks : ' O eye of eyes, 


Why pry'st thou through my window? leave thy peep- 
ing ; 

Mock with thy tickling beams eyes that are sleeping; 
Brand not my forehead with thy piercing light, 1091 
For day hath nought to do what 's done by night.' 

Thus cavils she with every thing she sees : 
True grief is fond and testy as a child, 
Who wayward once, his mood with nought agrees ; 
Old woes, not infant sorrows, bear them mild : 
Continuance tames the one ; the other wild, 
Like an unpractis'd swimmer plunging still, 
With too much labour drowns for want of skill. 

So she, deep-drenched in a sea of care, uoc 

Holds disputation with each thing she views, 

And to herself all sorrow doth compare ; 

No object but her passion's strength renews ; 

And as one shifts, another straight ensues : 

Sometime her grief is dumb and hath no words, 
Sometime 't is mad and too much talk affords. 

The little birds that tune their morning's joy 
Make her moans mad with their sweet melody : 
For mirth doth search the bottom of annoy : 
Sad souls are slain in merry company ; me 

Grief best is pleas'd with griefs society; 
True sorrow then is feelingly suffic'd 
When with like semblance it is sympathiz'cl. 

'T is double death to drown in ken of shore ; 
He ten times pines that pines beholding food ; 
To see the salve doth make the wound ache more ; 
Great grief grieves most at that would do it good ; 
Deep woes roll forward like a gentle flood, 

Who, being stopp'd, the bounding banks o'erflows ; 

Grief dallied with nor law nor limit knows. 1120 


1 You mocking birds/ quoth she, ' your tunes entomb 
Within your hollow-swelling feather'd breasts, 
And in my hearing be you mute and dumb ; 
My restless discord loves no stops nor rests ; 
A woeful hostess brooks not merry guests : 

Relish your nimble notes to pleasing ears ; 

Distress likes dumps when time is kept with tears. 

* Come, Philomel, that sing'st of ravishment, 
Make thy sad grove in my dishevell'd hair : 
As the dank earth weeps at thy languishment, ii 30 

So I at each sad strain will strain a tear, 
And with deep groans the diapason bear ; 
For burden-wise I '11 hum on Tarquin still, 
While thou on Tereus descant'st better skill. 

' And whiles against a thorn thou bear'st thy part, 
To keep thy sharp woes waking, wretched I, 
To imitate thee well, against my heart 
Will fix a sharp knife to affright mine eye, 
Who, if it wink, shall thereon fall and die. 

These means, as frets upon an instrument, 1140 

Shall tune our heart-strings to true languishment. 

' And for, poor bird, thou sing'st not in the day, 
As shaming any eye should thee behold, 
Some dark deep desert, seated from the way, 
That knows not parching heat nor freezing cold, 
Will we find out; and there we will unfold 

To creatures stern sad tunes, to change their kinds: 
Since men prove beasts, let beasts bear gentle minds.' 

As the poor frighted deer, that stands at gaze, 

Wildly determining which way to fly, 1150 

Or one encompass'd with a winding maze, 

That cannot tread the way out readily; 

So with herself is she in mutiny, 


To live or die which of the twain were better, 
When life is sham'd, and death reproach's debtor. 

'To kill myself,' quoth she, ' alack, what were it, 
But with my body my poor soul's pollution ? 
They that lose half with greater patience bear it 
Than they whose whole is swallow'd in confusion. 
That mother tries a merciless conclusion n6c 

Who, having two sweet babes, when death takes one, 
Will slay the other and be nurse to none. 

' My body or my soul, which was the dearer, 
When the one pure, the other made divine? 
Whose love of either to myself was nearer, 
When both were kept for heaven and Collatine ? 
Ay me ! the bark peel'd from the lofty pine, 

His leaves will wither and his sap decay ; 

So must my soul, her bark being peel'd away. 

1 Her house is sack'd, her quiet interrupted, n 7 o 

Her mansion batter'd by the enemy ; 

Her sacred temple spotted, spoil'd, corrupted, 

Grossly engirt with daring infamy : 

Then let it not be call'd impiety, 

If in this blemish'd fort I make some hole 
Through which I may convey this troubled soul. 

1 Yet die I will not till my Collatine 

Have heard the cause of my untimely death ; 

That he may vow, in that sad hour of mine, 

Revenge on him that made me stop my breath. n8o 

My stained blood to Tarquin I '11 bequeath, 

Which by him tainted shall for him be spent, 

And as his due writ in my testament. 

1 My honour I '11 bequeath unto the knife 
That wounds my body so dishonoured. 
T is honour to deprive dishonour'd life; 


The one will live, the other being dead : 
So of shame's ashes shall my fame be bred, 

For in my death I murther shameful scorn ; 

My shame so dead, mine honour is new-born. 1190 

' Dear lord of that dear jewel I have lost, 

What legacy shall I bequeath to thee ? 

My resolution, love, shall be thy boast, 

By whose example thou reveng'd 

How Tarquin must be us'd, read it in me ; 
Myself, thy friend, will kill myself, thy foe, 
And for my sake serve thou false Tarquin so. 

6 This brief abridgement of my will I make: 
My soul and body to the skies and ground; 
My resolution, husband, do thou take ; 1200 

Mine honour be the knife's that makes my wound ; 
My shame be his that did my fame confound ; 
And all my fame that lives disbursed be 
To those that live, and think no shame of me. 

4 Thou, Collatine, shalt oversee this will ; 

How was I overseen that thou shalt see it! 

My blood shall wash the slander of mine .ill; 

My life's foul deed, my life's fair end shall free it. 

Faint not, faint heart, but stoutly say " So be it :" 
Yield to my hand ; my hand shall conquer thee : mo 
Thou dead, both die, and both shall victors be.' 

This plot of death when sadly she had laid, 
And wip'd the brinish pearl from her bright eyes, 
With untun'd tongue she hoarsely calls her maid, 
Whose swift obedience to her mistress hies; 
For fleet-wing'd duty with thought's feathers flies. 
Poor Lucrece' cheeks unto her maid seem so 
As winter meads when sun doth melt their snow. 


Her mistress she doth give demure good-morrow. 
With soft-slow tongue, true mark of modesty, 1220 

And sorts a sad look to her lady's sorrow, 
For why, her face wore sorrow's livery ; 
But durst not ask of her audaciously 

Why her two suns were cloud-eclipsed so, 
Nor why her fair cheeks over-wash'd with woe. 

But as the earth doth weep, the sun being set, 

Each flower moisten'd like a melting eye, 

Even so the maid with swelling drops gan wet 

Her circled eyne, enforc'd by sympathy 

Of those fair suns set in her mistress' sky, 1230 

Who in a salt-wav'd ocean quench their light, 
Which makes the maid weep like the dewy night. 

A pretty while these pretty creatures stand, 
Like ivory conduits coral cisterns filling : 
One justly weeps ; the other takes in hand 
No cause, but company, -of her drops spilling: 
Their gentle sex to weep are often willing ; 

Grieving themselves to guess at others' smarts, 
And then they drown their eyes or break their hearts. 

For men have marble, women waxen, minds, 1240 

And therefore are they form'd as marble will ; 
The weak oppress'd, the impression of strange kinds 
Is form'd in them by force, by fraud, or skill : 
Then call them not the authors of their ill, 
No more than wax shall be accounted evil 
Wherein is stamp'd the semblance of a devil. 

Their smoothness, like a goodly champaign plain, 
Lays open all the little worms that creep; 
In men, as in a rough-grown grove, remain 
Cave-keeping evils that obscurely sleep : 1250 

Through crystal walls each little mote will peep; 


Though men can cover crimes with bold stern looks, 
Poor women's faces are their own faults' books. 

No man inveigh against the wither'd flower, 
But chide rough winter that the flower hath kill'd ; 
Not that devour'd, but that which doth devour, 
Is worthy blame. O, let it not be hild 
Poor women's faults, that they are so fulfill'd 

With men's abuses; those proud lords, to blame, 
Make weak-made women tenants to their shame. 1260 

The precedent whereof in Lucrece view, 
Assail'd by night with circumstances strong 
Of present death, and shame that might ensue 
By that her death, to do her husband wrong: 
Such danger to resistance did belong, 

That dying fear through all her body spread ; 

And who cannot abuse a body dead? 

By this, mild patience bid fair Lucrece speak 
To the poor counterfeit of her complaining: 
6 My girl,' quoth she, ' on what occasion break 127 

Those tears from thee, that down thy cheeks are rain- 
If thou dost weep for grief of my sustaining, 

Know, gentle wench, it small avails my mood; 

If tears could help, mine own would do me good. 

' But tell me, girl, when went 'and there she stay'd 
Till after a deep groan 'Tarquin from hence?' 
4 Madam, ere I was up,' replied the maid, 
' The more to blame my sluggard negligence ; 
Yet with the fault I thus far can dispense, 

Myself was stirring ere the break of day, ***> 

And, ere I rose, was Tarquin gone away. 

' But, lady, if your maid may be so bold, 
She would request to know your heaviness.' 



'O, peace !' quoth Lucrece : * if it should be told, 

The repetition cannot make it less, 

For more it is than I can well express ; 
And that deep torture may be call'd a hell 
When more is felt than one hath power to tell. 

' Go, get me hither paper, ink, and pen ; 

Yet save that labour, for I have them here. i 

What should I say? One of my husband's men 

Bid thou be ready, by and by, to bear 

A letter to my lord, my love, my dear: 

Bid him with speed prepare to carry it; 

The cause craves haste, and it will soon be writ.' 

Her maid is gone, and she prepares to write, 
First hovering o'er the paper with her quill : 
Conceit and. grief an eager combat fight ; 
What wit sets down is blotted straight with will ; 
This is too curious-good, this blunt and ill: i 

Much like a press of people at a door, 
Throng her inventions, which shall go before. 

At last she thus begins : ' Thou worthy lord 
Of that unworthy wife that greeteth thee, 
Health to thy person ! next vouchsafe t' afford 
If ever, love, thy Lucrece thou wilt see 
Some present speed to come and visit me. 

So, I commend me from our house in grief; 

My woes are tedious, though my words are brief.' 

Here folds she up the tenour of her woe, i 

Her certain sorrow writ uncertainly. 

By this short schedule Collatine may know 

Her grief, but not her griefs true quality ; 

She dares not thereof make discovery, 

Lest he should hold it her own gross abuse, 

Ere she with blood had stain'd her stain'd excuse. 


Besides, the life and feeling of her passion 
She hoards, to spend when he is by to hear her; 
When sighs and groans and tears may grace the fashion 
Of her disgrace, the better so to clear her 1320 

From that suspicion which the world might bear her. 
To shun this blot, she would not blot the letter 
With words, till action might become them better. 

To see sad sights moves more than hear them told; 

For then the eye interprets to the ear 

The heavy motion that it doth behold, 

When every part a part of woe doth bear. 

'T is but a part of sorrow that we hear; 

Deep sounds make lesser noise than shallow fords, 
And sorrow ebbs, being blown with wind of words. 

Her letter now is seal'd, and on it writ 1331 

' At Ardea to my lord with more than haste/ 
The post attends, and she delivers it, 
Charging the sour-fac'd groom to hie as fast 
As lagging fowls before the northern blast: 

Speed more than speed but dull and slow she deems ; 

Extremity still urgeth such extremes. 

The homely villain curtsies to her low, 

And, blushing on her, with a steadfast eye 

Receives the scroll without or yea or no, 1340 

And forth with bashful innocence doth hie. 

But they whose guilt within their bosoms lie 

Imagine every eye beholds their blame ; 

For Lucrece thought he blush'd to see her shame, 

When, silly groom ! God wot, it was defect 
Of spirit, life, and bold audacity. 
Such harmless creatures have a true respect 
To talk in deeds, while others saucily 
Promise more speeci, but do it leisurely; 


Even so this pattern of the worn-out age 1350 

Pawn'd honest looks, but laid no words to gage. 

His kindled duty kindled her mistrust, 
That two red fires in both their faces blaz'd ; 
She thought he blush'd, as knowing Tarquin's lust, 
And, blushing with him, wistly on him gaz'd. 
Her earnest eye did make him more amaz'd ; 

The more she saw the blood his cheeks replenish, 
The more she thought he spied in her some blemish. 

But long she thinks till he return again, 

And yet the duteous vassal scarce is gone. 1360 

The weary time she cannot entertain, 

For now 't is stale to sigh, to weep, and groan ; 

So woe hath wearied woe, moan tired moan, 
That she her plaints a little while doth stay, 
Pausing for means to mourn some newer way. 

At last she calls to mind where hangs a piece 
Of skilful painting, made for Priam's Troy, 
Before the which is drawn the power of Greece, 
For Helen's rape the city to destroy, 
Threatening cloud-kissing Ilion with annoy; 1370 

Which the conceited painter drew so proud, 
As heaven, it seem'd, to kiss the turrets bow'd. 

A thousand lamentable objects there, 
In scorn of nature, art gave lifeless life: 
Many a dry drop seem'd a weeping tear, 
Shed for the slaughter'd husband by the wife; 
The red blood reek'd, to show the painter's strife, 

And dying eyes gleam'd forth their ashy lights. 

Like dying coals burnt out in tedious nights. 

There might you see the labouring pioneer 1380 

Begrim'd with sweat, and smeared all with dust ; 
And from the towers of Troy there-would appear 


The very eyes of men through loop-holes thrust, 

Gazing upon the Greeks with little lust: 

Such sweet observance in this work was had, 
That one might see those far-off eyes look sad. 

In great commanders grace and majesty 
You might behold, triumphing in their faces ; 
In youth, quick bearing and dexterity; 
And here and there the painter interlaces i 39 o 

Pale cowards, marching on with trembling paces, 
Which heartless peasants did so well resemble, 
That one would swear he saw them quake and tremble. 

In Ajax and Ulysses, O, what art 
Of physiognomy might one behold ! 
The face of either cipher'd cither's heart, 
Their face their manners most expressly told: 
In Ajax' eyes blunt rage and rigour roll'd, 
But the mild glance that sly Ulysses lent 
Show'd deep regard and smiling government. 1400 

There pleading might you see grave Nestor stand, 
As 't were encouraging the Greeks to fight, 
Making such sober action with his hand, 
That it beguil'd attention, charm'd the sight; 
In speech, it seem'd, his beard, all silver white, 
Wagg'd up and down, and from his lips did fly 
Thin winding breath, which purl'd up to the sky. 

About him were a press of gaping faces, 
Which seem'd to swallow up his sound advice; 
All jointly listening, but with several graces, 1410 

As if some mermaid did their ears entice, 
Some high, some low, the painter was so nice : 
The scalps of many, almost hid behind, 
To jump up higher seem'd, to mock the mind. 


Here one man's hand lean'd on another's head, 

His nose being shadow'd by his neighbour's ear; 

Here one being throng'd bears back, all bollen and red ; 

Another smother'd seems to pelt and swear; 

And in their rage such signs of rage they bear, 

As, but for loss of Nestor's golden words, 1420 

It seem'd they would debate with angry swords. 

For much imaginary work was there; 
Conceit deceitful, so compact, so kind, 
That for Achilles' image stood his spear, 
Grip'd in an armed hand; himself, behind, 
Was left unseen, save to the eye of mind: 

A hand, a foot, a face, a leg, a head,' 

Stood for the whole to be imagined. 

And from the walls of strong-besieged Troy 
When their brave hope, bold Hector, march'd to field, 
Stood many Trojan mothers, sharing joy i 43 i 

To see their youthful sons bright weapons wield ; 
And to their hope they such odd action yield, 
That through their light joy seemed to appear, 
Like bright things stain'd, a kind of heavy fear. 

And from the strand of Dardan, where they fought, 
To Simois' reedy banks the red blood ran, 
Whose waves to imitate the battle sought 
With swelling ridges; and their ranks began 
To break upon the galled shore, and than 1440 

Retire again, till, meeting greater ranks, 
They join and shoot their foam at Simois' banks. 

To this well-painted piece is Lucrece come, 
To find a face where all distress is stell'd. 
Many she sees where cares have carved some, 
But none where all distress and dolour dwell'd. 
Till she despairing Hecuba beheld. 


Staring on Priam's wounds with her old eyes, 
Which bleeding under Pyrrhus' proud foot lies. 

In her the painter had anatomiz'd i 450 

Time's ruin, beauty's wrack, and grim care's reign : 
Her cheeks with chaps and wrinkles were disguis'd; 
Of what she was no semblance did remain : 
Her blue blood, chang'd to black in every vein, 

Wanting the spring that those shrunk pipes had fed, 

Show'd life imprison'd in a body dead. 

On this sad shadow Lucrece spends her eyes, 

And shapes her sorrow to the beldam's woes, 

Who nothing wants to answer her but cries, 

And bitter words to ban her cruel foes. 1460 

Tbe painter was no god to lend her those ; 

And therefore Lucrece swears he did her wrong, 
To give her so much grief and not a tongue. 

6 Poor instrument,' quoth she, ' without a sound, 
I '11 tune thy woes with my lamenting tongue, 
And drop sweet balm in Priam's painted wound, 
And rail on Pyrrhus that hath done him wrong, 
And with my tears quench Troy that burns so long, 
And with my knife scratch out the angry eyes 
Of all the Greeks that are thine enemies. '*7 

' Show me the strumpet that began this stir, 
That with my nails her beauty I may tear. 
Thy heat of lust, fond Paris, did incur 
This load of wrath that burning Troy doth bear ; 
Thy eye kindled the fire that burneth here ; 
And here in Troy, for trespass of thine eye, 
The sire, the son, the dame, and daughter die. 

4 Why should the private pleasure of some one 

Become the public plague of many moe? 

Let sin, alone committed, light alone 4o 


Upon his head that hath transgressed so; 
Let guiltless souls be freed from guilty woe: 

For one's offence why should so many fall, 

To plague a private sin in general ? 

' Lo, here weeps Hecuba, here Priam dies, 
Here manly Hector faints, here Troilus swounds, 
Here friend by friend in bloody channel lies, 
And friend to friend gives unadvised wounds, 
And one man's lust these many lives confounds ; 

Had doting Priam check'd his son's desire, 1490 

Troy had been bright with fame and not with fire.' 

Here feelingly she weeps Troy's painted woes: 
For sorrow, like a heavy-hanging bell, 
Once set on ringing, with his own weight goes ; 
Then little strength rings out the doleful knell. 
So Lucrece, set a-work, sad tales doth tell 

To pencill'd pensiveness and colour'd sorrow; 

She lends them words, and she their looks doth borrow. 

She throws her eyes about the painting round, 
And who she finds forlorn she doth lament. 1500 

At last she sees a wretched image bound, 
That piteous looks to Phrygian shepherds lent: 
His face, though full of cares, yet show'd content ; 
Onward to Troy with the blunt swains he goes, 
So mild, that Patience seem'd to scorn his woes. 

In him the painter labour'd with his skill 
To hide deceit, and give the harmless show 
An humble gait, calm looks, eyes wailing still, 
A brow unbent, that seem'd to welcome woe ; 
Cheeks neither red nor pale, but mingled so 1510 

That blushing red no guilty instance gave, 
Nor ashy pale the fear that false hearts have. 


But, like a constant and confirmed devil, 

He entertain'cl a show so seeming just, 

And therein so ensconc'd his secret evil, 

That jealousy itself could not mistrust 

False-creeping craft and perjury should thrust 
Into so bright a day such black-fac'd storms, 
Or blot with hell-born sin such saintlike forms. 

The well-skilPd workman this mild image drew 1520 
For perjur'd Sinon, whose enchanting story 
The credulous old Priam after slew ; 
Whose words like wildfire burnt the shining glory 
Of rich-built Ilion, that the skies were sorry, 
And little stars shot from their fixed places, 
When their glass fell wherein they view'd their faces. 

This picture she advisedly perus'd, 
And chid the painter for his wondrous skill, 
Saying, some shape in Sinon's was abus'd ; 
So fair a form lodg'd not a mind so ill : 1530 

And still on him she gaz'd; and gazing still, 
Such signs of truth in his plain face she spied, 
That she concludes the picture was belied. 

1 It cannot be,' quoth she, ' that so much guile ' 
She would have said can lurk in such a look;' 
But Tarquin's shape came in her mind the while, 
And from her tongue ' can lurk' from l cannot ' took. 
( It cannot be ' she in that sense forsook, 
And turn'd it thus : ' It cannot be, I find, 
But such a face should bear a wicked mind : 1540 

6 For even as subtle Sinon here is painted, 
So sober-sad, so weary, and so mild, 
As if with grief or travail he had fainted, 
To me came Tarquin armed; so beguil'd 
With outward honesty, but yet defiPd 


With inward vice : as Priam him did cherish, 
So did I Tarquin ; so my Troy did perish. 

' Look, look, how listening Priam wets his eyes, 

To see those borrowed tears that Sinon sheds ! 

Priam, why art thou old and yet not Vise ? 1550 

For every tear he falls a Trojan bleeds: 

His eye drops fire, no water thence proceeds; 

Those round clear pearls of his, that move thy pity, 
Are balls of quenchless fire to burn thy city. 

6 Such devils steal effects from lightless hell ; 
For Sinon in his fire doth quake with cold, 
And in that cold hot-burning fire doth dwell ; 
These contraries such unity do hold, 
Only to flatter fools and make them bold : 

So Priam's trust false Sinon's tears doth flatter, 1560 
That he finds means to burn his Troy with water.' 

Here, all enrag'd, such passion her assails, 
That patience is quite beaten from her breast. 
She tears the senseless Sinon with her nails, 
Comparing him to that unhappy guest 
Whose deed hath made herself herself detest. 
At last she smilingly with this gives o'er : 
* Fool, fool !' quoth she, ' his wounds will not be sore.' 

Thus ebbs and flows the current of her sorrow, 
And time doth weary time with her complaining. 157 
She looks for night, and then she longs for morrow, 
And both she thinks too long with her remaining. 
Short time seems long in sorrow's sharp sustaining . 

Though woe be heavy, yet it seldom sleeps ; 

And they that watch see time how slow it creeps. 

Which all this time hath overslipp'd her thought, 
That she with painted images hath spent ; 
Being from the feeling of her own grief brought 


By deep surmise of others' detriment, 

Losing her woes in shows of discontent. 1580 

It easeth some, though none it ever cur'd, 
To think their dolour others have endur'd. 

But now the mindful messenger, come back, 
Brings home his lord and other company, 
Who finds his Lucrece clad in mourning black ; 
And round about her tear-distained eye 
Blue circles stream'd, like rainbows in the sky : 
These water-galls in her dim element 
Foretell new storms to those already spent. 

Which when her sad-beholding husband saw, 1590 

Amazedly in her sad face he stares; 

Her eyes, though sod in tears, look'd red and raw, 

Her lively colour kill'd with deadly cares. 

He hath no power to ask her how she fares; 
Both stood, like old acquaintance in a trance, 
Met far from home, wondering each other's chance. 

At last he takes her by the bloodless hand, 
And thus begins: ' What uncouth ill event 
Hath thee befallen, that thou dost trembling stand? 
Sweet love, what spite hath thy fair colour spent ? 1600 
Why art thou thus attird in discontent? 
Unmask, dear dear, this moody heaviness, 
And tell thy grief, that we may give redress.' 

Three times with sighs she gives her sorrow fire, 

Ere once she can discharge one word of woe ; 

At length address'd to answer his desire, 

She modestly prepares to let them know 

Her honour is ta'en prisoner by the foe, 
While Collatine and his consorted lords 
With sad attention long to hear her words. 1610 


And now this pale swan in her watery nest 
Begins the sad dirge of her certain ending : 
* Few words/ quoth she, ' shall fit the trespass best, 
Where no excuse can give the fault amending ; 
In me moe woes than words are now depending, 
And my laments would be drawn out too long, 
To tell them all with one poor tired tongue. 

' Then be this all the task it hath to say : 

Dear husband, in the interest of thy bed 

A stranger came, and on that pillow lay 1620 

Where thou wast wont to rest thy weary head ; 

And what wrong else may be imagined 

By foul enforcement might be done to me, 

From that, alas, thy Lucrece is not free. 

6 For in the dreadful dead of dark midnight, 
With shining falchion in my chamber came 
A creeping creature, with a flaming light, 
And softly cried "Awake, thou Roman dame, 
And entertain my love ; else lasting shame 

On thee and thine this night I will inflict, 1630 

If thou my love's desire do contradict. 

'"For some hard-favour'd groom of thine," quoth he, 

" Unless thou yoke thy liking to my will, 

I '11 murther straight, and then I '11 slaughter thee 

And swear I found you where you did fulfil 

The loathsome act of lust, and so did kill 

The lechers in their deed ; this act will be 

My fame and thy perpetual infamy." 

4 With this, I did begin to start and cry; 

And then against my heart he sets his sword, 1640 

Swearing, unless I took all patiently, 

I should not live to speak another word ; 

So should my shame still rest upon record, 


And never be forgot in mighty Rome 

The adulterate death of Lucrece and her groom. 

' Mine enemy was strong, my poor self weak, 

And far the weaker with so strong a fear : 

My bloody judge forbade my tongue to speak ; 

No rightful plea might plead for justice there : 

His scarlet lust came evidence to swear 1650 

That my poor beauty had purloin'd his eyes ; 

And when the judge is robb'd the prisoner dies. 

' O, teach me how to make mine own excuse ! 

Or at the least this refuge let me find : 

Though my gross blood be stain'd with this abuse, 

Immaculate and spotless is my mind ; 

That was not forc'd ; that never was inclin'd 
To accessary yieldings, but still pure 
Doth in her poison'd closet yet endure.' 

Lo, here, the hopeless merchant of this loss, 66o 

With head declin'd, and voice damm'd up with woe, 
With sad-set eyes, and wretched arms across, 
From lips new-waxen pale begins to blow 
The grief away that stops his answer so : 

But, wretched as he is, he strives in vain ; 

What he breathes out his breath drinks up again. 

As through an arch the violent roaring tide 
Outruns the eye that doth behold his haste, 
Yet in the eddy boundeth in his pride 
Back to the strait that forc'd him on so fast, '670 

In rage sent out, recall'd in rage, being past; 
Even so his sighs, his sorrows, make a saw, 
To push grief on, and back the same grief draw. 

Which speechless woe of his poor she attendeth, 

And his untimely frenzy thus awaketh : 

' Dear lord, thy sorrow to my sorrow lendeth 


Another power; no flood by raining slaketh. 

My woe too sensible thy passion maketh 
More feeling-painful ; let it then suffice 
To drown one woe, one pair of weeping eyes. 1680 

' And for my sake, when I might charm thee so, 
For she that was thy Lucrece, now attend me: 
Be suddenly revenged on my foe, 
Thine, mine, his own ; suppose thou dost defend me 
From what is past : the help that thou shalt lend me 

Comes all too late, yet let the traitor die, 

For sparing justice feeds iniquity. 

' But ere I name him, you fair lords,' quoth she, 

Speaking to those that came with Collatine. 

1 Shall plight your honourable faiths to me, 1690 

With swift pursuit to venge this wrong of mine ; 

For 't is a meritorious fair design 

To chase injustice with revengeful arms : 
Knights, by their oaths, should right poor ladies' 

At this -request, with noble disposition 
Each present lord began to promise aid, 
As bound in knighthood to her imposition, 
Longing to hear the hateful foe bewray'd. 
But she, that yet her sad task hath not said, 

The protestation stops. ' O, speak,' quoth she, 1700 
' How may this forced stain be wip'd from me? 

' What is the quality of mine offence, 

Being constrain'd with dreadful circumstance ? 

May my pure mind with the foul act dispense, 

My low-declined honour to advance ? 

May any terms acquit me from this chance? 

The poison'd fountain clears itself again ; 

And why not I from this compelled stain?' 


With this, they all at once began to say, 

Her body's stain her mind untainted clears ; 1710 

While with a joyless smile she turns away 

The face, that map which deep impression bears 

Of hard misfortune, carv'd in it with tears. 

' No, no,' quoth she, l no dame, hereafter living, 
By my excuse shall claim excuse's giving/ 

Here with a sigh, as if her heart would break, 
She throws forth Tarquin's name^: ' He, he,' she says, 
But more than ' he ' her poor tongue could not speak ; 
Till after many accents and delays, 
Untimely breathings, sick and short assays, 1720 

She utters this : ' He, he, fair lords, 't is he, 
That guides this hand to give this wound to me. 5 

Even here she sheathed in her harmless breast 
A harmful knife, that thence her soul unsheatrTd: 
That blow did bail it from the deep unrest 
Of that polluted prison where it breath'd : 
Her contrite sighs unto the clouds bequeath'd 

Her winged sprite, and through her wounds doth fly 
Life's lasting date from cancell'd destiny. 

Stone-still, astonish'd with this deadly deed, 1730 

Stood Collatine and all his lordly crew; 

Till Lucrece' father, that beholds her bleed, 

Himself on her self-slaughter'd body threw; 

And from the purple fountain Brutus drew 
The murtherous knife, and, as it left the place, 
Her blood, in poor revenge, held it in chase; 

And bubbling from her breast, it doth divide 

In two slow rivers, that the crimson blood 

Circles her body in on every side, 

Who, like a late-sack'd island, vastly stood , 74 o 

Bare and unpeopled in this fearful flood. 


Some of her blood still pure and red remain'd, 

And some look'd black, and that false Tarquin stain'd. 

About the mourning and congealed face 
Of that black blood a watery rigol goes, 
Which seems to weep upon the tainted place : 
And ever since, as pitying Lucrece' woes, 
Corrupted blood some watery token shows; 
And blood untainted still doth red abide, 
Blushing at that which is so putrefied. i 75 c 

1 Daughter, dear daughter,' old Lucretius cries, 
' That life was mine which thou hast here depriv'd. 
If in the child the father's image lies, 
Where shall I live now Lucrece is unliv'd ? 
Thou wast not to this end from me deriv'd. 
If children pre-decease progenitors, 
We are their offspring, and they none of ours. 

' Poor broken glass, I often did behold 
In thy sweet semblance my old age new born ; 
But now that fair fresh mirror, dim and old, 1760 

Shows me a bare-bon'd death by time outworn : 
O, from thy cheeks my image thou hast torn, 
And shiver'd all the beauty of my glass, 
That I no more can see what once I was ! 

'O time, cease thou thy course and last no longer, 
If they surcease to be that should survive. 
Shall rotten death make conquest of the stronger 
And leave the faltering feeble souls alive ? 
The old bees die, the young possess their hive ; 

Then live, sweet Lucrece, live again and see 1770 

Thy father die, and not thy father thee !' 

By this, starts Collatine as from a dream, 
And bids Lucretius give his sorrow place; 
And then in key-cold Lucrece' bleeding stream 


He falls, and bathes the pale fear in his face, 
And counterfeits to die with her a space, 

Till manly shame bids him possess his breath 

And live to be revenged on her death. 

The deep vexation of his inward soul 

Hath serv'd a dumb arrest upon his tongue, 1780 

Who, mad that sorrow should his use control, 

Or keep him from heart-easing words so long, 

Begins to talk; but through his lips do throng 

Weak words, so thick come in his poor heart's aid, 
That no man could distinguish what he said. 

Yet sometime 'Tarquin ' was pronounced plain, 
But through his teeth, as if the name he tore. 
This windy tempest, till it blow up rain, 
Held back his sorrow's tide, to make it more; 
At last it rains, and busy winds give o'er: 1790 

Then son and father weep with equal strife 
Who should weep most, for daughter or for wife. 

The one doth call her his, the other his, 
Yet neither may possess the claim they lay. 
The father says ' She 's mine.' ' O, mine she is, J 
Replies her husband : ' do not take away 
My sorrow's interest; let no mourner say 

He weeps for her, for she was only mine, 

And only must be wail'd by Collatine.' 

' O,' quoth Lucretius, ' I did give that life 1800 

Which she too early and too late hath spill'd.' 
' Woe, woe,' quoth Collatine, ' she was my wife, 
I owed her, and 't is mine that she hath kill'd.' 
' My daughter ' and ' my wife ' with clamours fill'd 
The dispers'd air, who, holding Lucrece' life, 
Answer'd their cries, ' my daughter ' and ' my wife.' 


Brutus, who pluck'd the knife from Lucrece' side, 
Seeing such emulation in their woe, 
Began to clothe his wit in state and pride, 
Burying in Lucrece' wound his folly's show. 1810 

He with the Romans was esteemed so 
As silly-jeering idiots are with kings, 
For sportive words and uttering foolish things; 

But now he throws that shallow habit by, 

Wherein deep policy did him disguise, 

And arm'd his long-hid wits advisedly, 

To check the tears in Collatinus' eyes. 

'Thou wronged lord of Rome,' quoth he, ' arise; 
Let my unsounded self, suppos'd a fool, 
Now set thy long-experienc'd wit to school. 1820 

' Why, Collatine, is woe the cure for woe ? 

Do wounds help wounds, or grief help grievous deeds ? 

Is it revenge to give thyself a blow 

For his foul act by whom thy fair wife bleeds ? 

Such childish humour from weak minds proceeds; 
Thy wretched wife mistook the matter so, 
To slay herself, that should have slain her foe. 

' Courageous Roman, do not steep thy heart 

In such relenting dew of lamentations; 

But kneel with me and help to bear thy part, 1830 

To rouse our Roman gods with invocations, 

That they will suffer these abominations, 

Since Rome herself in them cloth stand disgrac'd, 
By our strong arms from forth her fair streets chas'd. 

' Now, by the Capitol that we adore, 

And by this chaste blood so unjustly stain'd, 

By heaven's fair sun that breeds the fat earth's store, 

By all our country rights in Rome maintain'd, 

And by chaste Lucrece' soul that late complain'd 


Her wrongs to us, and by this bloody knife, 
We will revenge the death of this true wife/ 

This said, he struck his hand upon his breast, 
And kiss'd the fatal knife, to end his vow ; 
And to his protestation urg'd the rest, 
Who, wondering at him, did his words allow: 
Then jointly to the ground their knees they bow; 
And that deep vow which Brutus made before 
He doth again repeat, and that they swore. 

When they had sworn to this advised doom, 
They did conclude to bear dead Lucrece thence, 
To show her bleeding body thorough Rome, 
And so to publish Tarquin's foul offence; 
Which being done with speedy diligence, 
The Romans plausibly did give consent 
To Tarquin's everlasting banishment. 





FROM off a hill whose concave womb re-worded 
A plaintful story from a sistering vale, 
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded, 
And down I laid to list the sad-tun'd 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 a 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 undistinguished woe, 
In clamours of all size, both high and low. 

Sometimes her levelPd 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 comrnix'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 sheav'd 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 perus'd, 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 
Enswath'd, and seal'd to curious secrecy. 

These often bath'd she in her fluxive eyes, 50 

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 graz'd 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 60 

Towards this afflicted fancy fastly drew, 

And, privileg'd 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 promis'd in the charity of age. 70 

' 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 loclg'd 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. 

1 Small show of man was yet upon his chin ; 

His phcenix 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 mov'd him, was he such a storm 

As oft 'twixt May and April is to see, 

When winds breathe sweet, unruly though they be. 

His rudeness so with his authoriz'd youth 

Did livery falseness in a pride of truth. 

1 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, no 

Whether the horse by him became his deed, 
Or he his manage by the well-doing steed. 

6 But quickly on this side the verdict went : 

His real habitude gave life and grace 

To appertainings and to ornament, 

Accomplished in himself, not in his case. 

All aids, themselves made fairer by their place, 

Came for additions; yet their purpos'd trim 

Piec'd not his grace, but were all grac'd by him. 

' So on the tip of his subduing tongue 120 

All kind 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 : 130 

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. 

1 Many there were that did his picture get, 

To serve their eyes, and in it put their mind; 

Like fools that in the imagination set 

The goodly objects which abroad they find 

Of lands and mansions, theirs in thought assigned, 

And labouring in moe pleasures to bestow them 

Than the true gouty landlord which doth owe them : MO 


i So many have, that never touch'd his hand, 
Sweetly suppos'd 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, 
Reserv'd 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, 
Ayith safest distance I mine honour shielded: 
Experience for me many bulwarks builded 
Of proofs new-bleeding, which remained the foil 
Of this false jewel, and his amorous spoil. 

' But, ah, who ever shunn'd by precedent 
The destin'd ill she must herself assay? 
Or forc'd 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. 

6 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/ 5 

'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. 

4 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 ; 180 

For feasts of love I have been calPd 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, 190 

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 200 

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 receiv'd 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, 't was beautiful and hard, 
Whereto his invis'd 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, smil'd or made some* moan. 

1 " Lo, all these trophies of affections hot, 
Of pensiv'd and subdued desires the tender, 
Nature hath charg'cl 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, 
A 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, 240 

Paling 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. 

7 O 

' " 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 ; 250 

Not to be tempted, would she be immtir'd, 

And now, to tempt, all liberty procur'd. 

'" 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, 260 

Who, disciplin'd, ay, dieted in grace, 

Believ'd 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 ! 270 

Love's arms are proot 'gainst rule, 'gainst sense, 'gainst 


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 glaz'd with crystal gate the glowing roses 
That flame through water which their hue encloses. 

4 O father, what a hell of witchcraft lies 

In the small orb of one particular tear! 

But with the inundation of the eyes 290 

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 resolv'd 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, 300 
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, 3> 

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 prais'd cold chastity. 

1 Thus merely with the garment of a Grace 

The naked and concealed fiend he cover'd ; 

That the unexperient gave the tempter place, 

Which like a cherubin above them hover'd. 

Who, young and simple, would not be so lover'd ? 320 

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 forc'd 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 !' 


SWEET Cytherea, 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 show'd him favours to allure his eye ; 

To win his heart, she touch'd him here and there,- 

Touches so soft still conquer chastity. 

But whether unripe years did want conceit, 

Or he refus'd to take her figur'd proffer, 


The tender nibbler 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 fro ward ! 


Scarce had the sun dried up the dewy morn, 
And scarce the herd gone to the hedge for shade, 
When Cytherea, all in love forlorn, 
A longing tarriance for Adonis made 
Under an osier growing by a brook, 
A brook where Adon us'd 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 look'd on the world with glorious eye, 
Yet not so wistly as this queen on him. 

He, spying her, bounc'd in, whereas he stood ; 

' O Jove,' quoth she, ' why was not I a flood !' 


Fair was the morn when the fair queen of love, 

=* # =* * * * * 

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. 



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 dye to grace her, 
None fairer, nor none falser to deface her. 

Her lips to mine how often hath she joined, 
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing ! 
How many tales to please me hath she coined, 
Dreading my love, the loss thereof still fearing ! u 

Yet in the midst of all her pure pretestings, 
Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jestings. 

She burn'd with love, as straw with fire flameth ; 
She burn'd out love, as soon as straw out-burneth ; 
She fram'd the love, and yet she foil'd the framing; 
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. 


Sweet rose, fair flower, untimely pluck'd, soon vaded, 

Pluck'd in the bud, and vaded in the spring ! 

Bright orient pearl, alack, too timely shaded ! 

Fair creature, kill'd 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 lefi'st me more than I did crave ; 

For why, I craved nothing of thee still : i 

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



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 ! 1 

Age, I do defy thee : O, sweet shepherd, hie thee, 

For methinks thou stay'st too long. 


Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good ; 

A shining gloss that vadeth suddenly; 

A flower that dies when first it gins to bud ; 

A brittle glass that's broken presently: 
A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower, 
Lost, vaded, broken, dead within an hour. 

And as goods lost are seld or never found, 
As vaded gloss no rubbing will refresh, 
As flowers dead lie withered on the ground, 
As broken glass no cement can redress, 1 

So beauty blemish'd once 's for ever lost, 
In spite of physic, painting, pain, and cost. 


Good night, good rest. Ah, neither be my share; 

She bade good night that kept my rest away, 

And daff'd me to a cabin hang'd with care, 

To descant on the doubts of my decay. 

1 Farewell/ quoth she, ' and come again to-morrow :' 
Fare well I could not, for I supp'd with sorrow. 


Yet at rny parting sweetly did she smile, 

In scorn or friendship, nill I construe whether; 

T may be, she joy'd to jest at my exile, 

'T may be, again to make me wander thither: T O 

4 Wander,' a word for shadows like myself, 
As take the pain, but cannot pluck the pelf. 

Lord, how mine eyes throw gazes to the east ! 

My heart doth charge the watch; the morning rise 

Doth cite each moving sense from idle rest. 

Xot daring trust the office of mine eyes, 

While Philomela sits and sings, I sit and mark, 
And wish her lays were tuned like the lark ; 

For she doth welcome daylight with her ditty, 

And drives away dark dismal-dreaming night: 20 

The night so pack'd, I post unto my pretty; 

Heart hath 'his hope, and eyes their wished sight:, 

Sorrow chang'd to solace, solace mix'd with sorrow ; 

For why, she sigh'd and bade me come to-morrow. 

VVere I with her, the night would post too soon ; 
But now are minutes added to the hours; 
To spite me now, each minute seems a moon-, 
Yet not for me shine sun to succour flowers! 

Pack night, peep day; good day, of night now bor- 
row ; 

Short, night, to-night, and length thyself to-morrow. 30 


Whenas thine eye hath chose the dame, 
And stall'd the deer that thou shouldst strike, 
Let reason rule things worthy blame, 
As well as partial fancy like ; 

Take counsel of some wiser head, 

Neither too young nor yet unwed. 


And when thou com'st thy tale to tell. 
Smooth not thy tongue with filed talk, 
Lest she some subtle practice smell, 
A cripple soon can find a halt ; I0 

But plainly say thou lov'st her well, 

And set her person forth to sell. 

What though her frowning brows be bent, 
Her cloudy looks will clear ere night ; 
And then too late she will repent 
That thus dissembled her delight, 

And twice desire, ere it be day, 

That which with scorn she put away. 

What though she strive to try her strength, 

And ban and brawl, and say thee nay, 20 

Her feeble force will yield at length, 

When craft hath taught her thus to say, 

1 Had women been so strong as men, 

In faith, you had not had it then.' 

And to her will frame all thy ways ; 
Spare not to spend, and chiefly there 
Where thy desert may merit praise, 
By ringing in thy lady's ear : 

The strongest castle, tower, and town, 

The golden bullet beats it down. 30 

Serve always with assured trust, 
And in thy suit be humble-true \ 
Unless thy lady prove unjust, 
Press never thou to choose anew: 

When time shall serve, be thou not slack 

To proffer, though she put thee back. 

The wiles and guiles that women work, 
Dissembled with an outward show, 
The tricks and toys that in them lurk, 


The cock that treads them shall not know. 40 

Have you not heard it said full oft, 
A woman's nay doth stand for nought? 

Think women still to strive with men, 
To sin and never for to saint : 
Here is no heaven ; be holy then, 
When time with age shall thee attaint. 

Were kisses all the joys in bed, 

One woman would another wed. 

But, soft! enough too much, I fear 

Lest that my mistress hear my song; 50 

She will not stick to round me i' the ear, 

To teach my tongue to be so long : 

Yet will she blush, here be it said, 

To hear her secrets so bewray'd. 


LET the bird of loudest lay, 

On the sole Arabian tree, 

Herald sad and trumpet be, 

To whose sound chaste wings obey. 

But thou shrieking harbinger, 
Foul precurrer of the fiend, 
Augur of the fever's end, 
To this troop come thou not near ! 

From this session interdict 
Every fowl of tyrant wing, 
Save the eagle, feather'd king ; 
Keep the obsequy so strict. 


Let the priest in surplice white, 
That defunctive music can, 
Be the death-divining swan, 
Lest the requiem lack his right. 

And thou treble-dated crow, 
That thy sable gender mak'st 
With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st, 
'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go. 

Here the anthem doth commence : 
Love and constancy is dead ; 
Phoenix and the turtle fled 
In a mutual flame from hence. 

So they lov'd, as love in twain 
Had the essence but in one ; 
Two distincts, division none: 
Number there in love was slain. 

Hearts remote, yet not asunder ; 
Distance, and no space was seen 
Twixt the turtle and his queen : 
But in them it were a wonder. 

So between them love did shine 
That the turtle saw his right 
Flaming in the phcenix' sight ; 
Either was the other's mine. 

Property was thus appall'd, 
That the self was not the same ; 
Single nature's double name 
Neither two nor one was call'd. 

Reason, in itself confounded, 
Saw division grow together, 
To themselves yet either neither. 
Simple were so well compounded, 


That it cried, How true a twain 
Seemeth this concordant one! 
Love hath reason, reason none, 
If what parts can so remain. 

Whereupon it made this threne 

To the phoenix and the dove, 5 u 

Co-supremes and stars of love, 

As chorus to their tragic scene. 


Beauty, truth, and rarity, 
Grace in all simplicity, 
Here enclos'd in cinders lie. 

Death is now the phoenix' nest ; 
And the turtle's loyal breast 
To eternity doth rest, 

Leaving no posterity: 

'T was not their infirmity, 60 

It was married chastity. 

Truth may seem, but cannot be; 
Beauty brag, but 't is not she ; 
Truth and beauty buried be. 

To this urn let those repair 
That are either true or fair ; 
For these dead birds sigh a prayer. 

Good night, good rest (P. P. 8. i>. 



Abbott (or Gr.), Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar (third edition). 
A. S., Anglo-Saxon. 

A. V., Authorized Version of the Bible (1611). 

B. and F., Beaumont and Fletcher. 
B. J., Ben Jonson. 

Camb. ed., "Cambridge edition" of Shakespeare, edited by Clark and Wright. 
.Cf. (confer), compare. 
Coll., Collier (second edition;. 
D., Dyce (second edition). 

Et al., and other eds. (that v^foUotoing or later ones). 
H., Hudson ("Harvard" edition). 
Halliwell, J. O. Halliwell (folio ed. of Shakespeare). 
Id. (idem}, the same. 
K., Knight (second edition). 

Nares, Glossary, edited by Halliwell and Wright (London, 1859). 
Prol., Prologue. 
S., Shakespeare. 

Schmidt, A. Schmidt's Shakespeare-Lexicon (Berlin, 1874). 
Sr., Singer. 
St., Staunton. 
Theo., Theobald. 
W., R. Grant White. 

Walker, Wm. Sidney Walker's Critical Examination of the Text of Shakespeare 
(London, 1860). 
Warb., Warburton. 

Wb., Webster's Dictionary (revised quarto edition of 1879). 
Wore., Worcester's Dictionary (quarto edition). 

The abbreviations of the names of Shakespeare's Plays will be readily understood ; as 
T. N. for Twelfth Night, Cor. for Coriolanus, 3 Hen. VI. for The Third Part of King 
Henry the Sixth, etc. P. P. refers to The Passionate Pilgrim ; V. and A . to Venus 
and Adonis i L,. C. to Lover's Complaint ', and Sonn. to the Sonnets. 

When the abbreviation of the name of a play is followed by a reference to page, 
Rolfe's edition of the play is meant. 

The numbers of the lines (except for The Passionate Pilgrim} are those of the 
" Globe " ed. 




THE EARLY EDITIONS. Richard Field, the printer of the first ed. 
(see p. 9 above) was a native of Stratford, and the son of the Henry 
Field whose goods John Shakespeare was employed to value in 1592. 
He adopted the device of an anchor, with the motto " Anchora spei," 
because they had been used by his father-in-law, Thomas Vautrollier, a 
celebrated a'nd learned printer, who resided in Blackfriars, and to whose 
business, at his death in 1589, Field succeeded. 

The poem was licens^ by the Archbishop of Canterbury (Whitgift), 
and entered in the Stationers' Register, April 18, 1593. 

The second edition, likewise printed and published by Field, must 
have been brought out early in 1594, as the transfer of the copyright 


from Field to Harrison is recorded as having taken place on the 25th of 
June in that year. 

The third edition was printed by Field, though published by Harrison, 
and must have appeared before June, 1596, when Harrison transferred 
the copyright to Leake. 

It is probable that there were editions between this of 1596 and that 
of 1599. The poem had evidently been very popular, and it would be 
strange if Leake did not issue an edition until three years after he had 
secured the copyright. When we consider that of the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 
loth* eds. only single copies have come down to our day, of the 3d, 6th, 
and 9th, only two copies each, and of the 2d only three copies, it is not 
unreasonable to suppose that of some editions not a single copy has sur- 
vived. It is also probable that there were editions between 1602 and 
1627, when the poem was reprinted in Edinburgh. 

It has been suggested that the book may have fallen under the ban of 
the Privy Council. A decree of the Star Chamber, dated June 23, 1585, 
gave unlimited power to the ecclesiastical authorities to seize and de- 
stroy whatever books they thought proper. A notable instance of this 
interference with books already printed occurred in 1599, at Stationers' 
Hall, when a number .of objectionable works were burned, and special 
admonitions given then and there to the printers, some of the most em- 
inent of the time, and among them our friend Richard Field (Edmonds). 

That the poem was considered somewhat objectionable even in that 
day is evident from certain contemporaneous references to it. Halliwell 
(Outlines, etc., p. 221) quotes A Mad World my Masters, 1608 : " I have 
convay'd away all her wanton pamphlets, as Hero and Leander, Venus 
and Adonis ;" and Sir John Davies, who in his Papers Complaint (found 
in his Scoiirge of Folly, 1610) makes "Paper" admit the superlative ex- 
cellence of Shakespeare's poem, but at the same time censure its being 
" attired in such bawdy geare." It is also stated that " the coyest dames 
in private read it for their closset-games." In The Dumbe Knight, 1608, 
the lawyer's clerk refers to it as "maides philosophic;" and the stanza 
beginning with line 229 is quoted both in that play and in Heywood's 
Fay re Mayde of the Exchange, 1607. 

THE DEDICATION. For the Earl of Southampton, see p. 36, foot- 
note, above. For a much fuller account, with the many poetical trib- 
utes paid him, see the Var. of 1821, vol. xx. pp. 427-468. 

8. Ear. Plough, till. See Rich. II. p. 192. 

10. Your honour. Your lordship. Cf. T. of A. p. 137. 

VENUS AND ADONIS. 3. Rose-cheetfd Adonis. Marlowe applies the 
same epithet to the youth in his Hero and Leander: 

" The men of wealthy Sestos eveiy year, 
For his sake whom their goddess held so dear, 
Rose-cheek' d Adonis, kept a solemn feast." 

* This is true of both the ed. known to have been published in 1630 and the one in 
the Bodleian ascribed to that year. 


6. Gins. H. and some others print "'gins ;" but see Macb. p. 153. 

9. Stain to all nymphs. That is, by eclipsing them. Cf. I hen. VI. 
iv. I. 45. 

10. Doves or roses. Fanner conjectures "and" for or ; but the latter 
is doubtless what S. wrote. 

11. With herself at strife. Cf. 291 below. See also T. of A. p. 135, 
note on 39. 

1 6. Honey. For the adjective use, cf. 452 and 538 below. 

19. Satiety. The first four eds. * and the loth have "sacietie." 

20. Famish them, etc. Cf. A. and C. ii. 2. 241 : 

"Other women cloy 

The appetites they feed ; but she makes hungry 
Where most she satisfies." 

25. His sweating palm. Steevens quotes A. arid C. i. 2. 53 : "Nay, if 
an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication," etc. See also 143 below, 
and Oth. iii. 4. 36 fol. 

26. Pith. Vigour. Cf. Hen. V. p. 162, 

32. Her other. The Jth and later eds. have "the other." 
40. Prove. Try ; as in 608 below. 

53. Miss. Misbehaviour. Malone and others print " 'miss." 

54. Murthers. The ist, 2d, 3d, and 4th eds. have "murthers," the 
others "smothers." 

45. Empty eagle. We have the same expression in 2 Hen. VI. iii. i. 
and 3 Hen. VI. i. i. 268. 
56. Tires. Tears and feeds ravenously upon. Cf. Cymb. p. 195. 

61. Forced to content. " Forced to content himself in a situation from 
which he had no means of escaping" (Steevens). 

62. BreatJieth. The reading of the first three eds. ; " breathing " in the 
4th and the rest. 

66. Such distilling. Walker would read "such-distilling." 

71. Rank. Exuberant, high. Cf. the use of the noun in K. John, v. 4. 54 : 

"And, like a bated and retired flood, 
Leaving our rankness and irregular course, 
Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlook'd." 

76. Ashy-pale. Malone at first made this refer to Adonis, but subse- 
quently saw that it goes with anger. 

78. More. Cf. R. of L. 332 : " A more rejoicing," etc. Gr. 17. 

82. Take truce. Make peace. Cf. K. John, iii. i. 17 : " With my vex'd 
spirits I cannot take a truce," etc. The 4th ed. has " takes truce." 

* The 4th of the early eds., or that of 1599 (see p. 10 above), is not collated in the 
Camb. ed. or any other ed. known to us. We have had the opportunity of consulting 
the fac-simile reprint in the Harvard library, and have noted all the variations that seem 
worth mentioning in an edition like this. For misprints not found in any other early 

ed. (or at least not recorded in the Camb. ed.) see on 82, 313, 350, 365, 506, 655, 700, 
704, 754, 868, 901, 969, 1002, 1073, 1136, 1143, 1168, etc. Of course the 5th ed. of our 
numbering is the 4th of the Camb. ed., our 6th is their sth, and so on. The dated ed. 

of 1630 (see p. ii above) is not collated in any ed., and has not been reprinted. We 
have therefore omitted it in the numbering of the early eds. For the readings of all 
these eds. except the $th we have depended on the Camb. ed. 


90. Winks. Shuts his eyes ; as in 121 below. 

91. Passenger. Wayfarer; the only sense in S. Cf. 7\ G. of V. iv. I. 
I, 72, v. 4. 15, etc. 

94. Yet her. The reading of the first four eds. ; the rest have " Yet in." 
97. I have been woo'd, etc. For other allusions to the loves of Mars 
and Venus, see Temp. iv. I. 98, A. and C. i. 5. 18, etc. 

106. To toy. All the early eds., except the ist and 2d, have " To coy." 
109. He that overruled. For he \\irn, see Gr. 207. 

1 18. /// the ground. That is, on it. Cf. M. N. D. ii. i. 85, etc. 

119. There. Changed to "where " in the 4th and later eds. 

123. There are. The reading of the ist ed. ; "there be" in the rest, 

except the loth, which has "they be." 

126. Nor know not. The 5th and later eds. read " nor know they." 
\^. Hard-favour" d. Hard-featured, ill-looking ; as in 931 below. The 

hyphen in wrinkled-old is due to Malone. 

134. Ill-mtrtur'd. Ill-bred ; used again in 2 Hen. VI. i. 2. 42 : " Pre- 
sumptuous dame, ill-nurtur'd Eleanor," etc. 

135. O^er-worn. Cf. Rich. III. \. i. 81 : "The jealous, o'er-worn wid- 
ow," etc. In 866 below, the word is used of time =spent. 

140. Grey. Explained by Malone, H., and others as blue ; but see 
R. and J. p. 172. 

142. Plump. The 4th ed. has " plumbe ;" the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 
loth (according to the Camb. ed.) have "plum." 

143. Moist hand. See on 25 above. 

148. No footing seen. Malone quotes Temp. v. I. 34 : 

" And ye that on the sands with printless feet 
Do chase the ebbing Neptune, ' : etc. 

149. Compact of fire. Cf. M. N. D. v. i. 8 : " of imagination all com- 
pact;" A. Y. L. ii. 7. 5 : "compact of jars," etc. 

150. Not gross to sink, etc. Cf. C. of E. iii. 2. 52 : "Let Love, being 
light, be drowned if she sink ;" and see our ed. p. 128. 

152. These. Changed to "the" in the 5th and following eds. 

153. Doves. Cf. Temp. iv. i. 94, where Venus is referred to as "dove- 
drawn." See also 1190 below, and R. and J. p. 177. 

160. Complain on. The 3d and subsequent eds. have " complain of." 
See Gr. 181, and cf. 544 below. 

161. Narcissus. Cf. R. of L. 265 and A. and C. ii. 5. 96. 

1 68. 'To themselves. For themselves alone, " without producing fruit or 
benefiting mankind" (Malone). Cf. 1180 below. 

Wast. The 4th and later eds. have " wert." 

177. l^itan. The sun ; as in T. and C. v. 10. 25, R. and J. ii. 3. 4, 
Cymb. iii. 4. 166, etc. 

Tired 'is explained by Boswell as ^attired ; and Schmidt favours that 
explanation. Cf. L. L. L. iv. 2. 131 : " the tired horse ;" and see our ed. 
p. 147. Coll. prints " 'tired." 

181. Upright. Spirit; as in R.ofL. 121. Cf. Gr. 463. 

192. Tears. The rhyme was not so bad in the time of S. as now. 

193. Shines but warm. "Affords only a natural and genial heat; it 
warms but it does not burn " (Malone). 


199. Obdurate. Accented on the second syllable, as elsewhere in S 
Cf. R. of L. 429, M. of V. iv. I. 8, etc. 

203. Hard. The reading of the ist ed. ; "bad" in all the rest. 

204. Unkind. Leaving none of her kind^ or race ; childless. Malone 
explains it as "unnatural." Cf. Lear, p. 176. 

205. Contemn me this. "Contemptuously refuse this favour" (Ma- 
lone). The loth ed. has " thus " for this, and Steevens was inclined to 
that reading. " Thus and kiss" he says, "correspond in sound as well 
as unlikely and quickly, adder and shudder, which we meet with after- 

211. Lifeless. The early eels, have " liuelesse," except the 4th, which 
has " liueles." 

222. Intendments. Intentions. Cf. A. Y. L. p. 139. S. uses the word 
four times, intention only twice. 

229. Fondling. Darling ; used by S. only here. 

230. Pale. Enclosure ; as in C. of E. ii. i. 100, etc. 

231. A park. The 3d and following eds. have "the parke." 
242. That. So that. Gr. 283. Cf. 599, 830, and 1140 below. 

247. These round. Changed in the 5th and later eds. to " those round." 

257. Remorse. Pity, tenderness. Cf. Rich. III. p. 221, note on 210. 

272. Compassed. Curved, arched. In T. and C. i. 2. 120, "compassed 
window " = bow-window, and in T. ofS. iv. 3. 140, "compassed cape " 
round cape. 

Stand is the reading of the first four eds. ; changed in the later ones to 
" stands." Mane " as composed of many hairs " (Malone) is here used 
as a plural. 

275. Scornfully glisters. Some editors follow Sewell in transposing 
these words. On glisters, see M. of V. p. 145. 

277. Told. Counted ; as in 520 below. Cf. Temp. p. 123. 

279. Leaps. Malone infers from the rhyme that the word was pro- 
nounced leps, as it still is in Ireland ; but it is hardly safe to draw an 
inference from a single rhyme. In Sonn. 128. 5, we have leap rhymed 
with reap. 

281. This I do. The 4th and later eds. have "thus I do." 

295. Round-hoof ''d, etc. See p. 32 above. 

296. Eye. Changed to "eyes " in the 5th and following eds. 

301. Sometime. The 8th, 9th, nth, and I2th eds. have " Sometimes." 
The words were used by S. interchangeably. 

303. To bid the wind a base. To challenge the wind to a race. See 
Cymb. p. 213, note on Base. 

304. And whether. The early eds. have " And where." Malone prints 
" And whe'r." See J. C. p. 128, note on Whe'r. Gr. 466. 

306. Who. The loth ed. "corrects" this to "which." See Gr. 264. 

312. Embracemcnts. Cf. 790 below. S. uses the word oftener than 
embrace (noun), though in this poem the latter is found three times (539> 
811, 874), or as many times as in all his other works. 

313. Malcontent. The 4th ed. has "male content." 

314. Vails. Lowers ; as in 956 below. See M. of V. p. 128. 

315. Buttock. Changed to the plural in the 4th and following eds. 


319. Goeth about. Attempts. Cf. R. of L. 412; and see M. N. D. 
p. 177. 

325. Chafing. The 4th, 5th, 7th, and loth eds. have "chasing." For 
chafe, see J. C. p. 131. 

326. Banning. Cursing. Cf. 2 Hen. VI. iii. 2. 319: "to curse and 
ban," etc. 

334. Fire. A dissyllable ; as not unfrequently. The first three eds. 
print it "fier;" as they do in 402 below, where it is a monosyllable. 
Sewell reads " doth oft." 

.335' The hear fs attorney. That is, the tongue. Steevens aptly quotes 
Rich. III. iv. 4. 127 : 

"Duchess. Why should .calamity be full of words? 
Queen Elizabeth. Windy attorneys to their client woes," etc. 

343. Wistly. Wistfully ; modifying came stealing, not view. Cf. R. of 
L. 1355: "wistly on him gaz'd," etc. Schmidt makes it "attentively, 
observingly, with scrutiny," in both passages. 

346. How white and red, etc. Steevens compares T. of S. iv. 5. 30 : 
" Such war of white and red within her cheeks !" 

350. Lowly. The 4th ed. has " slowly." 

352. Cheek. Made plural in the 5th and later eds. In the next line 
the 4th and the rest read "cheeks (or " cheekes ") reuiues" or "cheekes 
receiue;" and all eds. except the 1st have "tender" for tenderer. 

359. His. Its. Gr. 228. The allusion is to the chorus, or interpreter, 
in a dumb-show, or pantomime. Cf. Ham. p. 228, note on Chortts. 

365. And unwilling. The 4th ed. has "and willing." 

367. The engine of her thoughts. That is, her tongue. On engine, cf. 
T. G. of V. p. 140. 

376. Grave. Engrave, impress. Schmidt makes it ="cut a little, 
wound slightly, graze." 

370. Thy heart my wound. " Thy heart wounded as mine is " (Ma- 

388. Suffered. That is, allowed to burn. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. iv. 8. 8 : 

"A little fire is quickly trodden out, 
Which, being suffer'd, rivers cannot quench." 

397. Sees. The 2d, 3d, and 4th eds. have " seekes." /// her naked bed, 
as H. takes the trouble to inform us, means " naked in her bed." This 
rhetorical transference of an epithet is familiar to every schoolboy. Cf. 
"idle bed "(y. C. ii. 1. 117), "lazy bed" (T. and C. i. 3. 147), "tired bed" 
(Lear, i. 2. 13), etc. So sick bed, etc. 

398. A whiter hue than white. Cf. Cymb. ii. 2. 14 : 

" How bravely thou becom'st thy bed, fresh lily, 
And whiter than the sheets!" 

and R. of L. 472 : " Who o'er the white sheet peers her whiter chin." 

411. Owe. Own, possess. Cf. R. of L. 1803, etc. 

424. Alarms. Alarums, attacks. The 5th and later eds. have 
" alarme." The 4th has " alarum." 

429. Mermaid. Siren ; the usual meaning in S. Cf. 777 below. 

432. Ear's. Misprinted "Earths " in the 4th and later eds. 


434. Invisible. Steevens conjectures "invincible ;" but, as Malone re- 
marks, " an opposition is clearly intended between external beauty, of 
which the eye is the judge, and a melody of voice (which the poet calls 
inward beauty) striking not the sight, but the ear." 

436. Sensible. Endowed with sensibility, sensitive. Cf. L. L. L. p. 152. 

443. Stillitory. Alembic, still ; used by S. only here. Malone, H., 
and others print " still'tory." 

447 : Might. The reading of the ist and 2d eds. ; "should" in the 

448. And bid Suspicion, etc. Malone thinks that " a bolder or happier 
personification than this " is hardly to be found in Shakespeare's works ! 

454. Wrack. The regular form of the word in S. Cf. the rhymes in 
558 below, R. of L. 841, 965, etc. 

456. Flaws. Sudden gusts, or "squalls." Cf. Cor. p. 268, or Ham. 
p. 264. 

462. Struck. Spelt "strucke," "stroake," "stroke," and "strooke" 
in the early eds. Cf. J. C. p. 146 (on Hath stricken] and p. 160 (on Struck- 
en by many princes}. Gr. 344. 

466. Bankrupt. " Bankrout," "banckrout," or "banquerout" in the 
old eds. See R. and J. p. 187. H. adopts Walker's plausible conject- 
ure of " loss " for love. 

469. All amaz'd. The 4th and later eds. have " in a maze." 

472. Fair fall, etc. May good luck befall, etc. Cf. A". John, p. 133. 

482. Blue windows. That is, eyelids. See R. and J. p. 172, note on 
Grey eye. 

484. Earth. All the early eds. except the ist have " world." 

488. Shine. For the noun, cf. 728 below. See Per. p. 134. 

490. Repine. The only instance of the noun in S. The verb occurs 
only three times. 

492. Shone like the moon, etc. Malone compares L. L. L. iv. 3. 30 fol. 

497. Annoy. For the noun, cf. 599 below, R. of L. 1109, 1370, etc. 

500. Shrewd. Evil. Cf. Hen. VIII. p. 202, or J. C. p. 145. 

506. Their crimson liveries. Referring, of course, to the lips. The 
transition to verdure in the next line is curious, and the whole passage 
is a good example of the quaint "conceits" of the time. The allusion, 
as Malone remarks, is to the practice of strewing rooms with rue and 
other strong-smelling herbs as a means of preventing infection. The 
astrological allusion is also to be noted. Writ on death = predicted death 
by their horoscopes. The 4th ed. has " neither " for never. 
"511. Sweet seals. Cf. M.for M. iv. I. 6 ; and see our ed. p. 160. 

515. Slips. A play on the word as applied to counterfeit coin. Cf. 
R. and J. p. 1 73, note on Gave us the counterfeit. 

519. Touches. " Kisses " in the 5th and following eds. 

520. Told. Counted ; as in 277 above. 

521. Say, for non-payment, etc. "The poet was thinking of a condi- 
tional bond's becoming forfeited for non-payment ; in which case the en- 
tire penalty (usually the double of the principal sum lent by the obligee) 
was formerly recoverable at law" (Malone). 

524. Strangeness. Bashfulness, reserve. Cf. 310 above. 


526. Fry. Or "small fry," as we still say. Cf. A. W. iv. 3. 250, Macb. 
iv. 2. 84, etc. 

529. The world's comforter. Cf. 799 below. 
540. Incorporate. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 208 : 

"As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds, 
Had been incorporate. So we grew together," etc. 

544. Complain on. Cf. 1 60 above. 

550. The insnlter. The exulting victor ; the only instance of the noun 
in S. For *)z.n*//= exult, cf. Sonn. 107. 12, 3 Hen. VI. i. 3. 14, etc. 

565. With tempering. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iv. 3. 140: " I have him already 
tempering between my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal with 
him ;" and see our ed. p. 189. 

568. Leave. License. Cf. the play on the word in 3 Hen. VI. iii. 2. 34 : 

"Ay. good leave have you; for you will have leave 
Till youth take leave, and leave you to the crutch." 

570. Wooes. The 4th ed. has "woes." 

571. Had she then gave. Elsewhere S. has the participle given (usu- 
ally monosyllabic). It is a wonder that all the editors have \ztgave alone 
here. Cf. Gr. 343, 344. 

574. Prickles. The 5th and later eds. have "pricks," and "is it" for 
V is. 

589. Pale. For the noun, cf. R. of L. 1512 and W. T. iv. 3. 4. 

590. Like lawn, etc. Cf. R. of L. 258. 

591. Cheek. Made plural in the 4th ed. et al. See on 352 above. 
593. Hanging by. The 4th and later eds. have "hanging on." 
595. Lists of love. Steevens quotes Dryden, Don Sebastian: 

"The sprightly bridegroom on his wedding night 
More gladly enters not the lists of love." 

597. Prove. Experience. Cf. 608 below, and A. and C. i. 2. 33 : " You 
have seen and prov'd a fairer former fortune," etc. 

598. Manage. For the noun as applied to the training of a horse, see 
AL of V. p. 153. This is the only instance in S. of the verb similarly 

599. That. So that. See on 242 above. For the allusion to Tanta- 

600. Clip. Embrace. Cf. O'th. p. 192. 

602. Pine. Starve. For the transitive use, cf. Rich. 71. p. 210. 

604. Helpless. Affording no help, or sustenance. Cf. R. of L. 1027 and 
1056. See also Rich. III. p. 183. 

The allusion, as Malone notes, is to the celebrated picture of Zeuxis, 
mentioned by Pliny, in which some grapes were so well represented that 
birds came to peck them. Cf. Sir John Davies, Nosce Teipsum, 1599: 
"And birds of grapes the cunning shadow peck." 

612. Withhold. Detain, restrain ; as in Rich. III. iii. I. 30, etc. 

615. Be advis'd. Take heed ; as often. 

616. Churlish boar. Cf. T. and C.\.2.2i: " Churlish as the bear," etc. 
618. Mortal. Death-dealing ; as in 950 below. See also R. of L. 364, 

724, etc. Schmidt takes it to" be here = human. 


619. Battle. Battalion, host. Cf. Hen. V. p. 171. 

624. Crooked. The Var. of 1821 has "cruel;" apparently accidental, 
as it is given without comment. 

626. Proof. Defensive armour. Cf. Macb. p. 155, note on 54. 

628. Venture. Commonly pronounced venter in the time of S. 
f 632. Eyes pay. The early eds. have "eyes (or "eies") paies" (or 
" payes ") or " eie (or " eye ") paies " (or " payes ") ; corrected by Malone. 

Eyne. The old plural, used for the sake of the rhyme, as in R. of L. 
643, M. N. D. \. i. 244, ii. 2. 99, iii. 2. 138, v. I. 178, etc. In R. of L. 1229, 
it is not a rhyming word. 

639. Within his danger. Cf. M. of V. iv. I. I So: "You stand within 
his danger, do you not t" T. N. v. I. 87 : 

"for his sake 

Did I expose myself, pure for his love, 
Into the danger of this adverse town," etc. 

652. Kill, kill! The old English battle-cry in charging the enemy. 
Cf. Lear, iv. 6. 191, etc. 

655. Bate-breeding. Causing quarrel or contention. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. 
ii. 4. 271 : "breeds no bate with telling of discreet stories ;" and see our 
ed. p. 171. The 4th ed. has "bare-breeding." 

656. Canker. Canker-worm. See M. N. D. p. 150. Lovers tender 
spring "the tender bud of growing love" (Malone). Cf. C. of E. iii. 
2. 3 : " Even in the spring of love thy love-springs rot." 

657. Carry -tale. Used again in L. L. L. v. 2. 463 : " Some carry- 
tale," etc. 

662. Angry-chafing. Fretting with rage. The hyphen was inserted 
by Malone. 

668. Imagination. Metrically six syllables. Gr. 479. For tremble, the 
3d and later eds. have "trembling." 

673. Uncouple. Set loose the hounds ; as in M. N. D. iv. I. 112, etc. 

677. Fearful. Full of fear, timorous. Cf. 927 below ; and see J. C. 
p. 175, note on With fearful bravery. 

680. Overshoot. The early eds. have "ouer-shut" or " ouershut ;" 
corrected by D. (the conjecture of Steevens). 

682.' Cranks. Turns, winds. Cf. I Hen. IV. iii. I. 98 : " See how this 
river comes me cranking in." 

683. Musits. Holes for creeping through. Cf. Two Noble Kinsmen, 

P- J 75- 

684. Amaze. Bewilder. Cf. K. John, p. 166. 

694. Cold fault. Cold scent, loss of scent. Cf. T. of S. ind. I. 20 : 

" Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good 
At the hedge-corner, in the coldest fault? 
I would not lose the dog for twenty pound." 

See our ed. p. 126. 

695. Spend their mouths. That is, bark ; a sportsman's expression. 
Cf. Hen. V. ii. 4. 70 : 

"for coward dogs 

Most spend their mouths when what they seem to threaten 
Runs far behind them." 

I7 8 NOTES. 

697. Wat. " A familiar term among sportsmen for a hare ; why, does 
not appear. Perhaps for no better reason than Philip for a sparrow 
[cf. K. John, p. 137], Tom for a cat, and the like " (Nares). 

700. Their. The 4th ed. has " with." 

703. Wretch. On the use of the word as a term of pity or tenderness, 
see Oth. p. 183. 

On this whole passage, see p. 20 fol. above. 

704. Indenting. The 4th ed. has " intending." 

705. Envious. Malicious. See Rich. III. p. 187, or M. of V. p. 151. 
712. Myself. The 4th and following eds. have "thy selfe." 

724. True men thieves. The 1st and 2d eds. have " true-men theeves," 
the 3d "rich-men theeve," the rest "rich men theeves." On the use of 
frue men in opposition to thieves, see I Hen. IV. pp. 160, 168. 

726. Forsworn. " That is, having broken her vow of virginity " (Stee- 

734. Curious. Careful, elaborate. Cf. A. W. i. 2. 20 : 

" Frank Nature, rather curious than in haste, 
Hath well compos'd thee." 

736. Defeature. Deformity ; as in C. of E. ii. I. 98 and v. I. 299. 

738. Mad. " Sad " in the 5th and later eds. 

740. Wood. Mad, frantic. See I Hen. VI. p. 156, on Raging-uaooa. 

743. Imposthumes. Abscesses. Cf. Hani. p. 245. 

746. Fight. The 5th and following eds. have "sight ;" and in 748 the 
4th and the rest have "imperiall " for impartial. 

751. Fruitless. Barren. Cf. M. N. D. \. I. 73 : "the cold fruitless 
moon," etc. 

754. Dearth. The 4th ed. has " death." 

755. The lamp, etc. "Ye nuns and vestals, says Venus, imitate the 
example of the lamp, that profiteth mankind at the expense of its own 
oil." (Malone). 

760. Dark. The 4th and later eds. have " their." 

762. Sith. Since. See Cor. p. 236, note on Sithence: Cf. 1 163 below. 

766. Reaves. Bereaves. For the participle, still used in poetry, see 
1174 below. Cf. 2 Hen. VI. p. 177. 

768. Use. Interest. See Mtich Ado, p. 133. 

774. Treatise. Discourse, talk, tale. Cf. Much Ado, i. 1 . 3 1 7 and Macb. 
v. 5. 12, the only other instances of the word in S. 

777. Mermaid 1 s. Siren's. Cf. 429 above. 

780. Closure. Enclosure ; as in Sonn. 48. 11 and Rich. III. iii. 3. u. 
In T. A. v. 3. 134 it is = close, conclusion. 

787. Reprove. Disprove, confute ; as in Much Ado, ii. 3. 241 : " 't is 
so ; I cannot reprove it," etc. 

795. Simple. Artless, guileless. 

807. In sadness. In earnest. Cf. R. and J. p. 144. 

808. Teen. Sorrow. See R. and J. p. 150, or Temp. p. 113. 

813. Laund. Lawn. The 4th and later eds. have "lawnes." See 1 
Hen. VI. p. 154. 
825. Mistrustful. Causing mistrust. See Gr. 3. 


830. That. So that. See on 242 above. 

833. Av me! Changed by H. to "Ah me!" which S. never uses. 
See M. N. D. p. 128. 

837. Thrall. Enslaved. Cf. X. of L. 725. For the noun, see Macb. 
p. 225. 

840. Answer. The plural may be explained either by the implied plu- 
ral in the collective choir or by "confusion of proximity" (Gr. 412). 
The I2th ed. has "answers." 

848. Idle sounds resembling parasites. That is, servilely echoing what 
she says, as the context shows. St. reads " idle, sounds-resembling, par- 

849. Shrill-tongned tapsters, etc. Cf. I Hen. IV. ii. 4, where Prince 
Henry amuses himself with the tapster Francis. 

850. Wits. Theo. conjectured " wights," for the sake of the rhyme ; 
but parasites is spelled " parasits " in the first three eds., and may have 
been intended to be so pronounced. See on 1001, 1002 below. But the 
rhyme of parasites and wits is no worse than many in the poem. Cf., 
for instance, 449, 450, and 635, 636 above. 

854. Cabinet. Poetically for nest, as cabin in 637 above for lair or 

858. Seem burnished gold. Malone compares the opening lines of 
Sonn. 33. 

865. Myrtle grove. It will be recollected that the myrtle was sacred 
to Venus. 

866. Musing. Wondering. See K. John, p. 158, or Macb. p. 219. 

868. For his hounds. The 4th ed. omits his. 

869. Chant it. For the it, see Gr. 226. 

870. Coasteth. Schmidt well explains the word : "to steer, to sail not 
by the direct way but in sight of the coast, and as it were gropingly." 
Cf. Hen. VIII. iii. 2. 38 : 

"The king in this perceives him, how he coasts 
And hedges his own way." 

See our ed. p. 183. 

873. Twine. The ist and 2d eds. have "twin'd," the 3d "twind," and 
the 4th "twinde ;" corrected in the 5th. 

877. At a bay. The state of a chase when the eame is driven to ex- 
tremity and turns against its pursuers. Cf. T. o/S. v. 2. 56, etc. 

882. Spirit. A monosyllable, as often. See on L. C. 3 below. 

884. Blunt. Rough, savage. See 3 Hen. VI. p. 163. 

887. Curst. Snappish, fierce. Cf. W. T. iii. 3. 135 : "they [bears] are 
never curst but when they are hungry;" Much Ado, ii. 1.22: "a curst 
cow," etc. See also M. N. D. p. 167. ' 

888. Cope him. Cope with him, encounter him. Cf. T. and C. i. 2. 34, 
ii. 3. 275, etc. 

891. Who. For who used "to personify irrational antecedents" see 
Gr. 264. Cf. 956 and 1041 below. 

892. Cold-pale. The hyphen is in the early eds. 
895. Ecstasy. Excitement. Cf. Macb. p. 21 1. 

i8o NOTES. 

896. All dismay V. The reading of the ist and 2d eds. ; "Sore dis- 
may'd " in the rest. 

899. For the second bids the 6th and some later eds. have " will s. 
901! Bepainted. The 4th ed. has "be painted." 
907. Spleens. Passionate impulses. Cf. I Hen. IV. p. 161. 
909. Mated. Bewildered, paralyzed. Cf. Macb. p. 247. 

911. Respects. Considerations, thoughts ; as in /,. L. L. v. 2. 792, etc. 
The 3d and later eds. have " respect." 

912. In hand with. Taking in hand, undertaking. 

930. Exclaims on. Cries out against. Cf. R. of L. 741, M. of V. iii. 
2. 176, etc. 
933- Worm. Serpent. See Cymb. p. 193, or Macb. p. 215. 

947. Lcz'Ss golden arrow, etc. Malone remarks that S. had probably 
in mind the old fable of Love and Death exchanging their arrows by 
mistake ; and he quotes Massinger, Virgin Martyr: 

' ' Strange affection ! 

Cupid once more hath chang'd his darts with Death, 
And kills instead of giving life." 

956. Vail % d. Let fall. See on 314 above. 

962. The tears. The 4th and following eds. have " her teares ;" and in 
968 " which " for who. 

969. Passion labours. The 4th ed. has "passions labour." 

975. Dire. The 4th ed. misprints " drie," which is repeated as " dry " 
in the 5th and 7th. The loth has "drie " again. 

988. Makes. " Make " in the 5th and following eds. 

990. In likely. The reading of the ist and 2d eds. The 3d and 4th 
have " The likely," and the rest " With likely." 

993. All to naught. Good for nothing. Some print "ail-to naught," 
and others "all to-naught." Cf. Per. p. 147, note on 17. 

995. Clepes. Calls. See Macb. p. 209. 

996. Imperious. " Imperial " (the reading of the 5th ed. et at.}. See 
Ham. p. 264. 

998. Pardon me I felt. That is, that I felt. Some make pardon me 

999. Whenas. When. See C. of E. p. 142. 

1002. Decease. The early eds. have " decesse," "deceass," or "de- 
ceasse." See on 850 above. For my lovers the 4th ed. has " thy loues/' 

1004. Wreaked. Revenged. Cf. R. and J. iii. 5. 102 and T. A. iv. 3. 
51. See also the noun in Cor. iv. 5. 91, T. A. iv. 3. 33, etc. The 4th ed. 
prints " Bewreakt." 

1010. Suspect. For the noun, see Rich. III. p. 188. 

1012. Insinuate with. Try to ingratiate herself with. Cf. A. Y. L. 
p. 201. 

1013. Stories. For the verb, cf. R. of L. 106 and Cymb. i. 4. 34. 

1 02 1. Fond. Foolish ; the usual meaning in S. Cf. R. ofL. 216, 1094, etc. 

1027. Falcon. The reading of the 5th ed., and to be preferred on the 
whole to the plural of the earlier eds. 

1037. His bloody view. Walker (followed by H.) conjectures " this " 
for his. See Gr. 219. 


1038. Deep-dark. Hyphened in the first three eds. 
1041. Who. See on 891 above. 

1051. Light. The reading of the 1st and 2d ds. The 3d and 4th 
have '*' night," and the rest " sight." 

1052. Trench 1 d. Gashed. See Macb. p. 214. The 3d and 4th eds. 
have " drencht." 

1054. Was. The first four eds. have " had ;" corrected in the 5th. 

1059. Passions. Grieves. See T. G. of V. p. 150. 

1062. That they have -wept till now. That is, that they have wasted 
their tears on inferior "hints of woe." 

1073. Eyes' red fire. The ist and 2d eds. have "eyes red fire," the 3d 
has "eyes red as fire," the 4th "eies as red as fire," and the rest have 
"eyes, as fire." 

1083. Fair. Beauty; as in C. of E. ii. i. 98, A. Y. L. iii. 2. 99, etc. There 
is a play on fair and fear, which were pronounced nearly alike. 

1094. Fear. Frighten. See M. of V. p. 137, or K. John, p. 147. 

1098. Silly. Innocent, helpless. Cf. R;of L. 167 : " the silly lambs ;" 
3 Hen. VI. ii. 5. 43 : "silly sheep," etc. See also T.G.of V.p. 145. 

1105. Urchin-snouted. With snout like that of a hedgehog. For 
urchin, cf. Temp. p. 119. 

I no. He thought to kiss him, etc. This conceit, as Malone notes, is 
found in the 3Oth Idyl of Theocritus, and in a Latin poem by Antonius 
Sebastianus Minturnus entitled De Adoni ab A pro Interempio: 

"iterum atque juro iterum, 
Formosum hunc iuvenem tuum haud volui 
Meis diripere his cupidinibus ; 
Verum dum specimen nitens video 
(Aestus impatiens tenella dabat 
Nuda femina mollibus zephyris), 
Ingens me miserum libido capit 
Mille suavia dulcia hinc capere, 
Atque me impulit ingens indomitus. 

Cf. Milton, Death of a Fair Infant: 

"O fairest flower, no sooner blown but blasted ! 
Soft silken primrose fading timelessly, 
Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst outlasted 
Bleak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry; 
For he, being amorous on that lovely dye 
That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss, 
But kill'd, alas! and then bewail'd his fatal bliss." 

1113. Did not. All the eds. except the ist have "would not." 

1115. Nuzzling. Thrusting his nose in ; the only instance of the word 
in S. It is spelled "nousling" in all the early eds. 

1120. Am I. The reading of the ist and 2d eds. ; " I am " in the resL 

1125. Ears. The 4th and later eds. have "ear," and in the next line 
" he " for they. 

1128. Lies. For the singular, see Gr. 333. 

1134. Thou. The 4th and following eds. have "you," and in 1139 the 
5th et al. have " too high " for but high. 

1136. On love. The 4th ed. has " in " for on. 

l82 NOTES. 

1143. O 'erstraiv \l. Overstrewn ; used of course for the rhyme. The 
4th ed. has " ore-straw." 

1 144. Truest. The reading of the first three eds. ; " sharpest " in the 

1148. Measures. For measiire = 2i grave and formal dance, see Rich. 
II. p. 1 68. 

1151. Raging-mad and silly-mild. The hyphens were first inserted by 
Mai one. 

1157. Toward. Forward, eager. Cf. P. P. 13, T. of S. v. 2. 182, etc. 
For shows the 5th and later eels have "seems " or "seemes." 

1162. Combustions. Combustible; used by S. nowhere else. 

1163. Sith. See on 762 above. 

1 164. Loves. " Love " in the 4th and later eds. 

1168. A purple flower. The anemone. The 4th ed. has "purpuPd." 

1 1 74. Reft. See on 766 above. 

1183. Here in. The reading of the 1st and 2d eds. ; "here is" in the 

1187. In an hour. The 5th and later eds. have "of" for /;/. 

1190. Doves. See on 153 above. 

1193. Paphos. A town in Cyprus, the chief seat of the worship of 
Venus. Cf. Temp. iv. I. 93 and Per. iv. prol. 32. 


THE DEDICATION. 2. Moiety. Often used by S. of a portion other 
than an exact half. See Ham. p. 174. 

6. Would. The reading of the first three eds.; "should" in the rest. 

THE ARGUMENT. "This appears to have been written by Shake- 
speare, being prefixed to the original edition of 1594; and is a curiosity, 
this and the two dedications to the Earl of Southampton being the only 
prose compositions of our great poet (not in a dramatic form) now re- 
maining" (Malone). 

3. Requiring. Asking. Cf. Hen. VIII. ii. 4. 144 : " In humblest man- 
ner I require your highness," etc. 

14. Disports. For the noun, cf. Oth. i..3. 272, the only other instance 
in S. 

THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. For the title, see p. n above. The Camb. 
editors give " The Rape of Lucrece " throughout. 

I. Ardea. As D. notes, S. accents the word on the first syllable, as it 
should be. The Var. of 1821 and some other eds. have "besieg'd," 
which requires " Ardea." 

/;/ post. Cf. C. of E. i. 2. 63 : "I from my mistress come to you in 
post," etc. We find " in all post " in Rich. III. iii. 5. 73. 

3. Lust-breathed. Animated by lust. 


8. Unhappily. The early eds. have "vnhap'ly" or " vnhaply," except 
the yth, which misprints " unhappy." 

9. Bateless. Not to be blunted. Cf. unbated in Ham. iv. 7. 139 and v. 
2. 328. See also the verb bate in L. L. L. i. i. 6. 

10. Let. " Forbear" (Malone). Cf. 328 below, where it is ^hinder. ' 
14. Aspects. Accented on the first syllable, as regularly in S. Cf. 452 


19. Such high-proud. The 5th, 6th, and 7th eds. have "so high a." 

21. Peer. The reading of the 1st ed. ; " prince " in all the rest. 

23. Done. Brought to an end, ruined. Cf. V. and A. 197, 749, A. W. 
iv. 2. 65, etc. 

26. Expired. Accented on the first syllable because preceding a noun 
so accented. Cf. unstained in 87, extreme in 230, supreme in 780, unfelt in 
828, dispersed in 1805, etc. The 5th, 6th, and 7th eds. have "A date ex- 
pir'd : and canceld ere begun." 

37. Suggested. Incited, tempted. See Rich. //.p. 153, note on 101. 

40. Braving compare. Challenging comparison. For the noun, cf. V. 
and A. 8, Sonn. 21.5, etc. 

44. All-too-timeless. Too unseasonable ; first hyphened by Malone. 

47. Liver. For the liver as the seat of sensual passion, cf. Temp. iv. i< 
56, M. W. ii. i. 121, etc. For glows the 7th ed. has "growes." 

49. Blasts. For the intransitive use, cf. T. G. of V. i. I. 48 : "blasting 
in the bud." 

56. O'er. " Ore " or " or'e " in the -early eds. Malone was inclined 
to take it as the noun ore "in the sense of or or gold." 

57. In that white i/itituled. Consisting in that whiteness, or taking its 
title from it (Steevens). 

58. Venus' doves. Cf. V. and A. 153 and 1190. 

63. Fence. Defend, guard ; as in 3 Hen. VI. ii. 6. 75, iii. 3. 98, etc. 

72. Field. There is a kind of play upon the word in its heraldic sense 
and that of a field of battle. 

71. War of lilies and of roses. Steevens compares Cor. ii. I. 232 and 
V. and A. 345 ; and Malone adds T. of S. v. 2. 30. 

82. That praise which Collating doth owe. Malone and H. make praise 
object of praise, and oive = possess. This interpretation seems forced 
and inconsistent with the next line, which they do not explain. We pre- 
fer to take both praise and owe in the ordinary sense. For 0we = pos- 
sess, see Rich. II. p. 204, and cf. 1803 below. 

87. Unstained thoughts. The words are transposed in the 5th and 
later eds. 

88. Lim'd. Ensnared by bird-lime. Cf. Ham. p. 233. 

89. Securely. Unsuspiciously. Cf. M. W. ii. 2. 252, K. John, ii. 1. 374, 

92. For that he coloured. For that inward ill he covered or disguised. 

93. Plaits. That is, plaited robes. The old eds. spell it "pleats." 
Boswell quotes Lear, i. i. 183 : "Time shall unfold what plaited cunning 
hides." These are the only instances of the words in S. 

94. That. So that. See on V. and A. 242. For inordinate, cf. I Hen. 
IV. iii. 2. 12 and Oth. ii. 3. 311. 

184 NOTES. 

100. Parling. Speaking, significant. The verb occurs again in L. L. 

L. V. 2. 122. 

102. Margents. Margins. For other allusions to the practice of writ- 
ing explanations and comments in the margin of books, see M. N. D. 
p. 142. 

104. Moralize. Interpret. Cf. T. of S. iv. 4. 81 : 

" BioncUllo. Faith, nothing; but has left me here behind, to expound the meaning or 
moral of his signs and tokens. 
Lucentio. I pray thee, moralize them." 

See also Rich. III. p. 209. 

106. Stories. For the verb, cf. V. and A. 1013. 

117. Mother. The 5th and later eds. change this to "sad source;" 
and stows in 119 to "shuts." For stows, cf. Oth. i. 2. 62 : "where hast 
thou stow'd my daughter ?" 

121. Intending. Pretending. See Ruh. III. p. 215. For spright, see 
on V. and A. 181. 

122. Questioned. Talked, conversed. Cf. M. of V. iv. i. 70, etc. 

125. Themselves betake. The Bodleian copy of 1st ed. (see p. n above) 
has "himseife betakes," and "wakes" in the next line; and these are 
the readings in the Var. of 1821. 

133. Though death be adjunct. Cf. K. John, iii. 3. 57 : " Though that 
my death were adjunct to my act." These are the only instances of 
adjunct in S. except Sonn. 91. 5. 

135. For what, etc. The first four eds. have "That what," etc., and 
the rest "That oft," etc. The earliest reading may be explained after a 
fashion, as by Malone : " Poetically speaking, they may be said to scat- 
ter what they have not, that is, what they cannot be truly said to have ; 
what they do not enjoy, though possessed of it." Malone compares Dan- 
iel, Rosamond: " As wedded widows, wanting what we have ;" and the 
same author's Cleopatra: "For what thou hast, thou still dost lacke." 
" Tarn avaro deest quod habet, quam quod non habet " is one of the 
sayings of Publius Syrus. But we have little hesitation in adopting 
Staunton's conjecture of For what, etc., as do the Camb. editors (in the 
"Globe" ed.) and H. It is supported by the context: they scatter or 
spend what they have in trying to get what they have not, and so by 
hoping more they have but less. Bond must here be = ownership, or that 
which a bond claims or secures. The reading of the 5th ed. seems to be 
a clumsy attempt to mend the corruption of the 1st. 

140. Bankrupt. Spelled "backrout," "banckrout," or "bankrout" in 
the early eds. See on V. and A. 466. 

144. Gage. Stake, risk. 

150. Ambitious foul. Walker would read "ambitious-foul." 

160. Confounds. Ruins, destroys ; as in 250, 1202, and 1489 below. 
Cf. confusion \\i\\-\, in 1159 below. 

164. Comfortable. Comforting. See Lear, p. 193, or Gr. 3. 

167. Silly. See on V. and A. 1098. 

168. IVakes. Malone and some others have "wake." See Gr. 336. 
174. Too too. D. and H. print " too-too." See /]/. of V. p. 143. For 

retire as a noun, cf. 573 below. 



177. That. So that. See on 94 above. The 5th and following eds. 
have " doth " for do. 

179. Lode-star. The preferable spelling. S. uses the word again in 
M. N. D. i. i. 183. 

180. Advisedly. Deliberately; as in 1527 and 1816 below. 

1 88. Naked. As Schmidt notes, there is a kind of play upon the word. 
Still-slaughtered (first hyphened by Mai one) = ever killed but never dying. 
196. Weed. Robe, garment. Cf. M. N. D. p. 149. 
200. Fancy's. Love's ; as often. See M. of V. p. 148. 
202. Digression. Transgression, as in L. L. L. i. 2. 121. 

205. Golden coat. That is, coat-of-arms ; an anachronism here. 

206. Some loathsome dash, etc. " In the books of heraldry a particu- 
lar mark of disgrace is mentioned by which the escutcheons of those 
persons were anciently distinguished who * discourteously used a widow, 
maid, or wife, against her will ' " (Malone). 

207. Fondly. Foolishly. Cf. the adjective in 216, 284, and 1094 be- 
low ; and see on V. and A. 1021. 

208. That. So that; as in 94 and 177 above. A r <?/^=brand, stigma. 
See Rich. //.p. 151, note on 43. 

217. Stmcken. The early eds. have "stroke," "stroken," or "struck- 
en." See on V. and A. 462. 

221. Marriage. A trisyllable. See Per. p. 141, or T. of S. p. 152. 

230. Extreme. For the accent, see on 26 above. 

236. QuittaL Requital ; used by S. only here. Cf. quittance in 2 Hen. 
IV. \. i. 108, Hen. V. ii. 2. 34, etc. 

239. Ay, if. The first four eds. have " I, if" (ay is regularly printed 1 
in the early eds.) ; the rest have "if once." 

244. Saw. Moral saying, rnaxim. Cf. Ham. p. 197. For the prac- 
tice of putting these saws on the painted cloth or hangings of the poet's 
time, see A. Y. L. p. 176, note on I answer you right painted cloth. 

246. Disputation. Metrically five syllables. See on V. and A. 668. 

258. Roses that on lawn, etc. Cf. V. and A. 590. 

260. How. The 5th and later ed". have '-'now." 

264. Cheer. Face, look. Cf. M. t\f V. p. 152. 

265. Narcissus. Cf. V.and A. i6t. 

268. Pleadeth. The 5th and folj owing eds. have "pleads," with 
''dreads" and "leades" in the rhyming lines. 

274. Then, childish fear avaunt ! etc. In this line and the next we fol- 
low the pointing of the early eds. Most of the editors, with Malone, 
make fear, debating, etc., vocatives. 

275. Respect. " Cautious prudence " (Malone), consideration of conse- 
quences. Cf. T. and C. p. 180. 

277. Beseems. Becomes. For the number, see on 168 above. Sad 
serious, sober. Cf. the noun in V. and A. 807. 

278. My part. A metaphor taken from the stage. Malone sees a spe- 
cial reference to the conflicts between the Devil and the Vice in the old 
moralities (see T. N. p. 159, note on Vice}, 

284. Fond. Foolish, weak. See on 207 above. 

293. Seeks to. Applies to. Cf. Burton, Anat. of Mel an. : " why should 

186 NOTES. 

we then seek to any other but to him ?" See also Dent, xii. 5, I Kings, 
x. 24, Isa. viii. 19, xix. 3. 

301. Marcheth. The 5th and following eds. have "doth march ;" and 
in 303 "recites" for retires. 

303. Retires his ward. Draws back its bolt. For the transitive verb, 
cf. Rich. II. ii. 2. 46 : " might have retir'd his power ;" and for ward see 
T. of A. iii. 3. 38 : " Doors that were ne'er acquainted with their wards." 

304. Rate his ill. That is, chide it by the noise they make. 

308. His fear. That is, the object of his fear. Cf. M. N. D. v. 1. 21 : 

"Or in the night, imagining some fear, 
How often is a bush suppos'd a bear!" 

313. His conduct. That which conducts or guides him. Cf. R. and J. 
iii. i. 129 : " And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now !" and Id. v. 3. 116 : 
" Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide," etc. 

319. Needle. Monosyllabic; as in M. N. D. iii. 2. 204 (see our ed. p. 
165), K. John, v. 2. 157, etc. Some print it " neeld." See Gr. 465. 

328. Let. Hinder. Cf. the noun just below ; and see Ham. p. 195. 

331. Prime. Spring ; as in Sonn. 97. 7, etc. 

333. Sneaped. Nipped, frost-bitten. Cf. L. L. L. \. i. 100 : 

"an envious sneaping frost 
That bites the first-born infants of the spring ;" 

and see our ed. p. 130. 

347. And they. Steevens conjectured " And he ;" but power is treated 
as a plural perhaps on account of the preceding heavens. Cf. the plural 
use of heaven, for which see Rich. II. p. 157, note on 7. 

349. Fact. Deed. Some explain it as "crime." See Macb. p. 2215, or 
W. T. p. 175. 

352. Resolution. Metrically five syllables. See on 246 above. 111354 
the 5th and following eds. have " Blacke " for The blackest. The for- 
mer, it will be seen, will satisfy the measure if absolution is made five syl- 
lables like resolution. 

370. Full. The 5th and later eds. have "too." 

372. Fiery -pointed. " Throwing darts with points of fire " (Schmidt). 
Steevens wanted to read "fire-ypointed ;" and the meaning of fiery - 
pointed may possibly be pointed (^appointed, equipped) with fire. 

377. Or else some shame supposed. Or else some shame is imagined 
by them. H. has the following curious note : " An odd use of supposed, 
but strictly classical. So in Chapman's Byron's Conspiracy, 1608 : * Fool- 
ish statuaries, that under little saints suppose great bases, make less, to 
sense, the saints.' " How the etymological sense of supposed (placed 
under) can suit the present passage it is not easy to see. 

386. Cheek. The reading of ist, 2d, and 4th eds. ; plural in the rest. 

388. Who. See on V. and A. 891. Cf. 447 and 461 below. 

389. To want. At wanting or missing. Gr. 356. 

402. Map. Picture, image. Cf. 1712 below. See also Rich. II. p. 207. 
408. Maiden worlds. \V. calls the epithet " unhappy " and a " heedless 
misuse of language ;" but the context explains and justifies it. 



424. Qualified. " Softened, abated, diminished " (Steevens). Cf. M. 
of V. iv. 1.7, W. T. iv. 4. 543, etc. 

429. Obdurate. For the accent, see on V. and A. 199. 

436. Commends. " Commits " (Malone). 

439. Breast. Made plural in the 5th and following eds. 

448. Controlled. Restrained. Cf. 500, 678, and 1781 below. 

453. Taking. Now used only colloquially in this sense. Cf. M. W. 
iii. 3. 491 : "What a taking was he in when your husband asked who 
was in the basket !" 

456. Wrapped. Involved, overwhelmed. H. reads " rapt." Cf. 636 

458. Winking. Shutting her eyes. See on V. and A. 90. 

459. Antics. Fantastic appearances. The early eds. have "antiques." 
See M. N. D. p. 179, note on Antique. 

467. Bulk. Chest. Cf. Rich. III. p. 193. T/iat=so that; as in 94, 
177, and 208 above. 

471. Heartless. Without heart, or courage; as in 1392 below. See 
also R. and J. i. i. 73 : " heartless hinds." These are the only instances 
of the word in S. 

472. Peers. Lets appear, shows. Elsewhere in S. peer is intransitive. 
476. Colour. Pretext. For the play on the word in the reply, cf. 2 Hen. 

IV. v. 5.91 : 

" Falstaff. Sir, I will be as good as my word ; this that you heard was but a colour. 
Shallow. A colour that I fear you will die in, Sir John." 

See our ed. p. 204. 

493. / think, etc. " I am aware that the honey is guarded with a 
sting" (Malone). 

496. Only. For the transposition of the adverb, see Gr. 420. 

497. On what he looks. That is, on what he looks on. See Gr. 394. 
500. Affection's. Passion's, lust's. Cf. W. T. p. 154. 

502. Ensue. Follow ; as in Rich. II. ii. i. 197 : "Let not to-morrow, 
then, ensue to-day." See also i Peter, iii. u. 

506. Towering. A technical term in falconry. See Macb. p. 203. 
Like may possibly be as (cf. Per. p. 143), or there may be a "confusion 
of construction " (see Gr. 415). H. adopts the former explanation, and 
gives the impression that like is " repeatedly " so used by S. The fact is, 
that there is not a single clear instance in all his works. The two 
examples in Pericles are not in his part of the play : and in M. N. D. iv. 
i. 178 (the only other possible case of the kind) the reading is doubtful 
(see our ed. p. 177), and with either reading the passage may be pointed 
so as to avoid this awkward use of like. If S. had been willing to em- 
ploy it, he would probably have done so "repeatedly ;" but it seems to 
have been no part of his English. 

507. Coucheth. Causes to couch or cower. Cf. the intransitive use in 
A. W. iv. i. 24, etc. 

511. Falcon's bells. For the bells attached to the necks of tame fal- 
cons, cf. A. Y. L. iii. 3. 81 and 3 Hen. VI. i. 1.47 (see our ed. p. 141). 

522. Nameless. " Because an illegitimate child has no name by inher- 
itance, being considered by the law as nuilius filius " (Malone). Cf. 7i 

1 88 NOTES. 

G. of V. iii. i. 321 : " bastard virtues, that indeed know not their fathers, 
and therefore have no names." 

530. Simple. Cf. A. Y. L. iv. I. 16: "compounded of many simples," 

531. A pure compound. The 5th and later eds. have "purest com- 
pounds." In the next line, /its = its. Purified rendered harmless. 

534. Tender. Favour. It is often similarly used (=regard or treat 
kindly) ; as in T. G. of V. iv. 4. 145, C. of E. v. i. 132, etc. 

537. Wipe. Brand ; the only instance of the noun in S. For birth- 
hour's blot, cf. M.N.D.v. i. 416 : 

"And the blots of Nature's hand 
Shall not in their issue stand ; 
Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar, 
Nor mark prodigious, such as are 
Despised in nativity. 
Shall upon their children be." 

540. Cockatrice'' dead-killing eye. For the fabled cockatrice, or basi- 
lisk, which was supposed to kill with a glance of its eye, see Hen. V. p. 
183, note on The fatal balls. 

543. Gripe's. Griffin's (Steevens). The word is often ^vulture; as in 
Sidney's Astrophel : 

" Upon whose breast a fiercer gripe doth tire, 
Than did on him who first stole down the fire ;" 

Ferrex and Porrex : "Or cruel gripe to gnaw my growing harte," etc. 
For allusions to the griffin, see M. N. D. ii. i. 232 and i Hen. IV. iii. i. 152. 

547. But. The reading of all the early eds. Changed by Sewell to 
" As," and by Malone to " Look." Bosvvell explains the text thus : " He 
knows no gentle right, but still her words delay him, as a gentle gust 
blows away a black-faced cloud." 

550. Blows. The early eds. have " blow ;" corrected by Malone. 

553. Winks. Shuts his eyes, sleeps. See on 458 above. For Orpheus, 
cf. T. G. of V. iii. 2. 78, AL of V.\. i. 80, Hen. V1JI. iii. i. 3, etc. 

554. Night-looking. Awake at night. \V. omits the hyphen. 

559. Plaining. Complaining. See Lear, p. 216, or Rich. II. p. 164. 
565. His. Its ; as in 532 above. Steevens quotes M. N. D. v. i. 96 : 
" Make periods in the midst of sentences," etc. 

568. Conjures. The accent in S. is on either syllable without regard 
to the sense. Cf. M. N. D. p. 164. 

569. Gentry. His gentle birth. Cf. W. T. i. 2. 393, Cor. iii. I. 144, etc. 
576. Pretended. Intended ; as in T. G. of V. ii. 6. 37 : "their pretend- 
ed flight," etc. 

579. Shoot. For the noun, cf. L. L. L. iv. i. 10, 12, 26, 2 Hen. IV. iii. 2. 
49, etc. Malone conjectures "suit," with a play on the word, which was 
then pronounced shoot. See L. L. L. p. 144, note on 103. 

580. Woodman. Huntsman. See M. W. p. 164. 

581. Unseasonable. Cf. M. W. iii. 3. 169 ; and see our ed. p. 154, note 
on Of the season. 

592. Convert. For the intransitive use, cf. 691 below. See also Rich. 
II. p. 210. For the rhyme, cf. Sonn. 14. 12, 17. 2, 49. 10, 72. 6, etc. 


595. At an iron gate. Even at the gates of a prison (Steevens). 

607. Be remembered. Remember, bear in mind. Cf. A. Y. L. p. 184, 
note on / am remembered. 

609. In clay. That is, even in their graves. Their misdeeds will live 
after them. 

615, 616. For princes are the glass, etc. For the arrangement, see Ham. 
p. 219, note on 151. 

618. Lectures. Lessons. Elsewhere in S. read lectures give lessons, 
not receive them. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 365, T. of S. i. 2. 148, Cor. ii. 3. 
243, etc. 

622. Laud. Cf. 887 below, 2 Hen. IV. iv. 5. 236, etc. 

637. Askance. Turn aside ; the only instance of the verb in S. 
Schmidt paraphrases the line thus : " who, in consequence of their own 
misdeeds, look with indifference on the offences of others." 

639. Lust, thy rash relier. " That is, lust wh'ich confides too rashly 
in thy present disposition and does not foresee its necessary change" 
(Schmidt). The 5th and following eels, have " reply " for relier. 

640. Repeal. Recall. Cf. J. C. p. 157. 

643. Eyne. See on V. and A. 632. The 5th and later eds. have 
" eies ;" and in 649 " pretty " for petty. 

646. Let. Hindrance ; as in 330 above. 

651. 70 his. The reading of the 1st and 2d eds. The 3d has "to 
the," and the others " to this." The 7th has also " not thee " for not his. 

655. Who. See on 388 above. 

657. Puddle's. The reading of 1st, 2d, and 4th eds. ; the others have 
" puddle." For hears\l the 5th and 6th have " bersed," and the 7th 
" persed." Hearsed is found also in M. of V. iii. I. 93 and Ham. i. 4. 47. 

661. Thy fouler grave. H. points "thy fouler, grave;" and adds this 
strange note : " Grave is here a verb, meaning to bury or be the death 
of." He seems to take the line to mean, Thou buriest their fair life, 
and they bury thy fouler life ; but how he would explain the former 
clause we cannot guess. Of course the meaning is, Thou art their fair 
life a repetition of the idea in they basely dignified. 

678. Controlled. See on 448 above. 

680. Nightly. The 5th and 6th eds. misprint "mighty." Linen is not 
= nightgown (cf. Macb. p. 194), but a linen cloth about the head. 

684. Prone. Headlong. The 3d, 5th, 6th, and 7th eds. have " proud.' 

691. Converts. Changes. See on 592 above. 

696. Balk. Disregard, neglect. Cf. Davies, Scourge of Folly, 161 1 : 

"Learn'd and judicious lord, if I should balke 

Thyne honor'd name, it being in my way, 

My muse unworthy were of such a walke, 

Where honor's branches make it ever May. 

698. Fares. The 5th and 6th eds. have "feares," and in 706 "of 
reine " for or rein. 

701. Conceit. Conception, thought. Cf. 1298 below. 
703. His receipt. What he has received; as in Cor. i. I. 116. 
"The discontented members, the muthious parts 
That envied his [the stomach's] receipt." 


707. 7}'//, /z/k a jade, etc. Steevens aptly quotes Hen. VIIL i. I. 132 : 

"Anger is like 

A full-hot horse, who being allow' d his way, 
Self-mettle tires him." 

Yorjade (a worthless or vicious horse), cf. V. and A. 391. 

721. The spotted princess. The polluted soul. For spotted, cf. M. N. 
D. i. I. no, Rich. II. iii. 2. 134, etc. 

728. Forestall. Prevent; as in 2 Hen. IV. iv. 5. 141, etc. The 7th 
ed. has "forest, all;" as "presence" for prescience in 727, and "swear- 
ing" for sweating in 740. 

733. Perplexed. Bewildered, confounded. Cf. Oth. v. 2. 346 : " Per- 
plex'd in the extreme," etc. 

741. Exclaiming on. Crying out against. Cf. V.andA.<)$Q. 

743. Convertite. Convert, penitent. The word is found also in A, K 
L. v. 4. 190 and K. John, v. I. 19. 

747. Scapes. Transgressions ; as in W. T. iii. 3. 73 : " some scape," 

752. Be. The 5th and later eds. have " lie." 

766. Black stage. In the time of S. the stage was hung with black 
when tragedies were performed (Malone). Cf. I Hen. VI. p. 140, note 
on Hung be the heavens with black. 

768. Defame. Cf. 817 and 1033 below. These are the only instances 
of the noun in S. 

774. Proportioned. " Regular, orderly " (Schmidt). 

780. Supreme. For the accent, see on 26 above. 

781. Arrive. For the transitive use, cf. J. C. i. 2. no, Cor. ii. 3. 189, 
etc. For prick = dial- point, see ft. and J. p. 175, note on Prick of noon. 

782. Misty. The-ist and 2cl eds. have " mustie ;" corrected in the 3d 
ed., which, however, misprints " vapour " for vapours. 

783. /;/ their smoky ranks his smothered light. That is, his light 
smothered in their smoky ranks. Gr. 419^. 

786. Distain. The 5th and later eds. have ''disdaine." 

791. Palmers'. Pilgrims'. See A. W. p. 161. 

792. Where. Whereas. See L. L. L. p. 136, or Gr. 134. 
805. Septdchred. For the accent, see Lear, p. 210. 

807. Charactered. For the accent, see Ham. p. 189. 

811. Cipher. Decipher; used by S. only here and in 207 and 1396 of 
this poem. 

812. Quote. Note, observe. Cf. R. and J. p. 154. The word is spelled 
cote in the 1st and 2d eds. Cf. T. G. of V. p. 132. 

817. Feast-finding. "Our ancient minstrels were the constant attend- 
ants on feasts" (Steevens). Their music of course made them welcome. 

820. Senseless. Not sensible of the wrong done it. 

828. Crest-wounding. Staining or disgracing the family crest or coat 
of arms. 

830. Mot. Motto, or wordy as it was sometimes called. See Per. 
p. 140. 

841. Guilty. Malone reads " guiltless." Sewell makes the line a ques- 
tion ; but, as Boswell says, Lucrece at first reproaches herself for hav- 


ing received Tarquin's visit, but instantly defends herself by saying that 
she did it out of respect to her husband. 

848. Intrude. Invade ; not elsewhere transitive in S. 

849. Cuckoos. For the allusion to the cuckoo's laying its eggs in other 
birds' nests, see the long note in I Hen. IV. p. 195. * 

851. Folly. " Used, as in Scripture, for wickedness " (Malone). Schmidt 
explains it as "inordinate desire, wantonness," both here and in 556 
above. Cf. Oth. v. 2. 132 : " She turn'd to folly, and she was a whore ;" 
and see our ed. p. 206. 

858. Still-pining. Ever-longing. Cf. " still-vex'd " (Temp. i. 2. 229), 
" still-closing " (Id. iii. 3. 64), etc. For Tantalus, see V. and A. 599. 

859. Barns. Stores up ; the only instance of the verb in S. The 5th 
and later eds. have "bannes" or "bans." 

879. Poinfst. Appointest; but not to be printed "'point'st," as by 
some editors. Cf. T. of S. p. 148. 

884. Temperance. Chastity. Cf. A. and C. p. 201. 

892. Smoothing. Flattering. See Rich. III. p. 188. The 5th and fol- 
lowing eels, have "smothering." 

899. Sort. Sort out, select. Cf. T. G. of V. p. 144. 

914. Appaid. Satisfied ; used by S. only here. 

920. Shift. Trickery. Nares (s. v. Shifter] quotes Rich Cabinet fur- 
nisJiedwith Varietie of Excellent Descriptions, 1616 : " Shifting doth many 
times incurre the inclignitie of reproach, and to be counted a shifter is as 
if a man would say in plaine tearmes a coosener." Cf. 930 below, 

925. Copesmate. Companion ; used by S. nowhere else. 

926. Grisly. Grim, terrible. Cf. I Hen. VI. p. 145. 

928. Watch of woes. " Divided and marked only by woes" (Schmidt). 
Cf. Matb. p. 187, note on Whose howl's his watch. 

930. Injurious, shifting. St., D., and H. adopt Walker's conjecture of 
"injurious-shifting ;" but shifting may be cozening, deceitful. See oi 
920 just above. 

936. Fine. Explained by Malone as soften, refine, and by Steevens 
as = bring to an end. The latter is on the whole to be preferred. 

943. Wrong the wronger. That is, treat him as he treats others, make 
him suffer. Farmer would read " wring " for wrong. 

944. Ruinate. Cf. So tin. 10. 7 : " Seeking that beauteous roof to ruin- 
ate," etc. 

With thy hours. Steevens conjectures "with their bowers," and Ma- 
lone was at first inclined to read "with his hours." 

948. To blot old books and alter their contents.^ As Malone remarks, S. 
little thought how the fate of his own compositions would come to illus- 
trate this line. 

950. Cherish springs. That is, young shoots. Cf. V.andA. 656. Warb. 
wanted to read "tarish" (-dry up, from Fr. tarir) ; Heath conjectured 
"sere its;" and Johnson "perish." 

953. Beldam. Grandmother ; as in 1458 below. 

962. Retiring. Returning ; as in T: and C. i. 3. 281, etc. 

981. Curled hair. " A distinguishing characteristic of a person of 
rank" (Malone). Cf. Oth. p. 160, note on Curled. 


I9 2 NOTES. 

985. Orfs. Scraps, remnants. Cf. T. and C. v. 2. 158 and T. of A. iv. 
3. 400. 

993. Unrecalling. Not to be recalled. See Gr. 372. For crime, the 
4th and following'eds. have "time." 

1001. Slanderous. Disgraceful; as in J. C. iv. i. 20: "To ease our- 
selves of divers slanderous loads." The office of executioner, or deaths- 
man (cf. Lear, p. 248), was regarded as ignominious. 

1016. Out. The 4th and following eds. have " Our." 

1021. Force not. Regard not, care not for. See L. L. L. p. 161. 

1024. Uncheerful. The 4th and later eds. have "unsearchfull." 

1027. Helpless. Unavailing; as in 1056 below. See on V.and A. 604. 

1035. Afeard. Used by S. interchangeably with afraid. 

1045. Mean. For the singular, see R. and J. p. 189. 

1062. Graff. Graft. All the early eds. except the 1st and 2d have 

1070. With my trespass never will dispense. That is, will never excuse 
it. Cf. 1279 and 1704 below. See C. of E. p. 117, note on 103. 

1079. Philomel. The nightingale. Cf. 1128 below. 

1084. Cloudy. Cf. V. and A. 725. See also I Hen. IV. p. 180, note on 
Cloudy men. For shames = \s ashamed, cf. 1143 below. 

1092. Nought to do. That is, nothing to do with, no concern in. 

1094. Fond. Foolish ; as in 216 above. 

1105. Sometime. The 4th and following eds. have "sometimes." The 
two forms are used indiscriminately. 

1109. Annoy. See on V. and A. 497. 

1114. Ken. Sight. Cf. 2 Hen. VI.\\\. 2. 113: "losing ken of Al- 
bion's wished coast," etc. 

1119. Who. See on 388 above. 

1124. Stops. Referring to the stops of musical instruments. Cf. Ham. 
iii. 2. 76, 376, 381, etc. 

1 126. Relish your nimble, notes to pleasing ears. Tune your lively notes 
for those who like to hear them. With pleasing cf. imrecalling in 993 

1127. Dumps. Mournful elegies. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. 2. 85 : "Tune a 
deploring dump." See also Much Ado, p. 137. 

1128. Of ravishment. Referring to her being ravished by Tereus. 
See T. A. ii. 4. 26 fol. and iv. I. 48 fol. 

1 132. Diapason. Used by S. only here. 

1133. Burden-wise. As in the burden of a song. 

1 134. Descanfst. Singest. For the noun, see T. G. of V. p. 125. Here 
the early eds. all have "descants." See Gr. 340. Skill must be regarded 
as the direct object of descant' st, not governed by with understood, as 
Malone makes it, pointing "descant'st, better skill." 

1 !35- -Against a thorn. The nightingale was supposed to press her 
breast against a thorn while singing. See Two Noble Kinsmen, p. 179, 
note on 25. 

1 140. Frets. The stops that regulated the vibration of the strings in 
lutes, etc. See Ham. p. 230, or Much Ado, p. 144 (on A lute-string}. 

1142. And for. And because. 


1143. Shaming. Being ashamed ; as in 1084 above. 

1144. Seated from the way. Situated out of the way. 
1149. At gaze. Staring about. 

1 1 60. Conclusion. Experiment Cf. A. and C. p. 217. 

1167. PeeFd. Here and in 1169 the early eds. have "pil'd," "pild," 
or " pil I'd ;" and this last form might well enough be retained. Cf. Gen. 
xxx. 37, 38. . 

1186. Deprive. Take away ; as in 1752 below. See Ham. p. 195. 

1202. Confound. Ruin; as in 1 60 above. 

1205. Oversee. The overseer of a will was one who had a supervision 
of the executors. The poet, in his will, appoints John Hall and his wife 
as executors, and Thomas Russel and Francis Collins as overseers. In some 
old wills the term overseer is used instead of executor (Malone). 

1206. Overseen. Bewitched, as by the "evil eye." Cf. overlooked in 
M. W. v. 5. 87 and M. of V. iii. 2. 15 (see our ed. p. 148). 

1221. Sorts. Adapts, as if choosing or selecting. Cf. 899 above. See 
also 2 Hen. VI. p. 162. 

1222. For why. Because ; as in P. P. 5. 8, 10, etc. See T. G. of V. 
p. 139, or Gr. 75. 

1229. Eyne. See on 643 above. 

1233. Pretty. In this and similar expressions pretty may be explained 
as "moderately great" (Schmidt), or "suitable, sufficient," as some 
make it. Cf. R. and J. \. 3. 10 : " a pretty age," etc. 

1241. And therefore are they, etc. " Hence do they (women) receive 
whatever impression their marble-hearted associates ( men ) choose " 

1242. Strange kinds. Alien or foreign natures. 

1244. Then call them not, etc. Malone compares T. N. ii. 2. 30 : 

" How easy is it for the proper-false 
In women's waxen hearts to set their forms! 
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we, 
For such as we are made of, such we be ;" 

and M.for M. ii. 4. 130 : 

" Women ! Help Heaven ! men their creation mar 
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail, 
For we are soft as our complexions are, 
And credulous to false prints." 

1247. Like a goodly. The 5th and 6th eds. have simply "like a," and 
the 7th reads " like unto a." 

1254. No man inveigh. Let no man inveigh. All the eds. but the 
ist have " inveighs." 

1257. Hild. For held, for the sake of the rhyme. The $th and later 
eds. have "held." Cf. Spenser, F. Q. iv. ii. 17 : 

" How can they all in this so narrow verse 
Contayned be, and in small compasse hild ? 
Let them record them that are better skild," etc. 

1258. Fulfiird. Filled full. See T. and C. p. 162. 
1261. Precedent. Example, illustration. 

1263. Present. Instant; as in 1307 below. 

.I 94 NOTES. 

1269. Counterfeit. Likeness, image; as in M. of V. iii. 2. 115, Macb. 
ii. 3. 81, etc. 

1279. With the fault I thus far can dispense. See on 1070 above. 

1298. Conceit. Conception, thought ; as in 701 above. 

1302. Inventions. Elsewhere used of thoughts expressed in writing ; 
as in A. Y. L. iv. 3. 29, 34, T. N. v. I. 341, etc. 

1325. Interprets. The figure here is taken from the old motion, or 
dumb-show, which was explained by an interpreter. Cf. T. of A. p. 135, 
(note on 35), or Ham. p. 228 (on 228). 

1329. Sotinds. That is, waters (which may be deep, though not fath- 
omless). Malone conjectured "floods." 

1335. Fowls. The 6th and 7th eds. have "soules ;" an easy misprint 
when the long s was in fashion. 

1338. Villain. Servant, bondman. Cf. Lear, p. 232. 

1345. God wot. God knows. Cf. Rich. III. ii. 3. 18 : " no, no, good 
friends, God wot." See our ed. p. 203. 

1353. That. So that ; as in 94 above. 

1355. Wistly. Wistfully. See on V. and A. 343. 

1357, 1358. Note the imperfect rhyme. 

1368. 71ie which. Referring to Troy. 

1370. Cloud-kissing Ilion. Cf. T. and C. iv. 5. 220 : " Yond towers 
whose wanton tops do buss the clouds," etc. 

1371. Conceited. Fanciful, imaginative. Cf. W. T. iv. 4. 204: "an 
admirable conceited fellow ;" L. C. 16: "conceited characters," etc. 

1372. As. That. Gr. 109. 

1377. Strife. That is, "his art with nature's workmanship at strife" 
(V.andA. 291). Cf. T. of A. \. I. 37.. 

1380. Pioneer. The early eds. have " pyoner " or " pioner." See 
Ham. p. 198. Here the rhyme requires pioneer. 

1384. Lust. Pleasure. Cf. T. and C. p. 200, note on 132. 

1388. Triumphing. Accented on the second syllable ; as often. See 
L. L. L. p. 148. 

1400. Deep regard and smiling government. " Profound wisdom and 
the complacency arising from the passions being under the command of 
reason" (Malone); or deep thought and complacent self-control. For 
deep regard, cf. 277 above. 

1407. PurFd. " Curl'd " (Steevens's conjecture) ; used by S. only here. 

1411. Mermaid. Siren. See on V. and A. 429. 

1417. Bollen. Swollen ; used by S. nowhere else. Cf. Chaucer, 
Black Knight, 101 : " Bollen hertes," etc. The later form boiled occurs 
in Exod. ix. 31. 

1418. Pelt. Probably =throw out angry words, be passionately clam- 
orous ; as Malone, Nares, and Schmidt explain it. Cf. Wits, Fits, and 
Fancies: "all in a pelting chafe," etc. The noun is also sometimes = 
a great rage ; as in The Unnatural Brother : " which put her ladyship 
into a horrid pelt," etc. 

1422. Imaginary. Imaginative ; as in Sonn. 27. 9 : "my soul's imag- 
inary sight," etc. 

1423. Kind. Natural. See Much Ado, p. 118. 


1436. Strand, All the early eds. have " strond." See I Hen. IV. 
P- 139- 

1440. Than. The old form of then, sometimes found in the early eds. 
(as in M. of V. ii. 2. 200, 3 Hen. VI. ii. 5. 9, etc.), here used for the sake 
of the rhyme. 

1444. StelPd. Spelled "steld" in all the early eds., and probably = 
placed, fixed. Cf. Sonn. 24. I : 

" Mine eye hath play'd the painter, and hath stell'd 

Thy beauty's form in table of my heart." 

See our ed. p. 137. In Lear, iii. 7. 61, we find "the stelled fires," where 
s felled is commonly explained as derived from stella, though probably 
= fixed, as here. K. and H. suspect that stelTd is "simply a poetical 
form of styled, that is, written or depicted as with a stilus or stylus" 

1449. Bleeding under Pyrrhus' proud foot. Cf. Ham. ii. 2. 474 fol. 

1450. Anatomized. "Laid open, shown distinctly" (Schmidt). Cf. 
A. Y. L. i. i. 162, ii. 7. 56, A. W. iv. 3. 37, etc. 

1452. Chaps. Spelled "chops "in all the early eds. except the 7th. 
Cf. chopt or chopped in A. Y. L. ii. 4. 50, 2 Hen. IV, iii. 2. 294, etc., and 
choppy in -Macb. i. 3. 44. 

1460. Ban- Curse; as in V. and A. 326. 

1479. Aloe. More. See A. Y. L. p. 176. 

1486. Swounds. Swoons. All the early eds. have "sounds," as the 
word was often spelled. 

1488. Unadvised. Unintentional, inadvertent. Cf. T. G. of V. p. 149. 

1489. Confounds. Destroys, See on 160 above. 
1494. On ringing. A-ringing. See Gr. 180. His = \\.s. 
1496. Set a-work. See Ham. p. 21 1, or Gr. 24. 

1499. Painting. All the early eds. except the 1st and 2d have " painted." 

1500. Who. The reading of all the early eds. changed in some mod- 
ern ones to " whom." See Gr. 274. 

1504. Blunt. Rude, rough. The 5th and later eds. have " these blunt." 

1505. His woes. "That is, the woes suffered by Patience." (Malone). 
Cf. T. N. ii. 4. 117 and Per. v. i. 139. 

1507. The harmless show. "The harmless painted figure" (Malone). 
1511. Guilty instance. Token or evidence of guilt. For instance, see 
Much Ado, p. 135. 

1521. Sinon. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. iii. 2. 190 and Cymb. iii. 4. 61. 

1524. That. So that. See ori 94 above. 

1525. Stars shot from their fixed places. Cf. M. N. D. ii. I. 153 : "And 
certain stars shot madly from their spheres." 

1526. Their gf ass, etc. "Why Priam's palace, however beautiful or 
magnificent, should be called the mirror in which the fixed stars beheld 
themselves, I do not see. The image is very quaint and far-fetched" 
(Malone). Boswell cites what Lydgate says of Priam's palace: 

"That verely when so the sonne shone 
Upon the golde meynt among the stone, 
They gave a lyght withouten any were, 
As doth Apollo in his mid-day sphere." 

1527. Advisedly. Deliberately, attentively. 


1544. Beguird. Rendered deceptive or guileful. CLguiled in M. of 
V. iii. 2. 97 ; and see Gr. 374. The early eds. have " armed to beguild " 
(or "beguil'd"); corrected by Malone. 

1551. Falls. Lets fall. Cf. M. N. D. p. 184, or J. C. p. 175. 

1555. Effects. Outward manifestations or attributes. Cf. Lear, p. 171. 
Some make it = efficacies, powers, or faculties. 

1565. Unhappy. Mischievous, fatal, pernicious; as in C. of E. iv. 4. 
127, Lear, iv. 6. 232, etc. 

1576. Which all this time. This (namely, time) has passed unheeded 
by her during this interval that she has spent with painted images ; or 
which may perhaps refer to the slow passage of time just mentioned, and 
the meaning may be, This she has forgotten all the while that she has 
been looking at the pictures. H. says ; " Which refers to time in the 
preceding stanza, and is the object of spent: Which that she hath 
spent with painted images, it hath all this time overslipped her thought." 
This seems needlessly awkward and involved. 

1588. Water-galls. The word is evidently used here simply as =rahi- 
bows, to avoid the repetition of that word. Nares and Wb. define it as 
"a watery appearance in the sky, accompanying the rainbow;" accord- 
ing to others, it means the "secondary bow" of the rainbow (which H. 
speaks of as being "within" the primary bow). Halliwell (Archaic 
Diet.} says : " I am told a second rainbow above the first is called in 
the Isle of Wight a ivatergeal. Carr has weather-gall, a secondary or 
broken rainbow." 

For element =$ky, see J. C. p. 140. 

1589. To. In addition to. Gr. 185. 

1592. Sod. The participle of seethe, used interchangeably with sodden. 
See L. L. L. p. 145. 

1595. Both. The 5th and later eds. have "But" 

1598. Uncouth. Strange (literally, unknown). Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 6. 6: 
"this uncouth forest," etc. 

1600. Attired in discontent. Cf. Much Ado, iv. I. 146: "so attir'd in 
wonder," etc. 

1604. Gives her sorrow fire. The metaphor is taken from the discharge 
of the old-fashioned fire-lock musket. Cf. T. G. of V. ii. 4. 38 : " for you 
gave the fire." 

1606. Addressed. Prepared, ready. See J. C. p. 156. 

1615. Moe. The reading of the first three eds. ; "more" in the rest. 
See on 1479 above. 

1632. Hard-favour 1 d. See on V. and A. 133. 

1645. Adulterate. Cf. C. of E. ii. 2. 142, Ham. \. 5. 42, etc. 

1661. Declined. All the eds. except the 1st have "inclin'd." 

1662. Wretched. Walker plausibly conjectures " wreathed." Cf. T. 
G. of V. ii. i. 19 : "to wreathe your arms." 

1667. As through an arch, etc. Doubtless suggested by the tide rush- 
ing through the arches of Old London Bridge. See Cor. p. 271 (note on 
47) and 2 Hen. IV. p. 29, foot-note. 

1671. Recall" 1 d in rage, etc. Farmer wished to read " recali'd, the rage 
being past." 


1672. Make a saw. The metaphor is quaint, but readily understood 
from the context. The noun saw is used by S. nowhere else, though 
handsaw occurs in I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 187 and Ham. ii. 2. 397. 

1680. One woe. The ist and 2d eds. have "on" for one, a common 
spelling. Cf. Two Noble Kinsmen, p. 164, note on 70. 

1691. Venge. Not Avenge, as often printed. See Rich. II. p. 158. 

1694. Knights, by their oaths, etc. Mai one remarks : " Here one of the 
laws of chivalry is somewhat prematurely introduced." See T. and C. 
p. 174, note on 283. 

1698. Bewray 'd. Exposed, made known. Cf. Lear, p. 199. 

1704. With the foul act dispense. See on 1070 above. 

1705. Advance. Raise; opposed to low-declined. For advance = \\h 
up, see Cor. p. 210. 

1713. Carved in it. All the early eds. have "it in" for in it, except 
the 7th, which omits //. The correction is Malone's. 

1715. By my excuse, etc. Livy makes Lucretia say: "Ego me, etsi 
peccato absolve, supplicio non libero ; nee ulla deinde impudica exem- 
plo Lucretiae vivet ;" which Painter, in his novel (see p. 16 above) 
translates thus : " As for my part, though I cleare my selfe of the offence, 
my body shall feel the punishment, for no unchaste or ill woman shall 
hereafter impute no dishonest act to Lucrece." 

1720. Assays. Attempts ; as in T. of A. iv. 3. 406, Ham. iii. 3. 69, etc. 

1728. Spright. See on 121 above. 

1730. Astonished. Astounded, thunderstruck. Cf. 2 Hen. VI. v. I. 
146, etc. 

1738. That. So that; as in 1764 below. See on 94 above. 

1740. Vastly. "Like a waste" (Steevens) ; the only instance of the 
word in S. 

1745. Rigol. Circle. See 2 Hen. IV. p. 193. 

1752. Deprived. Taken away; as in 1186 above. 

1754. Unlived. Probably the poet's own coinage, and used by him 
only here. 

1760. Fair fresh. D. reads "fresh fair," and St. and H. "fresh-fair." 

1765. Last. All the early eds. but the ist and 2d have "hast," and 
in the next line " thou " for they. 

1766. Surcease. Cease ; as in Cor. iii. 2. 121 and R. and J. iv. I. 97. 
1774. Key-cold. Cf. Rich. III. i. 2. 5 : " Poor key-cold figure of a holy 

king ;" and see our ed. p. 183. 

1784. Thick. Fast. Cf. thick-coming\\\ Macb. v. 3. 38. See also Cymb. 
p. 189, note on Speak thick. 

1788. This windy tempest, etc. Cf. T. and C. p. 198 (note on 55), or 
3 'Hen. VI. p. 146 (note on 146). 

1801. Too late. Too lately. Cf. 426 above and V. and A. 1026. See 
also Rich. III. p. 209. 

1803. / owed her. She was mine. For owe = own, see Rich. II. p. 
204, or K. John, p. 141. 

1805. Disperii. For the accent, see on 26 above. 

1816. Advisedly. Deliberately. Cf. 180 and 1527 above. 
deliberate, in 1849 below. 

198 NOTES. 

1819. Unsounded. Not sounded or understood hitherto. Cf. 2 Hen. 
VI. iii. I. 57. 

1822. Wounds help. Walker would read " heal " and St. " salve " for 

1829. Relenting. The 5th and later eds. have "lamenting." 

1832. Suffer these abominations, etc. That is, permit these abominable 
Tarquins to be chased, etc. 

1839. Complained. Bewailed. For the transitive use, cf. Rich. II. 
p. 197. Gr. 291. 

1845. Allcnu. Approve. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. p. 185. 

1851. Thorough. Used interchangeably with through. Cf. M. of V. 
p. 144, note on Through/ares. The 5th ed. has " through out," and the 
7th " throughout." 

1854. Plausibly. With applause or acclamations (Malone and Stee- 
vens) ; or "readily, willingly" (Schmidt). It is the only instance of the 
adverb in S. Plausible occurs only in M.for M. iii. I. 253, where it is = 
pleased, willing. 


For the feminine use of lover in the title, cf. A. Y. L. p. 181. 

1. Re-worded. Compare Ham. iii. 4. 143: "I the matter will re- 

2. Sistering. We find the verb in Per. v. prol. 7 : "her art sisters the 
natural roses." 

3. Spirits. Monosyllabic ; as not unfrequentiy. Cf. 236 below ; and 
see on V.andA.i'&i. Accorded agreed. 

4. Laid. Malone reads " lay," which is the form elsewhere in S. 

5. Fickle. Apparently referring to her behaviour at the time. 

6. A-twain. So in the folio text of Lear, ii. 2. 80, where the quartos 
have "in twain." In Oth.v. 2. 206, the 1st quarto has a-twain, the other 
early eds. " in twain." 

7. Her world. Malone quotes Lear, iii. I. 10 : 

" Strives in his little world of man to outscorn 
The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain." 

See our ed. p. 215. 

II. Done. Past, lost. Cf. V. and A. 197, 749, and R. of L. 23. 

14. Sear'd. Withered. H. has " sere." 

15. Heave her napkin. Lift her handkerchief. For heave, cf. Cyvib. 
v. 5. 157 : 

"O, would 

Our viands had been poison' d, or at least 
Those which I heav'd to head:" 

and for napkin see Oth. p. 188. 

16. Conceited characters. Fanciful figures. See on R. of L. 1371. 

17. Laundering. Wetting; used by S. only here. Malone calls the 
verb " obsolete ;" but it has come into use again in our day. 




1 8. Seasoned. A favourite figure with S. See Much Ado, p. 155. 
For pelleted ( rounded), cf. A. and C. iii. 13. 165. 

21. Size. This use of the word seems peculiar now; but cf. Hen. 
VIII. v. i. 136, A. and C. iv. 15. 4, v. 2. 97, etc. 

22. Carriage. The figure is taken from a gun-carriage. Levelled was 
a technical term for aiming a gun. See /tovfc. ///. p. 232. 

30. Careless hand of pride. That is, hand of careless pride. 

31. Sheatfd. Straw. Cf. 8 above. 

3. Threaden. The word is used again in Hen. V. iii. chor. 10 : 
readen sails." 

36. Maund. Hand - basket ; used by S. only here. Cf. Dray ton, 
Polyolbion, xiii. : 

" And in a little maund, being made of oziers small, 
Which serveth him to do full many a thing withall, 
He very choicely sorts his simples got abroad;" 

Herrick, Poems: "With maunds of roses for to strew the way," etc. 
Hence Maundy Thursday, from the baskets in which the royal alms 
were distributed at Whitehall. 

37. Beaded. The quarto (the 1609 ed. of Sonnets, in which the poem 
first appears) has "bedded;" corrected by Sewell. K. retains "bed- 
ded" as ^imbedded, set. 

40. Applying wet to wet. A favourite conceit with S. See A. Y. L. ii. 
I. 48, R. and J. \. I. 138, 3 Hen. VI. v. 4. 8, Ham. iv. 7. 186, etc. 

42. Cries some. Cries for some. Malone puts some in italics ( " cries 
* Some ' "). 

45. Posted. Inscribed with posies, or mottoes. Cf. M. of V. p. 164. 
Rings were often made of bo?te and ivory. 

47. Moe. More. Cf. R. of L. 1479. 

48. Sleided. Untwisted or unwrought. Cf. Pericles, p. 149. Feat 
featly, dexterously. See Temp. p. 120. 

49. Curious. Careful ; as in A. W. i. 2. 20, Cymb. i. 6. 191, etc. 

50. Fluxive. Flowing, weeping; used by S. only here. 

51. Gan. The quarto has "gaue," which K. retains (as "gave"); 
corrected by Malone. 

53. Unapproved. Not approved, or proved true. Cf. Hum. p. 171, 
note on Approve. 

55. In top of rage. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. v. 7. 4 : " in tops of all their pride ;" 
A. and C. v. i. 43 : " in top of all design," etc. 

Rents- rends. See M. N. D. p. 166. 

58. Sometime. Formerly ; used interchangeably with sometimes in this 
sense. Gr. 68#. .AV^f<?= bustle, stir ; the only instance of the noun in S. 

60. The s^v^ftest hours. " The prime of life, when Time appears to 
move with his quickest pace " (Malone). They, according to Malone, re- 
fers to the fragments of the torn-up letters ; though he admits that the 
clause may be connected with hours, meaning that "this reverend man, 
though engaged in the bustle of court and city, had not suffered the busy 
and gay period of youth to pass by without gaining some knowledge of 
the world." This latter explanation is doubtless the correct one. 

200 NOTES. 

61. Fancy. Often =love (see on R. of L. 200), and here used concretely 
for the lover, tf. 197 below. Fastly is used by S. only here. 

64. Slides he down, etc. That is, lets himself down by the aid of his 
staff, as he seats himself beside her. Grained=vi rough wood, or show- 
ing the grain of the wood. Cf. Cor. iv. 5. 114: "My grained ash" 
(= spear). 

69. Ecstasy. Passion, excitement. Cf. V. and A. 895. 

80. Outwards. External features ; not elsewhere plural in S. For 
0/"the quarto has "O;" corrected by Malone (the conjecture of Tyr- 

81. Stuck. Cf. M.for M. iv. I. 61 : 

"O place and greatness! millions of false eyes 
Are stuck upon thee." 

88. What J s sweet to do, etc. " Things pleasant to be done will easily 
find people enough to do them " (Steevens). 

91. Sawn. Explained by some as a form of the participle of see, used 
for the sake of the rhyme; by others as sown, which Boswell says is 
still pronounced sawn in Scotland. The latter is the more probable. 

93. Phoenix. Explained by Malone and Schmidt as =" matchless, 
rare." So termless= indescribable. 

95. Bare. Bareness ; not elsewhere used substantively by S. 

104. Authorized. Accented on the second syllable ; as in the other 
two instances in which S. uses the word (Sonn. 35. 6 and Macb. iii. 4, 66). 

107. That horse, etc. H. does not include this line in the supposed 

112. Manage. See on the verb in V. and A. 598. 

116. Case. Dress ; as in M.for M. ii. 4. 13, etc. 

118. Came. The quarto has "Can;" corrected by Sewell. K. re- 
tains " Can." 

126. Catching all passions, etc. Steevens says : "These lines, in which 
our poet has accidentally delineated his own character, would have been 
better adapted to his monumental inscription than such as are placed on 
the scroll in Westminster Abbey." 

127. That. So that. See on V. and A. 242. 

139. Moe. Cf. 47 above. 

140. Owe. Own. See on R. of L. 1803. 

144. Was my own fee-simple. " Had an absolute power over myself" 
(Malone). See A. W. p. 171. 

153. Foil. The background used to set off a jewel. Cf. Rich. I IT. 
p. 242. 

155. Assay. Essay, try. Cf. V. and A. 608. 

162. Blood. Passion. Cf. Much Ado, p. 131, note on 162. 

163. Proof. Experience. Cf. Much Ado, p. 131. 

169. Further. St. conjectures "father." 

170. The patterns of his fond begtiiling. "The examples of his seduc- 
tion" (Malone). 

171. Orchards. Gardens. See J. C. p. 142. For the figure, cf. Sonn, 
16. 6. 



173. Brokers. Panders, go-betweens. Cf. Ham. p. 191. 

174. Thought. Malone took this to be a noun. 

176. My city. For the figure, cf. R. of L. 469 (see also 1547), A. W. i. 

1. 137, etc. 

182. Woo. The quarto has "vow;" corrected by D. 

185. Acture. Action ; not found elsewhere. Cf. enactures in Ham. iii. 

2. 207. 

Malone paraphrases the passage thus : " My illicit amours were merely 
the effect of constitution [or animal passion], and not approved by my 
reason : pure and genuine love had no share in them, or in their conse- 
quences; for the mere congress of the sexes may produce such fruits, 
without the affections of the parties being at all engaged." 

192. Teen. Trouble, pain. See on V. and A. 808. 

193. Leisures. Moments of leisure. Schmidt makes it =" affections, 
inclinations," which it implies. 

197. Fancies. See on 61 above. 

198. Paled. The quarto has "palyd," and Sewell reads "pallid." 
Paled is due to Malone. 

204. These talents, etc. "These lockets, consisting of hair platted and 
set \\\gold" (Malone). 

205. Impleach'd. Interwoven. L pleached in Much Ado, iii. i. 7, and 
thick-pleached in Id. i. 2. 8 (see our ed. p. 126). 

207. Beseech 1 d. Cf. the past tense in Ham. iii. i. 22. 

208. Annexiotis. Additions ; used by S. only here, as annexment only 
in Ham. iii. 3. 21. 

210. Quality. " In the age of S. peculiar virtues were imputed to ev- 
ery species of precious stone " (Steevens). 

212. Invis^d. " Invisible " (Malone) ; or, "perhaps'=inspected, inves- 
tigated, tried" (Schmidt). No other example of the word is known. 

214. Weak sights, etc. Eye-glasses of emerald were much esteemed 
by the ancients ; and the near-sighted Nero is said to have used them in 
watching the shows of gladiators. 

215. Blend. Walker makes this a participle =blended. He adds: 
"The expression is perhaps somewhat confused, but it refers to the 
ever-varying hue of the opal." 

217. Blazon" d. Interpreted, explained. Cf. the noun in Much Ado, 
ii. i. 307. 

219. Pensitfd. Found only here. Pensive occurs in 3 Hen. VI. iv. I. 
10 and R. and J. iv. i. 39. H. adopts Lettsom's conjecture of" pensive " 
here; but the "pensiu'd" of the quarto could hardly be a misprint. 

223. Offeree. Perforce, of necessity. Cf. L. L. L. i. I. 148, M. N. D. 
iii. 2. 40, etc. 

224. Enpatron me. Are my patron saint. 

225. Phraseless. Probably == indescribable, like termless in 94 above. 
Schmidt thinks it may possibly be ^silent, like speechless (hand) in Cor. 
v. i. 67. 

229. What me, etc. Whatever obeys me, your minister, for (or instead 
of) you, etc. 
231. Distract. Disjoined, separate. For the accent, see on R. of L. 26. 

202 NOTES. 

232. A sister. The quarto has <J Or sister ;" corrected by Malone. 

233. Note. Notoriety, distinction. Cf. Cymb. p. 170, on A crescent note. 

234. Which late, etc. Who lately withdrew from her noble suitors. 

235. Whose rarest havings, etc. "Whose accomplishments were so 
extraordinary that the flower of the young nobility were passionately 
enamoured of her" (Malone). 

236. Spirits. Monosyllabic, as in 3 above. Coat may be =coat-of- 
arms (Malone), or dress as indicative of rank, as some explain it. 

240. Have not. H. adopts Barron Field's conjecture of " love not ;: 
a needless if not an injurious change. 

241. Paling the place, etc. The quarto has "Playing the place," etc. ; 
for which no really satisfactory emendation has been proposed. Paling, 
which is as tolerable as any, is due to Malone, who explains the line 
thus : " Securing within the pale of a cloister that heart which had never 
received the impression of love." Lettsom conjectures " Salving the 
place which did no harm receive." St. proposes " Filling the place," 
etc. Paling \s adopted by K., D., W., and H. For pale enclose, cf. 
A. and C. ii. 7. 74, 3 Hen. VI. i. 4. 103, etc. 

243. Contrives. Some make this = wear away, spend; as in T. of S. 
\. 2. 278 (see our ed. p. 141). 

250. Eye. The rhyme of eye and eye is apparently an oversight, no mis- 
print being probable. 

251. Immur'd. The quarto has "enur'd" and "procure ;" both cor- 
rected by Gildon. 

252. To tempt, all. Most eds. join all to tempt, which, to our thinking, 
mars both the antithesis and the rhythm. 

258. Congest. Gather in one ; used by S. only here. 

260. Nun. The quarto has " Sunne." The correction was suggested 
by Malone, and first adopted by D. 

261. Ay, dieted. The quarto has " I dieted," not " I died," as Malone 
(who reads "and dieted") states. 

262. Believ'd her eyes, etc. "Believed or yielded to her eyes when 
they, captivated by the external appearance of her wooer, began to assail 
her chastity" (Malone). " When I the assail" was an anonymous con- 
jecture which Malone was at first inclined to adopt. 

265. Sting. Stimulus, incitement. 

271. Love's arms are proof, etc. Another corrupt and perplexing line. 
The quarto has " peace " for proof, which was suggested by Malone. 
Steevens conjectures " Love aims at peace," D. " Love arms our peace," 
and Lettsom "Love charms our peace." 

272. And sweetens. And it (Love] sweetens. 

273. Aloes. The only mention of the bitter drug in S. 
276. Supplicant. Not found elsewhere in S. 

279. Credent. Credulous. Cf. Ham. i. 3. 30 : " too credent ear," etc. 

280. Prefer and undertake . Recommend (cf. M. of V. p. 140) and guar- 
antee, or answer for (see I Hen. VI. v. 3. 158, Hen. VI If. prol. 12, etc.). 

281. Dismount. "The allusion is to the old English fire-arms, which 
were supported on what was called a rest" (Malone). For leveWd 
aimed, see on 22 above. 


286. Who glazed with crystal gate, etc. Malone points thus : " Who, 
glaz'd with crystal, gate ;" making gate "the ancient perfect tense of the 
verb to get" Flame he took to be the object Qigate. 

293. O cleft e/ect ! The quarto has " Or " for O; corrected by Gildon. 

294. Extinfture. Extinction ; used by S. only here. 

297. Daff'd. Doffed, put off. See A. and C. p. 203, or Mitch Ado, p. 
138. Stole (=robe) is not found elsewhere in S. 

298. Civil. Decorous ; as in Oth. ii. i. 243 : " civil and humane seem- 
ing," etc. 

303. Cautels. Deceits. Cf. Ham. p. 187. 

305. Swooning. The quarto has "sounding," and "sound" in 308 
below. See on R. of L. 1486 ; and cf. R. and J. p. 186 (on Swounded}. 
309. Level. See on 281 above. 

314. Luxury. Lust, lasciviousness ; the only meaning of the word in 
S. Cf. Hen. V. p. 166. 

315. Preach" d pure maid. Cf: A. Y. L. iii. 2. 227 : "speak sad brow 
and true maid." 

318. Unexperient. Used by S. only here, as unexperienced only in 7\ 
ofS. iv. i. 86. 

319. Cherubin. Used by S. ten times. Cf. M. of V. p. 162. Cherub 
he has only in Ham. iv. 3. 50, cherubim not at all. 

327. Owed. That is, owned, or his own. See on 140 above. Bor- 
row" d motion = counterfeit expression of feeling. 


Swinburne remarks : " What Coleridge said of Ben Jonson's epithet 
for * turtle-footed peace,' we may say of the label affixed to this rag- 
picker's bag of stolen goods : The Passionate Pilgrim is a pretty title, a 
very pretty title; pray what may it mean? In all the larcenous little 
bundle of verse there is neither a poem which bears that name nor a 
poem by which that name would be bearable. The publisher of the 
booklet was like 'one Ragozine, a most notorious pirate ;' and the meth- 
od no less than the motive of his rascality in the present instance is pal- 
pable and simple enough. Fired by the immediate and instantly prover- 
bial popularity of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis, he hired, we may 
suppose, some ready hack of unclean hand to supply him with three 
doggrel sonnets on the same subject, noticeable only for the porcine 
quality of prurience ; he procured by some means a rough copy or an 
incorrect transcript of two genuine and unpublished sonnets by Shake- 
speare, which with the acute instinct of a felonious tradesman he laid 
atop of his worthless wares by way of gilding to their base metal ; he 
stole from the two years published text of Love's Labour J s Lost, and re- 
produced, with more or less mutilation or corruption, the sonnet of Lon- 
gaville, the * canzonet ' of Biron, and the far lovelier love-song of Dumain. 
The rest of the ragman's gatherings, with three most notable exceptions, 

20 4 NOTES. 

is little better for the most part than dry rubbish or disgusting refuse ; 
unless a plea may haply be put in for the pretty commonplaces of the 
lines on a 'sweet rose, fair flower,' and so forth; for the couple of thin 
and pallid if tender and tolerable copies of verse on Beauty ' and ' Good 
Night,' or the passably light and lively stray of song on crabbed age 
and youth.' I need not say that those three exceptions are the stolen 
and garbled work of Marlowe and of Barnfield, our elder Shelley and our 
first-born Keats ; the singer of Cynthia in verse well worthy of Endymion, 
who would seem to have died as a poet in the same fatal year of his age 
that Keats died as a man; the first adequate English laureate of the 
nightingale, to be supplanted or equalled by none until the advent of his 
mightier brother." 

The contents of Jaggard's piratical collection, stated more in detail, 
were as follows (the order being that of the "Globe" ed.) : 

I., II. Shakespeare's Sonnets 138 and 144, with some early or corrupt 
readings (to be noted in our ed. of the Sonnets). 

III. Longaville's sonnet to Maria in L. L. L. iv. 3. 60 fcl. : " Did not 
the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye," etc. The verbal variations in the 
two versions (as in V. and XVI.) are lew and slight. 

IV. (I. of the present ed.). 

V. The sonnet in L. L. L. iv. 2. 109 fol. : " If love make me forsworn," 

VI., VII. (II. and IV. of this ed.). 

VIII. The following sonnet, probably by Richard Barnfield, in whose 
Poems: In diners humors, 1598 (appended, with a separate title-page, to a 
small volume containing The Encomion of Lady Pecunia and The Com- 
plaint of Poetrie,for the Death of Liber alitie], it had first appeared, with 
this heading: "To his friend Maister R. L. In praise of Musique and 

" 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 drown'd 
Whenas himself to singing he betakes. 
One god is god of both, as poets feign : 
One knight loves both, and both in thee remain." 

Barnfield terms these poems "fruits of unriper years," and expressly 
claims their authorship. The above sonnet is the first in the collection, 
both this and XX. are omitted in the second edition of Lady Pecunia, 
1605 ; but so also are nearly all of the "Poems in Divers Humors," so 
that no substantial argument can rest upon the absence of the two P. P. 
sonnets from that edition (Halliwell). 

IX., X. (III. and V. of this ed.). 

XI. The following sonnet, probably by Bartholomew Griffin, in whose 


Fidessa more Chaste than Kinde, 1596, it had appeared with some varia- 
tions :* 

"Venus, with young Adonis sitting by her 

Under a myrtle shade, began to woo him : 

She told the youngling how god Mars did try her, 

And as he fell to her, so fell she to him. 

' Even thus,' qupth she, ' the warlike god embraced me,' 

And then she clipped Adonis in her arms ; 

'Even thus,' quoth she, 'the warlike god unlac'd me,' 

As if the boy should use like loving charms; 

'Even thus,' quoth she, 'he seized on my lips,' 

And with her lips on his did act the seizure : 

And as she fetched breath, away he skips, 

And would not take her meaning nor her pleasure. 
Ah, that I had my lady at this bay, 
To kiss and clip me till I run away!" 

XII., XIII., XIV. (VI., Vll., and VIII. of this ed.). 

XV. Here begin the "Sonnets to sundry notes of Musicke " (see p. 
12 above) with the following, which is certainly not Shakespeare's, 
though it is not found elsewhere : 

" It was a lording's daughter, the fairest one of three, 
T^hat liked of her master as well as well might be, 
Till looking on an Englishman, the fair'st that eye could see, 

Her fancy fell a-turning. 

Long was the combat doubtful that love with love did fight, 
To leave the master loveless, or kill the gallant knight: 
To put in practice either, alas, it was a spite 

Unto the silly damsel! 

But one must be refused ; more mickle was the pain 
That nothing could be used to turn them both to gain, 
For of the two the trusty knight was wounded with disdain : 

Alas, she could not help it! 

Thus art with arms contending. was victor of the day, 
Which by a gift of learning did bear the maid away : 
Then, lullaby, the learned man hath got the lady gay ; 

For now my song is ended." 

XVI. Dumain's poem to Kate, in L. L. L. iv. 3. 101 fol. : "On a day 
alack, the day !" etc. The chief variations are noted in our ed. of 
L. L. L. p. 149. 

XVII. The following, from Thomas Weelkes's Madrigals, 1597, pretty 
certainly not Shakespeare's :t 

" My flocks feed not, 
My ewes breed not, 
My rams speed not, 
All is amiss; 

* Instead of lines 9-14, the following are given in the Fidessa : 
" But he a wayward boy refusde her offer, 

And ran away, the beautious Queene neglecting: 
Shewing both folly to abuse her proffer, 
And all his sex of cowardise detecting. 
Oh that I had my mistris at that bay, 
To kisse and clippe me till I ranne away!" 

t Weelkes was the composer of the music, but not necessarily the author of the words. 
The poem is found also in England's Helicon, 1600, with the title The Unknown 
Sheepheard's Complaint," and subscribed " Ignoto" (Halhwell). 

206 NOTES. 

Love's denying, 
Faith's defying, 
Heart's renying, 

Causer of this. 

All my merry jigs are quite forgot, 
All my lady's love is lost, God wot ; 
Where her faith was firmly fix'd in love, 
There a nay is plac'd without remove. 
One silly cross 
Wrought all my loss: 

O frowning Fortune, cursed, fickle dame ' 
For now I see 

More in women than in men remain. 

In black mourn I, 
All fears scorn I, 
Love hath forlorn me, 

Living in thrall : 
Heart is bleeding, 
All help needing, 
O cruel speeding, 

Fraughted with gall. 
My shepherd's pipe can sound no deal ; 
My wether's bell rings doleful knell ; 
My curtal dog, that wont to have play'd, 
Plays not at all, but seems afraid ; 
My sighs so deep 
Procure to weep, 

In howling wise, to see my doleful plight. 
How sighs resound 
Through heartless ground, 

Like a thousand vanquish'd men in bloody fight ! 

Clear wells spring not, 
Sweet birds sing not, 
Green plants bring not 

Forth their dye ; 
Herds stand weeping, 
Flocks all sleeping, 
Nymphs back peeping 

Fearfully : 

All our pleasure known to us poor swains, 
All our merry meetings on the plains, 
All our evening sport from us is fled, 
All our love is lost, for Love is dead. 
Farewell, sweet lass, 
Thy like ne'er was 

For a sweet content, the cause of all my moan : 
Poor Corydon 
Must live alone ; 

Other help for him I see that there is none." 

XVIII. (IX. of this ed.). 

XIX. The following imperfect version of Marlowe's " Come, live with 
me," etc., with Lovis Answer (a mere fragment), attributed to Sir Wal- 
ter Raleigh:* 

For complete copies of both these poems see our ed. of M. IV. p. 150. 


" Live with me, and be my love, 
And we will all the pleasures prove 
That hills and valleys, dales and fields, 
And all the craggy mountains yields. 

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

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

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


If that the world and love were young, 
And truth in every shepherd's tongue, 
These pretty pleasures miht me move 
To live with thee and be thy love." 

XX. The following (except lines 27,28) from Richard Barnfield's Poems: 
In divers humors, 1598 (the first 28 lines also found in England? s Helicon, 
1600, where it is subscribed " Ignoto ") : 

"As it fell upon a day 
In the merry month of May, 
Sitting in a pleasant shade 
Which a grove of myrtles made, 
Beasts did leap, and birds did sing, 
Trees did grow, and plants did spring; 
Every thing did banish moan, 
Save the nightingale alone ; 
She, poor bird, as all forlorn, 
Lean d her breast up-till a thorn, 
And there sung the dolefull'st ditty, 
That to hear it was great pity: 
' Fie, fie, fie,' now would she cry ; 
'Tereu, tereu!' by and by; 
That to hear her so complain. 
Scarce I could from tears refrain ; 
For her griefs, so lively shown, 
Made me think upon mine own. 
Ah, thought I, thou mourn' st in vain ! 
None takes pity on thy pain : 
Senseless trees they cannot hear thee ; 
Ruthless beasts they will not cheer thee : 
King Pandion he is dead ; 
All thy friends are lapp'd in lead; 
All thy fellow birds do sing, 
Careless of thy sorrowing. 
Even so, poor bird, like thee, 
None alive will pity me. 
Whilst as fickle Fortune smil'd, 
Thou and I were both beguil'd. 

Every one that flatters thee 
Is no friend in misery. 


20 g NOTES. 

Words are easy, like the wind ; 

Faithful friends are hard to find : 

Every man will be thy friend 

Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend ; 

But if store of crowns be scant, 

No man will supply thy want. 

If that one be prodigal, 

Bountiful they will him call, 

And with such-like flattering, 

' Pity but he were a king ;' 

If he be addict to vice, 

Quickly him they will entice ; 

If to women he be bent, 

They have at commandement : 

But if Fortune once do frown, 

Then farewell his great renown ; 

They that fawn'd on him before 

Use his company no more. 

He that is thy friend indeed, 

He will help thee in thy need: 

If thou sorrow, he will weep ; 

If thou wake, he cannot sleep; 

Thus of every grief in heart 

He with thee doth bear a part. 

These are certain signs to know 

Faithful friend from flattering foe." 

Some editors have divided the above poem, making the first 28 lines 
(or the portion printed in England's Helicon] a separate piece ; but the' 
whole (except lines 27, 28) forms a continuous ** Ode " in Barnfield's 
book, and there is no real division in the 1599 ed. of the P. P. The 
editors have been misled by the printer's arrangement of his matter in 
that little book, where each page has an ornamental head-piece and tail- 
piece, with unequal portions of text between. The first 14 lines of this 
poem are on one page, the next 12 on the next page (27 and 28 want- 
ing), the next 14 on the next, and the last 16 on the next. As there is 
something like a break in the piece between the 2d and 3d pages as 
thus arranged, it might appear at first sight that it was a division be- 
tween poems rather than in a poem ; but, as Mr. Edmonds has pointed 
out, " the poet's object being to show the similarity of his griefs to those 
of the nightingale, he devotes the lines ending with sorrowing to the 
bird," and then " takes up his own woes with the line Whilst as fickle 
fortune smiFd, and enlarges upon them to the end of the ode." 

The editor of England's Helicon seems to have taken the first two 
pages from the P. P., supposing them to be a complete poem ; but feel- 
ing that it ended too abruptly, he added the couplet, 

" Even so, poore bird like thee, 

None a-live will pitty mee," 
to round it off. 

It may be added that his signing the poem " Ignoto " shows that he 
was not aware it was Barnfield's, and did not consider that its appear- 
ance in the P. P. proved it to be Shakespeare's ; and the same may be 
said of XVII., the Helicon copy of which is evidently from the P. P., 
not from Weelkes. On the other hand, XVI. of the P. P. (" On a day, 
alack the day," etc.), taken from L. L. L., is given in the Helicon with 


Shakespeare's name attached to it. Furnivall says : " Mr. Grosart has 
shown in his prefaces to his editions of Barnfield's Poems and Griffin's 
Fidessa that there is no reason to take from the first his Ode (XX.) and 
his Sonnet (VIIL), or from the second his Venus and Adonis Sonnet 
(XL), many of whose readings the Passionate Pilgrim print spoils." See 
also Mr. Edmonds's able plea in behalf of Barnfield's title to VIII. and 
XX. in the preface to his reprint (London, 1870) of the 1599 ed. of the 
P. P. p. xiv. fol. 

I. I. Cytherea. Cf. T. of S. ind. 2. 53, W. T. iv. 4. 122, and Cymb. ii. 

2. 14. 

9. Conceit. Understanding. Cf. Pericles, p. 145. 

10. Figured. Expressed by signs. Coll. conjectures "sugar'd." 

II. 4. Tarriance. The word occurs again in T. G. of V. ii. 7. 90. 

6. Spleen. Heat ; as often in a figurative sense. Cf. K. John, p. 141. 

12. Wistly. Wistfully. See on V. and A. 343. 

13. Whereas. Where. See Pericles, p. 136, or 2 Hen. VI. p. 153. 

III. The 2d line is wanting in all the editions ; the omission being 
first marked by Malone. 

3. Dove. See on V. and A. 153. 

5. Steep-up. Cf. Sonn. 7.5: " the steep-up heavenly hill." We find 
steep-down in Oth. v. 2. 280. 

1 1. Ruth. Pity. Cf. Rich. II. p. 199. 

IV. This may be Shakespeare's. Cf. Sonn. 138. 

3. Brighter than glass, etc. Steevens quotes the following lines " writ- 
ten under a lady's name on an inn window :" 

" Quam digna inscribi vitro, cum lubrica, laevis, 

Pellucens, fragilis, vitrea tota nites!" 
For brittle the old brickie (see Wb.) might well be substituted. 

14. Oiit-burneth. Sewell has " out burning." 

V. This is probably not Shakespeare's. 

1. Vaded. Faded/ Cf. vii. 2 below. See also Rich. II. p. 157, note 
on Faded. 

3. Timely. Early. Cf. A. and C. p. 1 88. 

8. For why. Because. See on R. of L. 1222. The old eels, have 
" lefts " for leftist in both 8 and 9. Cf. Gr. 340. 

-VI. Possibly Shakespeare's. In the eds. of 1599 .and 1612 it is printed, 
as here, in twelve lines. Malone and others make twenty of it. 

2. Pleasance. Pleasure. Cf. Oth. p. 180. 

4. Brave. Fair, beautiful. See M. of V. p. 154. 

VII. Probably not Shakespeare's ; perhaps by the same author as V. 
I. Doubtful. A copy of this poem, said to be from an ancient MS. 
and published in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xxii. p. 521, has "fleet- 

210 NOTES. 

ing " for doubtful both here and in 5 below. In 3 it has " almost in the 
bud" for first it gins to bud ; in 4, "that breaketh " for that 'j broken; 
in 7, " As goods, when lost, are vvond'rous seldom found ;" in 8 " can 
excite" for will refresh, and in 10 "unite" for redress ; in II "once, is 
ever" for once 'j foreve r ; and in 12 "pains" for ////. 

A second copy, "from a corrected MS.," appeared in the same maga- 
zine, vol. xxx. p. 39. The readings are the same as in the other copy> 
except that it has "a fleeting" for "and fleeting" in I, and "fading" 
for vaded in 8. 

7. Seld. Seldom. Cf. T. and C. iv. 5. 150: "As seld I have the 
chance." We find "seld-shown " in Cor. ii. I. 229. 

VIII. Probably not Shakespeare's. All recent eds. make the last three 
stanzas a separate poem ; but this is unquestionably a mistake. See Ad- 
dendum, p. 214 below. 

3. Daff*d me. Put me off, sent me away. See Much Ado, p. 138 ; and 
cf. L. C. 297. 

4. Descant. Comment ; as in Rich. III. i. I. 27. Cf. R. of L. 1134. 

8. Nill. Will not. Cf. Ham. p. 259. 

9. ''T may be. Steevens says: "I will never believe any poet could 
begin two lines together with such offensive elisions. They may both be 
omitted without injury to sense or metre." 

12. As take. Cf. Gr. 112. 

14. Charge the watch. Probably = accuse or blame the watch (for mark- 
ing the time so slowly). 

17. Philomela. The nightingale. See on R. of L. 1079. The Camb. 
editors conjecture that sits and should be omitted ; and they are proba- 
bly right. 

21. Packed. Sent packing, gone. Ct. Rich. III. i. i. 146: "Till George 
be pack'd with post-horse up to heaven." 

23. Solace, solace. The old eds. have "solace and solace;" corrected 
by Malone. 

27. Moon. The old eds. have " houre ;" corrected by Malone. 

30. Short, night, to-night. Shorten to-night, O night. For the antithe- 
sis, cf. Cymb. i. 6. 200 : 

" I shall short my word 
By lengthening my return." 

IX. This may perhaps be Shakespeare's. Furnivall says : "That 'to 
sin and never for to saint,' and the whole of the poem, are by some 
strong man of the Shakspere breed." 

1. WItenas. When. See on V.andA.^ty. 

2. Stair d. Got as in a stall, secured. Cf. Cymb. iii. 4. in : 

4 ' when thou hast ta'en thy stand, 
The elected deer before thee." 

4. Partial fancy like. orf<vtcy=]o\'e, see on R. of L. 200. The early 
eds. have "fancy (party all might"). Malone gave in 1780 "fancy, par- 
tial tike," but later from an ancient MS. "fancy, partial like." St. con- 
jectures " fancy martial might ;" the Camb. editors read " fancy, martial 


wight" (a conjecture of Malone's); and W. " fancy's partial might." 
The text is from a MS. in the possession of Coll. As Schmidt notes, 
like is "almost =love;" as in A. Y. L. iii. 2. 431, K. Jo/in, ii. i. 511, 
R. and J. i. 3. 97, etc. 

8. Filed talk. " Studied or polished language " (Malone). See L. L. L. 
p. 153, note on His tongue filed. 

12. Sell. The early eds. have "sale ;" corrected by Malone, from his 
old MS., which also has "thy" for her. The editors have generally 
adopted " thy," but the other reading may be =" praise her person 
highly, as a salesman praises his wares " (W.). Cf. T. and C. iv. i. 78 : 
" We '11 but commend what we intend to sell ;" L. L. L. iv. 3. 240 : " To 
things of sale a seller's praise belongs ;" Sonn. 21. 14 : "I will not praise 
that purpose not to sell," etc. 

14. Clear ere. The reading of Malone's MS. for the "calme yer" of 
the old eds. 

20. Ban. Curse. See on V. and A. 326. 

28. In thy lady's ear. Malone reads "always in her ear." 

32. Humble-true. First hyphened by St. 

42. Nought. On the rhyme with oft, cf. Lear, p. 193, note on 309-313. 
In Rich. III. iii. 6. 13 and Macb. iv. i. 70, nought rhymes with thought. 

43-46. Think women still, etc. Expect women always, etc. Malone 
reads from the old MS. thus : 

"Think, women love to match with men, 
And not to live so like a saint: 
Here is no heaven ; they holy then 
Begin, when age doth tUem attaint." 

The early eds. have in 45, 46 : 

" There is no heaven (by holy then) 
When time with age shall them attaint." 

The reading in the text is due to W., and gives a clear meaning with very 
slight changes in the old text. In a passage so corrupt, emendation is 
but guess-work at best ; but this seems to us a happier guess than that 
of the writer of Malone's MS. We do not, however, think it necessary 
to put " seek " for still in 43, as W. does. 

50. Lest that. The early eds. have " Least that." Malone reads " For 
if" from his MS., connecting the line with what follows. 

51. To round me i' the ear. To whisper in my ear. Cf. PC. John, 
p. 151, note on Rounded. The early eds. have " on th' are " and " on th' 
ere." Malone changed "on" to /' in 1780; but in 1790 he read "ring 
mine ear." Coll. has "warm my ear" (from his old MS.). W. reads 
" She'll not stick to round me i' th' ear." H. follows Coll. 

54. Bewray* d. Disclosed, exposed. See on R. of L. 1698. 

The title 
to that poem 


-page of Chester's Loves Martyr, after referring at some length 
:m and " the true legend of famous King Arthur" which fol- 


lows it, continues thus : " To these are added some new compositions of 
seuerall moderne Writers whose names are subscribed to their seuerall 
workes, vpon the first subiect: viz. the Phoenix and Turtle." 

The part of the book containing these "compositions" has a separate 
title-page, as follows : 

HEREAFTER | FOLLOW DIVERSE | Poeticall Essaies on the 
former Sub- \ iect ; viz : the Turtle and Phczuix. \ Done by the best and 
chiefest of our \ moderne writers, with their names sub- | scribed to their 
particular workes : | neuer before extant. \ And (now first) consecrated 
by them all generally, | to the lone and merite of the true-noble Knight, \ 
Sir lohn Salisburie. | Dignum lande virum Musa vetat mori. \ [wood- 
cut of anchor] Anchora Spei. \ MDCI. 

Among these poems are some by Marston, Chapman, and Ben Jonson. 

Malone has no doubt of the genuineness of The Phcenix and the Turtle. 
W. says : " There is no other external evidence that these verses are 
Shakespeare's than their appearance with his signature in a collection 
of poems published in London while he was living there in the height of 
his reputation.* The style, however, is at least a happy imitation of his, 
especially in the bold and original use of epithet." Dowden writes us 
that he has now no doubt that the poem is Shakespeare's (cf. his Primer, 
ed. 1878, p. 112) ; and Furnivall also believes it to be genuine. 

Dr. Grosart (see his introduction to the New Shaks. Soc. ed. of Ches- 
ter's' 'Loves Martyr] sees a hidden meaning in this poem and those asso- 
ciated with it in Chester's book. " The Phcenix is a person and a wom- 
an, and the Turtle-dcwe a person and a male ; and while, as the title-page 
puts it, the poet is * Allegorically shadowing the truth of Love,' it is a 
genuine story of human love and martyrdom (Love's Martyr}. . . . No one 
at all acquainted with what was the mode of speaking of Queen Elizabeth 
to the very last, will hesitate in recognizing her as the Rosalin and Phcenix 
of Robert Chester, and the 'moderne writers' of this book. ... So with 
the Turtle-dove, epithet and circumstance and the whole bearing of the 
Poems make us think of but one pre-eminent man in the 'Court of Eliza- 
beth . . . and it will be felt that only of the brilliant but impetuous, the 
greatly-dowered but rash, the illustrious but unhappy Robert Devereux, 
second Earl of Essex, could such splendid things have been thought." 

Dr. Grosart believes The Phcenix and the Turtle to be Shakespeare's, 
and calls it " priceless and unique" He adds: "Perhaps Emerson's 
words on Shakespeare's poem as well represent its sphinx -character 
even to the most capable critics, as any [preface to Parnassus, 1875] : 
' I should like to have the Academy of Letters propose a prize for an 
essay on Shakespeare's poem, Let the bird of loudest lay, and the Threnos 
with which it closes, the aim of the essay being to explain, by a historical 
research into the poetic myths and tendencies of the age in which it was 

* This is a point in favour of their being Shakespeare's which, so far as we are aware, 
other critics have overlooked ; and it seems to us of some importance. It must be borne 
in mind that Chester's book was not a publisher's piratical venture, like The Passionate 
Pilgrim, but the reputable work of a gentleman who would hardly have ventured to in- 
eult his patron to whom he dedicates it, by palming off anonymous verses as the contri- 
bution of a well-known poet of the time. 


written, the frame and allusions of the poem. I have not seen Chester^ 
Love's Martyr and "the Additional Poems " (1601), in which it appeared. 
Perhaps that book will suggest all the explanation this poem requires. 
To unassisted readers, it would appear to be a lament on the death of a 
poet, and of his poetic mistress. But the poem is so quaint, and charm- 
ing in diction, tone, and allusions, and in its perfect metre and harmony, 
that I would gladly have the fullest illustration yet attainable. I consider 
this piece a good example of the rule, that there is a poetry for bards 
proper, as well as a poetry for the world of readers. This poem, if pub- 
lished for the first time, and without a known author's name, would find 
no general reception. Only the poets would save it.' " 

Mr, Hallivvell-Phillipps, in his recent Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare 
(2d ed. 1882) says : "It was towards the close of the present year, 1600, 
or at some time in the following one, tha't Shakespeare for the first and 
only time, came forward in the avowed character of a philosophical writ- 
er." After giving an account of Chester's book, he adds: "The contri- 
bution of the great dramatist is a remarkable poem in which he makes 
a notice of the obsequies of the phcenix and turtle-dove subservient to 
the delineation of spiritual union. It is generally thought that Chester 
himself intended a personal allegory, but, if that be the case, there is noth- 
ing to indicate that Shakespeare participated in the design, nor even that 
he had endured the punishment of reading Love's Martyr" 

Phoenix i 

could be called on to 'sing' 
represented as gifted with song. 

2. The sole Arabian tree. Malone cites Temp. iii. 3. 22 : 

"Now I will believe 
That there are unicorns ; that in Arabia 
There is one tree, .the phoenix' throne ; one phcenix 
At this hour reigning there."' 

He adds : " This singular coincidence likewise serves to authenticate the 
present poem." The tree is probably the palm t the Greek name of which 
is the same as that of the phoenix (0om). 

3. Trumpet. Trumpeter. See Ham. p. 176, or W. T. p. 1 68. 

4. To. For its use with obey, cf. T. and C. p. 187. 

Dr. Grosart, who takes the bird to be the nightingale, says : " I have 
myself often watched the lifting and tremulous motion of the singing 
nightingale's wings, and chaste was the exquisitely chosen word to de- 
scribe the nightingale, in reminiscence of the classical story." 

5. Shrieking harbinger. The screech-owl (Steevens). Cf. M. N. D. 

V. I. 383 : "Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud, 

Puts the wretch that lies in woe 
In remembrance of a shroud." 

The fevers end is of course death. 

14. That defnnctive music can. "That understands funereal music" 
(Malone). For this ;;=know, see Wb. Cf. Chaucer, C. T. 5638 (ed. 
Tyrwhitt) : < j wot wel Abra ham was an holy man, 

And Jacob eke, as fer as ever I can," etc. 


1 6. His. Its. 

17. Treble-dated. Living thrice as long as man. Steevens quotes Lu- 
cretius, v. 1053 : 

"Cornicum ut secla vetusta. 
Ter tres aetates humanas garrula vincit 

1 8. That thy sable gender mak'st, etc. "Thou crow that makest 
[change in] thy sable gender with the mere exhalation and inhalation 
of thy breath " (E. W. Gosse). It was a popular belief that the crow 
could change its sex at will. 

25. As. That. Cf. R. of L. 1372 and 1420. 

32. But in them it were a wonder. " So extraordinary a phenomenon 
as hearts remote, yet not asunder, etc., would have excited admiration, 
had it been found anywhere else except in these two birds. In them it 
was not wonderful " (Malone). 

34. Saw his right, etc. " It is merely a variant mode of expressing 
seeing love-babies (or one's self imaged) in the other's eyes. This gives 
the true sense to mine in 35 " (Grosart). 

37. Property. Property in self, individuality. 

43. To themselves. Grosart suggests that these words should be joined 
to what precedes. 

44. Simple were so well compounded. That is, were so well blended 
into one. 

45. That. So that. Cf. V. and A. 242. 

49. Threne. Threnody, funeral song. It is the Anglicized threnos 
(Sp/jvoc), with which the following stanzas are headed. Malone quotes 
Kendal's Poems, 1577 : 

" Of verses, threnes, and epitaphs, 
Full fraught with tears of teene." 

A book entitled David* s Threanes was published in 1620, and reprinted 
two years later as David^s Tears. 

67. These dead birds. That these birds are not Elizabeth and Essex 
has been shown clearly in Dr. F. J. FurnivalPs paper "On Chester's 
Lovers Martyr" in Trans, of New Shaks. Soc. 1877-79, p. 451 fol. 


PASSIONATE PILGRIM, VIII. (p. 210). Dowden (in his Introduction to 
the "Griggs" fac-simile of the 1599 ed. of/ 3 . P.} gives good reasons for 
not dividing this poem, but neither he nor any other critic has seen that 
the 1599 ed. proves its unity beyond a doubt. The first two stanzas are 
on one page, the next two on another, and the last stanza on a third ; but 
the third stanza does not begin with the large initial letter, which elsewhere 
in the book is used to mark the beginning of a poem. We may add that 
there is similar typographical evidence in the 1599 ed. that XX. (cf. p. 208 
above) should not be divided. 

Dowden notes that in the 1640 ed. of the Poems, the five stanzas of VIII. 
appear as one poem (see p. 215 below). Malone (in his Supplement,, 
1780) seems to have been the first editor to divide it. 

ADDEA 7 DA. 2I c 

THE 1640 EDITION OF THE POEMS (p. 13). The contents of this 
book are not described accurately by any editor or bibliographer that we 
have been able to consult. They are as follows : 

1. Poems by Leon. Digges* and John Warren t in eulogy of Shake- 

2. All the Sonnets (except Nos. 18, 19, 43, 56, 75, 76, 96, and 126) ar- 
ranged under various titles. The first group, for instance, includes 67, 
68, and 69, with the heading " The glory of beautie," and the second 
puts together 60, 63, 64, 65, and 66 under the title " Injurious Time." 
From one to five sonnets appear under a title. When two or more are 
grouped they are printed as a continuous piece, with no space between 
the sonnets. J 

3. All the poems of The Passionate Pilgrim of 1599 (not "some," as 
the " Cambridge " ed. says, or " the greater part," as Knight and others 
give it), mostly interspersed among the Sonnets and furnished with titles. 
For instance, No. 4 (" Sweet Cytherea," etc.) is headed " A sweet provo- 
cation ;" No. 8 (" If music," etc.), " Friendly concord ;" No. 10 (" Sweet 

poem with the title "Loath to depart." "As it fell upon a day" also 
appears without division, and is entitled " Sympathizing love." 
4. The following translations from Ovid, and other poems: 
" The Tale of Cephalus and Procris " (inserted before Sonnets 153 and 


" That Menelaus was cause of his owne wrongs." 

" Vulcan was lupiters Smith, an excellent workeman, on whom the 
Poets father many rare Workes, among which, I find this one. Mars 
and Venus." 

"The History how the Mynotaure was begot." 

"This Mynotaure, when he came to growth, was incloased in the Lab- 
orinth, which was made by the curious Arts-master Dedalus, whose Tale 
likewise we thus pursue." 

" Achilles his concealment of his Sex in the Court of Lycomedes." 

A Lovers Complaint (Shakespeare's). 

" The amorous Epistle of Paris to Hellen." 

" Hellen to Paris." 

" The Passionate Shepheard to his Love " (the complete text of Mar- 
lowe's poem, given imperfectly in P. P.}. 

" The Nimphs reply to the Shepheard " (the six stanzas, of which only 
one is given in P. P.}. 

" Another of the same Nature" (a poem of 44 lines, beginning : 

* Not the verses prefixed to the folio of 1623, but a much longer piece, beginning 
" Poets are borne not made, when I would prove," etc. See Ingleby's Centurie cf 
Praise, 26. ed. p. 231 fol. 

t A sonnet, beginning "What, lofty Shakespeare, art again reviv'd?" See Centurie 
of Praise, p. 235. 

I For a full list of the groups with their titles, see Knight's Pictorial Shaksfxrt* vol. 
ii. of Tragedies, etc., p. 487 fol., or Dowden's larger ed. of the Sonnets, p. 47 fol. 


" Come live with me and be my cieare, 

And vye will revill all the yeare, 

In plaines and groves, on hills and dales, 

Where fragrant ayre breeds sweetest gales 

There shall you have the lieautipus Pine, 

The Ceder and the spreading Vine, 

And all the woods to be a skrene, 

Least PJuebus kisse my bummers Queene." 
And ending thus : 

" If these may serve for to intice, 

Your presence to Loves Paradise, 

Then come with me and be my deare, 

And we will straight begin the yeare."). 

" Take, O take those lips away " (the stanza in M.for M. iv. I. I fol., 
with the additional stanza, ascribed to Fletcher, and quoted in our ed. of 
M. for M. p. 1 60 ; the song appearing here without a title). 

"Let the bird of lowest [sic] lay" (The Phcenix and the Turtle, with- 
out a title, except for the Threuos, which is hearled " Threnes "). 

" Why should this Desart be " (the lines from A. Y. L. iii. 2. 133 fol., 
without a title). 

" An Epitaph on the admirable Dramaticke Poet, William Sheake- 
speare " (signed " I. M.," that is, John Milton). 

"On the death of William Shakespeare, who died in Aprill, Anne 
Dom. 1616" (the lines, "Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nigh," 
etc., signed here " W. B.." that is, William Basse, who probably wrote 
them, though they have been ascribed to Dr. Donne and others). 

"An Elegie on the death of that famous Writer and Actor, M. William 
Shakspeare" ("I dare not do thy memory that wrong," etc., unsigned 
and not traced to any author). 

5. After the " FINIS" that follows the above poems there is an appen- 
dix, with the heading : " An Addition of some Excellent | Poems, to 
those precedent, of | Renowned Shakespeare, \ By other Gentlemen." 

The poems are as follows : 

"His Mistresse Drawne" (signed "B. L" evidently intended for 
" B. I.," or Ben Jonson, in whose works the lines are printed). 

** Her minde " (signed " B. L," and also printed as his). 

" His Mistris Shade." 

" Lavinia walking in a frosty Morning." 

" A Sigh sent to his Mistresse." 

" An Allegoricall allusion of melancholy thoughts to Bees " (signed " I. 

" The Primrose." 

"A Sigh." 

"A Blush." 

" Am I dispis'd because you say," etc. (no title). 

" Vpon a Gentlewoman walking on the Grasse." 

" On his Love going to Sea." 

" Aske me no more where love bestovves," etc. (no title). 

A second " FINIS" ends the volume. 


accorded (^agreed), 198. 

bate-breeding, 177. 

clepes, 1 80. 

acture, 201. 
addressed (= ready), 196. 

battle (^battalion), 177. 
be remembered, 189. 

clip (^embrace), 176. 
closure, 178. 

adjunct, 184. 

beaded, 199. 

cloud-kissing Ilion, 194. 

adulterate, 196. 

beguiled (active), 196. 

cloudy, 192. 

advance (=raise), 197. 

beldam, 191. 

coasteth, 179. 

advised, be, 176. 

bells (of falcon), 187. 

coat, 202. 

advisedly, 185, 195, 197. 

beseeched, 201. 

cockatrice' dead-killing eye 

afeard, 192. 

beseems, 185. 

1 88. 

affection (=lust), 187. 

bewrayed, 197, 211. 

cold fault, 177 

alarms, 174. 
all to naught, 180. 

bid a base, 173. 
bird of loudest lay, 213. 

colour (play upon), 187. 
combustious, 182. 

allow (^approve), 198. 

birth-hour's blot, 188. 

comfortable, 184. 

all-too-timeless, 183. 

black stage, 190. 

compact of, 172. 

aloes, 202. 

blasts (intransitive), 183. 

compare (noun), 183. 

amaze (= bewilder), 177. 

blazoned, 201. 

compassed (^curved), 173. 

anatomized, 195. 

blood (^passion), 200. 

complain on, 172, 176. 

and for, 192. 

blue windows, 175. 

complained (transitive), 198. 

angry-chafing, 177. 

blunt (^=rude), 195. 

conceit (^conception), 189, 

annexions, 201. 

blunt (=savage), 179. 


annoy (noun), 175, 192- 

bollen, 194. 

conceit ( = understanding ), 

antics, 187. 

bond (ownership), 184. 


appaid, 191. 

borrowed motion, 203. 

conceited ( = fanciful ), 194, 

applying wet to wet, 199. 

brave (=beautiful), 209. 


Arabian tree, 213. 

braving compare, 183. 

conclusion ( = experiment ), 

Ardea (accent), 182. 

brokers (=panders), 201. 

J 93 

arrive (transitive), 190. 

bulk (= chest), 187. 

conduct (^conductor), 186. 

as (that), 194, 214. 

burden-wise, 192. 

confounds (=ruins), 184, 193, 

askance (verb), 189. 


aspect (accent), 183. 

cabinet (=nest), 179. 

congest, 202. 

assays (=attempts), 197, 200. 
astonished ( = astounded ), 

can (=know), 213. 
canker (=worm), 177. 

conjures (accent), 188. 
contemn me this, 173. 


careless hand of pride, 199. 

contrives, 202. 

at a bay, 179. 

carriage (figurative), 199. 

controlled ( = restrained), 

at gaze, 193. 

carry-tale, 177. 

187, 189. 

attired in discontent, 196. 

case (=dress), 200. 

convert (intransitive), 188, 

a-twain, 198. 

cautels, 203. 


authorized (accent), 200. 

chafe, 174. 

convert (rhyme), 188. 

a-work, 195. 

chaps (spelling), 195. 

convertite, 190. 

ay me! 179. 

charactered (accent), 190. 

cope him, 179. 

balk (=neglect), 189. 

charge the watch, 210. 
cheer (=face), 185. 

copesmate, 191. 
coucheth (transitive), 187. 

bankrupt (spelling), 175, 184. 
banning( cursing), 174, 195, 

cherish springs, 191. 
cherubin, 203. 

counterfeit (=likeness), 194 
cranks (turns), 177. 


churlish (boar), 176. 

credent, 202. 

bare (noun), 200. 

cipher (decipher), 190. 

crest-wounding, 190. 

barns (verb), 191. 

city (figurative), 201. 

cries some, 199. 

bateless, 183. 

civil (decorous), 203. 

cuckoos, 191. 


curious (^careful), 178, 199. 
curled hair, 191. 

field (play upon), 183. 
fiery-pointed, 186. 

in post, 182. 
in sadness (in earnest), 178. 

curst, 179- 

figured, 209. 

incorporate, 176. 

Cytherea, 209. 

filed talk, 2ii. 

insinuate with, 180. 

fine (=bringtoan end), 191. 

instance (=evidence\ 195. 

daffed, 203, 210. 

fire (dissyllable), 174. 

insult (=exult;, 176. 

decease (rhyme), 180. 

flaws (=gusts), 175. 

insulter, 176. 

deep regard, 194. 

fluxive, 199. 

intend (=pretend\ 184. 

defame (noun), 190. 

foil (noun), 200. 

intendments, 173. 

defeature, 178. 

folly (= wickedness), 191. 

interprets, 194. 

defunctive. 213. 

fond(=foolish), 180,185,192. 

intituled, 183. 

deprive (take away), 193, 

fondling (^darling), 173. 

intrude (=invnde\ 191. 


for (= because), 192. 

inventions, 194. 

descant (=comment), 210. 

for why, 193, 209. 

invised, 201. 

descant (=sing), 192. 

force not (=regardnot\ 192. 

invisible, 175. 

diapason, 192- 

forced to content, 171. 

digression (^transgression), 

forestall (^prevent), 190. 

jade, 190. 


forsworn, 178. 

dismount (figurative), 202. 

frets (noun), 192. 

ken (=sight), 192. 

dispense with, 192, 194, 197. 

from (away from), 193. 

key-cold, 197. 

dispersed (accent), 197. 

fruitless (barren), 178. 

kill, kill! 177. 

disports (noun), 182. 

fry ( small fry). 176. 

kind (= natural). 194. 

disputation (metre). 185. 

fulfilled (=filled full), 193. 

distract (accent), 201. 

laid (=lay), 198. 

done (=ruined), 183, 198. 

gage (=risk), 184. 

land (noun), 189. 

doves (of Venus), 172, 182, 

gentry (=gentle birth \ 188. 

late (=lately), 197, 202. 


gins (=begins), 171. 

laund, 178. 

dumps, 192. 

gives her sorrow fire, 196. 

laundering, 198. 

glisters, 173. 

leaps (rhymei, 173. 

ear (^plough), 170. 
ecstasy (excitement), 179, 

g) about (=attempt\ 174. 
od wot, 194. 

leave (=license). 176. 
lectures (=lessons), 189. 


government, 194. 

leisures, 201. 

effects, 196. 

grained (bat), 200. 

let (=forbear), 183. 

element (^sky), 196. 

grave (bury?), 189. 

let (=hinderj, 186. 

embracements, 173. 

grave (=engrave), 174. 

let (=hindrance), 189. 

empty eagle, 171. 
engine of her thoughts, 174. 

graff, 192. 
grey, 172. 

levelled (=aimed), 199, 200 

en patron, 201. 

gripe (^griffin), 188. 

like(=as?), 187. 

ensue (transitive), 187. 

grisly, 191. 

limed, 183. 

envious (^malicious), 178. 

lists of love, 176. 

exclaims on, 180, 190. 

had gave, 176. 

liver (seat of passion), 183. 

expired (accent), 183. 

hard-favoured, 172, 196. 

lode-star, 185. 

extincture, 203. 

harmless show, 195. 

lover (feminine), 198. 

extreme (accent), 185. 

hearsed, 189. 

love's golden arrow, i8:>. 

eyne, 177, 189, 193. 

heart's attorney, 174. 

lust (=pleasure), 194. 

heartless, 187. 

lust-breathed, 182. 

fact (=deed), 186. 

heave her napkin, 198. 

luxury (=lust), 203. 

fair (^beauty), 181. 

helpless, 176, 192- 

fair fall, 175. 

honey (adjective), 171. 

make a saw, 197. 

falcon's bells, 187. 
fall (=let fall), 196. 

honour (=lordship), 170. 
hild (=held), 193. 

manage (noun), 200. 
manage (of horses), 176. 

fancy (=love), 185, 210. 

his (=its), 174, 1 88, 195, 214. 

mane (plural), 173. 

fancy (=lover), 200, 201. 

his (=of him), iS:>. 

map (^picture), 186. 

fnstly, 200. 

margents, 184. 

fault (in hunting), 177. 

11-nurtured, 172. 

marriage (trisyllable^, 185. 

fear (=frighten), 181. 

maginary, 194. 

mated (=bewildered), 180, 

fear (=object of fear), 186. 
fearful (=full of fear), 177. 

magination (metre), 177. 
mperious (=imperial), i8~>. 

maund, 199. 
mean (=means), 192. 

feast-finding, 190. 

mposthumes, 178. 

measure (^=dance), 182. 

feat (adverb), 199. 

mpleached, 201. 

mermaid (=siren), 174, 178. 

fee-simple, my own, 200. 

n (=on), 172. 

miss (^misbehaviour), 171. 

fence (=guard), 183. 
fickle, 198. 

n clay (=in the grave), 189. 
1 n hand with, 180. 

mistrustful, 178. 
moe, 195, 196, 199, 200. 



moiety, 182. 
moralize, 184. 

plaining, 188. 
plaits (noun), 183. 

more (^greater), 171. 

plausibly, 198. 

mortal ( = death - dealing ), 

pleasance, 209. 


pleasing (passive), 192. 

mot (=motto), 190. 

point (^appoint), 191. 

musing (wondering), 179. 

posied, 199. 

musits, 177. 

power (plural), 186. 

preached pure maid, 203. 

naked (play upon), 185. 

precedent, 193. 

nameless, 187. 
napkin ( = handkerchief ), 

prefer and undertake, 199. 
present (=instant), 193. 


pretended (intended), 188. 

Narcissus, 172, 185. 

pretty, 193. 

needle (monosyllable), 186. 

prick (= dial-point), 190. 

nill, 210. 

prime (spring), 186. 

nimble notes, 192. 

prone (=headlong), 189. 

note (notoriety), 202. 
note (=stigma), 185. 

proof (=armour), 177. 
proof (=experience), 200. 

nought (rhyme), 211. 

property, 214. 

nought to do, 192. 

proportioned, 190. 

nuzzling, 181. 

prove (^experience), 176. 

prove (=try), 171. 

obdurate (accent), 173, 187. 

purified, 188. 

obey to, 213. 

purled, 194. 

o'er-worn, 172. 

o'erstraw'd, 182. 

qualified, 187. 

of force, 201. 

quality (of gems), 201. 

on (omitted), 187. 

questioned (^talked), 184. 

on ringing, 195. 

quittal, 185. 

only (transposed), 187. 

quote (note), 190. 

orchard (= garden), 200. 

Orpheus, 188. 

rank (adjective), 171. 

orts, 192. 

read lectures, 189. 

outwards (noun), 200. 

reaves, 178. 

overseen (= be witched), 193. 

receipt, 189. 

overseer (of will), 193. 

remorse (=pity), 173. 

owe (own), 174, 183, 197, 

rents (=rends), 199. 


repeal (=recall), 189. 

repine (noun), 175. 

packed (=sent packing), 210. 
painted cloth, 185. 

reprove (^disprove), 178- 
requiring (=asking), 182. 

pale (enclosure), 173. 

resolution (metre), 186. 

pale (^paleness), 176. 

respect (^prudence), 185. 

paling the place, etc., 202. 

respects (considerations), 

palmer, 190. 
Paphos, 182. 

retire (noun\ 184. 

parling, 184. 

retire (transitive), 186- 

passenger, 172. 

retiring (returning), 191. 

passions (grieves), 181. 

re-worded, 198. 

peeled (spelling), 193. 

rigol, 197. 

peers (verb), 187. 

rose-cheeked, 170. 

pelleted, 199. 

round (=whisper), an- 

pelt (verb), 194. 

ruffle (^bustle), 199. 

pensived, 201. 

ruinate, 191. 

perplexed ( = confounded), 

ruth (=pity), 209. 


Philomel, 192, 210. 

sad (^serious), 185. 

phoenix (adjective), 200. 

saw (=maxim), 185. 

phraseless, 201. 

sawn (=sown ?), 200. 

pine ( starve\ 176. 

scape (noun), 190. 

pioneer (spelling), 194. 
pith (=vigour), 171. 

seared, 198. 
seasoned (figurative), 199. 

seated from the way, 193. 

securely, 183. 

seeks to, 185. 

seld, 210. 

senseless, 190. 

sensible (^sensitive), 175. 

sepulchred (accent), 190. 

set a-work, 195. 

shame ( intransitive ), 192, 

sheaved, 199. 

shjfting (=deceitful), 191. 

shift (trickery), 191. 

shine (noun), 175. 

shoot (noun), 188. 

short (verb), 210. 

shrewd (=evil), 175. 

silly (=innocent), 181, 184. 

simple (^artless), 178. 

simple (noun), 188. 

Sinon, 195. 

sistering, 198. 

sith, 178, 182. 

size, 199. 

slanderous, 192. 

sleided, 199. 

slips (play upon), 175. 

smoothing( flattering', 191. 

sneaped, 186. 

sod (= sodden), 196. 

sometime, 192, 199. 

sort (= adapt), 193. 

sort (select), 191. 

sounds (waters), 194. 

spend their mouths, 177. 

spirit (monosyllable), 172, 

198, 202. 

spleen (=heat), 209. 
spleens, 180. 

spotted (=polluted), 190. 
spright, 172, 184, 197. 
spring (=bud), 177, 191. 
stain to all nymphs, 171. 
stalled, 210. 
steep-up, 209. 
stelled, 195. 
stillitory, 175. 
still-pining, 191. 
still-slaughtered, 185. 
sting (stimulus), 202. 
stole (=robe), 203. 
stops(of musical instrument/, 


stories (verb), 18^, 184. 
strand (spelling), 195. 
strange kinds, 193. 
strangeness, 175. 
struck (spelling), 175. 
strucken, 185. 
suffered, 174. 

suggested (tempted), 183. 
supplicant, 202. 
supposed, 1 86. 



supreme (accent), 190. 
surcease, 197. 

oward (=forward), 182. 
owering (in falconry), 187. 

suspect (noun), 180. 

reatise (=talk), 178. 

sweating palm, 171. 

reble-dated, 214. 

swooning (spelling), 203. 
swounds, 195. 

renched, 181. 
riumphing (accent), 194. 

rue men, 178. 

take truce, 171. 

rumpet (^trumpeter), 213. 

taking (noun), 187. 

tarriance, 209. 

unadvised, 195. 

tender (=favour), i88i 

unapproved, 199. 

teen (=sorrow), 178, 201. 
temperance (=chastity), 191. 

uncouple, 177. 
uncouth (^strange), 196. 

tempering, 176. 

undertake ( = guarantee ), 

termless, 200. 


than (then), 195. 

unexperient, 203. 

thorougli (=through), 198. 

unhappy ( mischievous ), 

threaden, 199. 


threne, 214. 

unkind (^childless), 173. 

timely (=early), 209. 
tired (=attired), 172. 

unlived, 197. 
unrecalling (passive), 192. 

tires ( = feeds ravenously), 

unseasonable, 188. 


unsounded, 198. 

Titan (=sun), 172. 

urchin-snouted, 181. 

that (=so that), 1 73, 176, 179, 

183, 185, 187, 194, i95. i97 

vaded, 209. 

200, 214- 

vails (=lowers), 173, 180. 

to (=in addition to), 196. 

vastly, 197. 

too late (=too lately). 197. 

venge, 197. 

too too, 184. 

villain (=servant), 194. 

told (^counted), 173, 175. 

top of rage, 199. 

ward (=bolt), 186. 

was my own fee-simple, 


Wat (=hare), 178. 
watch of woes, 191. 
water-galls, 196. 
weed (^garment), 185. 
whenas, 180, 210. 
who (= which), 173, 179, 181, 

1 86, 192. 

where (=whereas), 190. 
whereas (=where), 209. 
whether ( monosyllable ), 

wink (=shut the eyes), 172, 

187, 188. 

wipe (noun), 188. 
wistly, 174, 194, 209. 
withhold (=detain), 176. 
within his danger, 177. 
wits (rhyme), 179. 
wood (=mad), 178. 
woodman (=hunter), 188. 
wot, 194. 

worm (^serpent), iSo. 

wrack, 175. 

wrapped ( overwhelmed ), 


wreaked (revenged), 180. 
wretch (as a term of pity) 


writ on death, 175- 
wrong the wronger, 191. 

Full many a glorious morning have I seen 
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye, 
Kissing with golden face the meadows green. 
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy (Sex*. 33). 





Copyright, 1883, by HARPER & BROTHERS 








NOTES 125 

Nor that full star that ushers in the even 

Doth half that glory to the sober west 

As those two mourning eyes become thy face (Sonn. 132). 





The Sonnets were first published in 1609, with the follow- 
ing title-page (as given in the fac-simile of 1870): 


printed. | AT LONDON | By G. Eld for T. T. and are 
solde by William Aspley. \ 1609. 

to be 


In some copies the latter part of the imprint reads: " to 
be solde by John Wright, dwelling | at Christ Church gate. | 

At the end of the volume A Lover s Complaints as printed. 

In 1640 the Sonnets (except Nos. 18, 19, 43, 56, 75, 76, 96, 
and 126), re-arranged under various titles, with the pieces in 
The Passionate Pi/grim, A Lover's Complaint, The Phoenix 
and the Turtle, the lines "Why should this a desert be," etc. 
(A. Y. L. iii. 2. 133 fol.), "Take, O take those lips away," 
etc. (M. for M. iv. i. i fol.), and sundry translations from 
Ovid, evidently not Shakespeare's (see our ed. of V. and A. 
p. 215), were published with the following title: 

Printed at London by Tho. Cotes, and are j to be sold by 
lohn Benson, dwelling in | S* Dunstans Church-yard. 1640. 

There is an introductory address " To the Reader " by 
Benson, in which he asserts that the poems are "of the 
same purity the Authotir himselfe then living avouched," 
and that they will be found " seren, cleere and eligantly 
plaine." He adds that by bringing them " to the perfect 
view of all men " he is "glad to be serviceable for the con- 
tinuance of glory to the deserved Author." 

The order of the poems in this volume is followed in the 
editions of Gildon (1710) and of Sewell (1725 and 1728) ; 
also in those published by Ewing (1771) and Evans (1775). 
In all these editions the sonnets mentioned above (18, 19, 
etc.) are omitted, and 138 and 144 are given in the form in 
which they appear in The Passionate Pilgrim. 

The first complete reprint of the Sonnets, after the edi- 
tion of 1609, appears to have been in the collected edition 
of Shakespeare's Poems, published by Lintott in 1709 (see 
our ed. of Venus and Adonis, etc., p. 13). 

The earliest known reference to the Sonnets is in the 
Palladis Tamia of Meres (cf. M. N. D. p. 9, and C. of E. p. 
TOI), who speaks of them as "his sugred Sonnets among 


his priuate friends." This was in 1598, and in the next year 
two of them (138 and 144) were printed in The Passionate 
Pilgrim. We do not know that any of the others were pub- 
lished before 1609. They were probably written at inter- 
vals during many years. " Some, if we were to judge by 
their style, belong to the time when Romeo and Juliet was 
written. Others as, for example, 66-74 echo the sadder 
tone which is heard in Hamlet and Measure for Measure" 
(Dowden). It is evident that there is a gap of at least 
three years (see 104) between 99 and the following group 

The theories concerning these interesting poems cannot 
even be enumerated in the space at our command. "Some 
have looked on them as one poem ; some as several poems 
of groups of sonnets ; some as containing a separate poem 
in each sonnet. They have been supposed to be written in 
Shakespeare's own person, or in the character of another, 
or of several others ; to be autobiographical or heterobio- 
graphical, or allegorical ; to have been addressed to Lord 
Southampton, to Sir William Herbert, to his own wife, to 
Lady Rich, to his child, to his nephew, to himself, to his 
muse. The 'W. H.' in the dedication has been interpreted 
as William Herbert, William Hughes, William Hathaway, 
W r illiam Hart (his nephew), William Himself, and Henry 
Wriothesly " (Fleay).* 

For our own part, we find it as difficult to believe that 
some of the Sonnets are autobiographical as that others 
are not; and all that has been written to prove that 1-126 
are all addressed to the same person fails to convince us. 
It is clear enough that certain sets (like 1-17, for instance) 

* Some of these theories are discussed in the extracts given below 
from Dowden's Introduction to his valuable edition of the Sonnets. For 
an admirable resume of the entire literature of the subject, see the larger 
edition of Dowden (London, 1881), Part II. of the Introduction, pp. 


form a regular series, but that all the poems are arranged in 
the order in which Shakespeare meant to have them is not 
so clear. There is no evidence that the edition of 1609 was 
supervised or even authorized by him. The enigmatical 
dedication is not his, but the publisher's; and the arrange- 
ment of the poems is probably that of the person who pro- 
cured them for publication, whoever he may have been. 
The order seems to us more like that of a collector one who 
knew something of their history, and was interested in get- 
ting them together for publication than that of the author. 
Possibly this collector had his own little theory as to the in- 
terconnection of some of them, like certain of the modern 
editors, no one of whom seems on the whole to have been 
any more successful in classifying them. We fear that both 
their order and the means by which the publisher got posses- 
sion of them must continue to be among the insoluble prob- 
lems of literature.* 


[.From DowdeiCs Edition.^ 

The student of Shakspere is drawn to the Sonnets not 
alone by their ardour and depth of feeling, their fertility and 
condensation of thought, their exquisite felicities of phrase, 
and their frequent beauty of rhythmical movement, but in a 
peculiar degree by the possibility that here, if nowhere else, 
the greatest of English poets may as Wordsworth puts it 
have "unlocked his heart." t It were strange if his silence, 

* See also Addenda, p. 184 fol. below. 

t The Sonnets of William Shakspere, edited by Edward Dowden (Lon- 
don, 1881), p. xv. fol. (also in the larger ed. p. 4 fol.). 

\ Poets differ in the interpretation of the Sonnets as widely as critics : 

" ' With this same key 

Shakespeare unlocked his heart ' once more ! 
Did Shakespeare ? If so, the less Shakespeare he !" 

So, Mr. Browning ; to whom replies Mr. Swinburne, " No whit the less 
like Shakespeare, but undoubtedly the less like Browning." Some of 


deep as that of the secrets of Nature, never once knew in- 
terruption. The moment, however, we regard the Sonnets 
as autobiographical, we find ourselves in the presence of 
doubts and difficulties, exaggerated, it is true, by many 
writers, yet certainly real. 

If we must escape from them, the simplest mode is to 
assume that the Sonnets are "the free outcome of a poetic 
imagination " (Delius). It is an ingenious suggestion of 
Delius that certain groups may be offsets from other poeti- 
cal works of Shakspere ; those urging a beautiful youth to 
perpetuate his beauty in offspring may be a derivative from 
Venus and Adonis ; those declaring love for a dark complex- 
ioned woman may rehandle the theme set forth in Berowne's 
passion for the dark Rosaline of Love's Labour J s Lost ; those 
which tell of a mistress resigned to a friend may be a non- 
dramatic treatment of the theme of love and friendship pre- 
sented in the later scenes of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. 
Perhaps a few sonnets, as no and in, refer to circum- 
stances of Shakspere's life (Dyce) ; the main body of these 
poems may still be regarded as mere exercises of the fancy. 

Such an explanation of the Sonnets has the merit of sim- 
plicity ; it unties no knots, but cuts all at a blow; if the col- 
lection consists of disconnected exercises of the fancy, we 

Shelley's feeling with reference to the Sonnets may be guessed from 
certain lines to be found among the Studies for Epipsychidion and Can- 
celled Passages (Poetical Works : ed. Forman, vol. ii. pp. 392, 393), to 
which my attention has been called by Mr. E. W. Gosse : 

" If any should be curious to discover 
Whether to you I am a friend or lover, ' 
Let them read Shakspeare's sonnets, taking thence 
A whetstone for their dull intelligence 
That tears and will not cut, or let them guess 
How Diotima, the wise prophetess, 
Instructed the instructor, and why he 
Rebuked the infant spirit of melody 
On Agathon's sweet lips, which as he spoke 
Was as the lovely star when morn has broke 
The roof of darkness, in the golden dawn, 
Half-hidden and yet beautiful." 


need not try to reconcile discrepancies, nor shape a story, 
nor ascertain a chronology, nor identify persons. And what 
indeed was a sonneteer's passion but a painted'fire ? What 
was the form of verse but an exotic curiously trained and 
tended, in which an artificial sentiment imported from Italy 
gave perfume and colour to the flower ? 

And yet, in this as in other forms, the poetry of the time, 
which possesses an enduring vitality, was not commonly 
caught out of the air, but however large the conventional 
element in it may have been -was born of the union of 
heart and imagination/; in it real feelings and real exped- 
ience, submitting to the poeticaUJashions of the day, were 
/raised to an ideal expression^ Spenser wooed and wedded 
N*J> the Elizabeth of his Amoretti. The Astrophel and Stella tells 
~~'of ~a veritable tragedy, fatal perhaps to two bright lives and 
passionate hearts. And what poems of Drummond do we 
remember as we remember those which record how he 
loved and lamented Mary Cunningham ? 

Some students of the Sonnets, who refuse to trace their 
origin to real incidents of Shakspere's life, allow that they 
form a connected poem, or at most two connected poems, 
and these, they assure us, are of deeper significance than 
any mere poetical exercises can be. They form a stupen- 
dous allegory ; they express a profound philosophy. The 
young friend whom Shakspere addresses is in truth the 
poet's Ideal Self, or Ideal Manhood, or the Spirit of Beauty, 
or the Reason, or the Divine Logos ; his dark mistress, 
whom a prosaic German translator (Jordan) takes for a 
mulatto or quadroon, is indeed Dramatic Art, or the Catho- 
lic Church, or the Bride of the Canticles, black but comely. 
Let us not smile too soon at the pranks of Puck among the 
critics ; it is more prudent to move apart and feel gently 
whether that sleek nole, with fair large ears, may not have 
been slipped upon our own shoulders. 

When we question saner critics why Shakspere's Sonnets 


may not be at once Dichtung und Wahrheit, poetry and 
truth, their answer amounts to this : Is it likely that Shak- 
spere would so have rendered extravagant homage to a boy 
patron? Is it likely that one who so deeply felt the moraA 
order of the world would have yielded, as the poems to his 1 
dark lady acknowledge, to a vulgar temptation of the senses? f 
or, yielding, would have told his shame in verse ? Objections I 
are brought forward against identifying the youth of the 
Sonnets with Southampton or with Pembroke ; it is pointed 
out that the writer speaks of himself as old, and that in a 
sonnet published in Shakspere's thirty-fifth year ; here evi- 
dently he cannot have spoken in his own person, and if 
not here, why elsewhere ? Finally, it is asserted that the 
poems lack internal harmony ; no real person can be what 
Shakspere's friend is described as being true and false, 
constant and fickle, virtuous and vicious, of hopeful expecta- 
tion, and publicly blamed for careless living. 

Shakspere speaks of himself as old ; true, but in the son- 
net published in The Passionate Pilgrim (138), he speaks as 
a lover, contrasting himself, skilled in the lore of life, with 
an inexperienced youth; doubtless at thirty-five he was not 
a Florizel nor a Ferdinand. In the poems to his friend, 
Shakspere is addressing a young man perhaps of twenty 
years, in the fresh bloom of beauty ; he celebrates with de- 
light the floral grace of youth, to which the first touch of 
time will be a taint ; those lines of thought and care, which 
his own mirror shows, bear witness to time's ravage. It is 
as a poet that Shakspere writes, and his statistics are those 
not of arithmetic but of poetry. 

That he should have given admiration and love without 
measure to a youth highborn, brilliant, accomplished, who 
singled out the player for peculiar favour, will seem wonder- 
ful only to those who keep a constant guard upon their af- 
fections, and to those who have no need to keep a guard at 
all. In the Renascence epoch, among natural products of 


a time when life ran swift and free, touching with its current 
high and difficult places, the ardent friendship of man with 
man was one. To elevate it above mere personal regard a 
Ind of Neo - Platoni&ia-, was at hand, which represented 
Beauty and Love incarnated in a human creature as earthly 
rents of the Divinity. " It was then not uncommon," 
observes the sober Dyce, "for one man to write verses to 
another in a strain of such tender affection as fully warrants 
us in terming them amatory." Montaigne, not prone to 
take up extreme positions, writes of his dead Estienne de la 
Boe'tie with passionate tenderness which will not hear of 
moderation. The haughtiest spirit of Italy, Michael Angelo, 
does homage to the worth and beauty of young Tommaso 
Cavalieri in such words as these : 

'* Heavenward your spirit stirreth me to strain ; 
E'en as you will I blush and blanch again, 
Freeze in the sun, burn 'neath a frosty sky, 
Your will includes and is the lord of mine." 

The learned Languet writes to young Philip Sidney : 
" Your portrait I kept with me some hours to feast my eyes 
on it, but my appetite was rather increased than diminished 
by the sight." And Sidney to his guardian friend: "The 
chief object of my life, next to the everlasting blessedness 
of heaven, will always be the enjoyment of true friendship, 
and there you shall have the chiefest place." "Some," 
said Jeremy Taylor, " live under the line, and the beams of 
friendship in that position are imminent and perpendicular." 
"Some have only a dark day and a long night from him [the 
Sun], snows and white cattle, a miserable life and a perpet- 
ual harvest of Catarrhes and Consumptions, apoplexies and 
dead palsies ; but some have splendid fires and aromatick 
spices, rich wines and well - digested fruits, great wit and 
great courage, because they dwell in his eye and look in 
his face and are the Courtiers of the Sun, and wait upon 
him in his Chambers of the East j just so it is in friend- 


ship." Was Shakspere less a courtier of the sun than Lan- 
guet or Michael Angelo ? 

If we accept the obvious reading of the Sonnets, we must 
believe that Shakspere at some time of his life was snared 
by ajjvoman^the reverse of beautiful according to the con- 
/ ventional Elizabethan standard dark -haired, dark -eyed, 
pale-cheeked (132); skilled in touching the virginal (128); 
skilled also in playing on the heart of man ; who could at- 
tract and repel, irritate and soothe, join reproach with ca- 
ress (145) ; a woman faithless to her vow in wedlock (152). 
Through her no calm of joy came to him ; his life ran 
quicker but more troubled through her spell, and she min- 
gled strange bitterness with its waters. Mistress of herself 
and of her art, she turned when it pleased her from the play- 
er to capture a more distinguished prize, his friend. For a 
while Shakspere was kept in the torture of doubt and sus- 
picion ; then confession and tears were offered by the 
youth. The wound had gone deep into Shakspere's heart: 

" Love knows it is a greater grief 
To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury." 

But, delivering himself from the intemperance of wrath, he 
could forgive a young man beguiled and led astray. Through 
further difficulties and estrangements their friendship trav- 
elled on to a fortunate repose. The series of sonnets 
which is its record climbs to a high, sunlit resting-place. 
The other series, which records his passion for a dark 
temptress, is a whirl of moral chaos. Whether to dismiss 
him, or to draw him farther on, the woman had urged upon 
him the claims of conscience and duty ; in the latest sonnets 
if this series be arranged in chronological order Shak- 
spere's passion, grown bitter and scornful (151, 152), strives, 
once for all, to defy and wrestle down his better will. 

Shakspere of the Sonnets is not the Shakspere serenely 
victorious, infinitely charitable, wise with all wisdom of the 
intellect and the heart, whom we know through The Tempest 



and King Henry VIII. He is the Shakspere of Venus and 
Adonis and Romeo and yuliet, on his way to acquire some of 
the dark experience of Measure for Measure, and the bitter 
learning of Troilus and Cressida. Shakspere's writings as- 
sure us that in the main his eye was fixed on the true ends 
of life ; but they do not lead us to believe that he was in- 
accessible to temptations of the senses, the heart, and the 
imagination. We can only guess the frailty that accompa- 
nied such strength, the risks that attended such high pow- 
ers ; immense demands on life, vast ardours, and then the 
void hour, the deep dejection. There appears to have been 
a time in his life when the springs of faith and hope had 
almost ceased to flow ; and he recovered these not by flying 
from reality and life, but by driving his shafts deeper tow- 
ards the centre of things. So Ulysses was transformed 
into Prospero, worldly wisdom into spiritual insight. Such 
ideal purity as Milton's was not possessed nor sought by 
Shakspere; among these sonnets, one or two might be 
spoken by Mercutio, when his wit of cheveril was stretched 
to an ell broad. To compensate Shakspere knew men and 
women a good deal better than did Milton, and probably 
no patches of his life are quite as unprofitably ugly as some 
which disfigured the life of the great idealist. His daughter 
could love and honour Shakspere's memory. Lamentable 
it is, if he was taken in the toils, but at least we know that 
he escaped all toils before the end. May we dare to con- 
jecture that Cleopatra, queen and courtesan, black from 
" Phoebus' amorous pinches," a " lass unparalleled," has 
some kinship through the imagination with our dark lady 
of the virginal? "Would I had never seen her," sighs out 
Antony, and the shrewd onlooker Enobarbus replies, " O, 
sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work ; 
which not to have been blest withal would have discredited 
your travel." 

Shakspere did not, in Byron's manner, invite the world to 


gaze upon his trespass and his griefs. Setting aside two 
pieces printed by a pirate in 1599, not one of these poems, 
as far as we know, saw the light until long after they were 
written, according to the most probable chronology, and 
when in 1609 the volume entitled " Shake-speares Sonnets" 
was issued, it had, there is reason to believe, neither the 
superintendence nor the consent of the author.* Yet their 
literary merits entitled these poems to publication, and Shak- 
spere's verse was popular. If they were written on fanciful 
themes, why were the Sonnets held so long in reserve? If, 
on the other hand, they were connected with real persons, 
and painful incidents, it was natural that they should not 
pass beyond the private friends of their possessor. 

But the Sonnets of Shakspere, it is said, lack inward unity. 
Some might well be addressed to Queen Elizabeth, some to 
Anne Hathaway, some to his boy Hamnet, some to the Earl 
of Pembroke or the Earl of Southampton ; it is impossible 
to make all these poems (1-126) apply to a single person. 
Difficulties of this kind may perplex a painful commentator, 
but would hardly occur to a lover or a friend living " where 
the beams of friendship are imminent." The youth ad- 
dressed by Shakspere is " the master-mistress of his passion " 
(20) ; summing up the perfections of man and woman, of 
Helen and Adonis (53) ; a liege, and yet through love a com- 
rade ; in years a boy, cherished as a son might be; in will 
a man, with all the power which rank and beauty give. 
Love, aching with its own monotony, invites imagination to 
invest it in changeful forms. Besides, the varying feelings 
of at least three years (104) three years of loss and gain, 
of love, wrong, wrath, sorrow, repentance, forgiveness, per- 
fected union are uttered in the Sonnets. When Shakspere 
began to write, his friend had the untried innocence of boy- 
hood and an unspotted fame; afterwards came the offence 

* The quarto of 1609, though not carelessly printed, is far less accu- 
rate than Venus and Adonis. 


and the dishonour. And the loving heart practised upon it- 
self the piteous frauds of wounded affection : now it can 
credit no evil of the beloved, now it must believe the worst. 
While the world knows nothing but praise for one so dear, a. 
private injury goes deep into the soul ; when the world as- 
sails his reputation, straightway loyalty revives, and even puts 
a strain upon itself to hide each imperfection from view. 

A painstaking student of the Sonnets, Henry Brown, was 
of opinion that Shakspere intended in these poems to satirize 
the sonnet-writers of his time, and in particular his contem- 
poraries, Drayton and John Davies of Hereford. Professor 
Minto, while accepting the series (1-126) as of serious import, 
regards the sonnets addressed to a woman (127-152) as 
" exercises of skill undertaken in a spirit of wanton defiance 
and derision of commonplace." Certainly, if Shakspere is a 
satirist in i to 126, his irony is deep ; the malicious smile was 
not noticed during two centuries and a half. The poems 
are in the taste of the time; less extravagant and less full 
of conceits than many other Elizabethan collections, more 
distinguished by exquisite imagination, and all that betokens 
genuine feeling; they are, as far as manner goes, such son- 
nets as Daniel might have chosen to write if he had had the 
imagination and the heart of Shakspere. All that is quaint 
or contorted or " conceited " in them can be paralleled from 
passages of early plays of Shakspere, such as Romeo and 
Juliet, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, where assuredly no 
satirical intention is discoverable. In the sonnets 127 to 154 
Shakspere addresses a woman to whom it is impossible to 
pay the conventional homage of sonneteers ; he cannot tell 
her that her cheeks are lilies and roses, her breast is of snow, 
her heart is chaste and cold as ice. Yet he loves her, and 
will give her tribute of verse. He praises her precisely as a 
woman who, without beauty, is clever and charming, and a 
coquette, would choose to be praised. True, she owns no 
commonplace attractions ; she is no pink and white goddess ; 


all her imperfections he sees ; yet she can fascinate by some 
nameless spell; she can turn the heart hot or cold ; if she is 
not beautiful, it is because something more rare and fine 
takes the place of beauty. She angers her lover; he de- 
clares to her face that she is odious, and at the same mo- 
ment he is at her feet. 

A writer whose distinction it is to have produced the 
largest book upon the Sonnets, Mr. Gerald Massey, holds 
that he has rescued Shakspere's memory from shame by the 
discovery of a secret history, legible in these poems to rightly 
illuminated eyes.* In 1592, according to this theory, Shak- 
spere began to address pieces in sonnet-form to his patron 
Southampton. Presently the earl engaged the poet to write 
love sonnets on his behalf to Elizabeth Vernon ; assuming 
also the feelings of Elizabeth Vernon, Shakspere wrote dra- 
matic sonnets, as if in her person, to the earl. The table- 
book containing Shakspere's autograph sonnets was given 
by Southampton to Pembroke, and at Pembroke's request 
was written the dark-woman series ; for Pembroke, although 
authentic history knows nothing of the facts, was enamoured 
of Sidney's Stella, now w,ell advanced in years, the unhappy 
Lady Rich. A few of the sonnets which pass for Shakspere's 
are really by Herbert, and he, the " Mr. W. H." of Thorpe's 
dedication, is the " only begetter," that is, procurer of these 
pieces for the publisher. The Sonnets require re-arrange- 
ment, and are grouped in an order of his own by Mr. Massey. 

Mr. Massey writes with zeal ; with a faith in his own 
opinions which finds scepticism hard to explain except on 
some theory of intellectual or moral obliquity; and he ex- 
hibits a wide, miscellaneous reading. The one thing Mr. 
Massey's elaborate theory seems to me to lack is some evi- 
dence in its support. His arguments may well remain un- 
answered. One hardly knows how to tug at the other end 
of a rope of sand. 

* The first hint of this theory was given by Mrs. Jameson. 


With Wordsworth, Sir Henry Taylor, and Mr. Swinburne, 
with Francois-Victor Hugo, with Kreyssig, Ulrici, Gervinus, 
and Hermann Isaac,* with Boaden, Armitage Brown, and 
Hallam, with Furnivall, Spalding, Rossetti, and Palgrave/I 
believe that Shakspere's Sonnets express his own feelings in 
his own person. / To whom they were addressed is unknown. 
W T e shall never discover the name of that woman who for a 
season could sound, as no one else, the instrument in Shak- 
spere's heart from the lowest note to the top of the compass. 
To the eyes of no diver among the wrecks of time will that 
curious talisman gleam. Already, when Thorpe dedicated 
these poems to their "only begetter," she perhaps was lost 
in the quick-moving life of London, to all but a few, in whose 
memory were stirred, as by a forlorn, small wind, the grey 
ashes of a fire gone out. As to the name of Shakspere's 
youthful friend and patron, we conjecture on slender evi- 
dence at the best. Setting claimants aside on whose behalf 
the evidence is absolutely none, except that their Christian 
name and surname begin with a W and an H, two remain 
whose pretensions have been supported by accomplished 
advocates. Drake (1817), a learned and refined writer, was 
the first to suggest that the friend addressed in Shakspere's 
Sonnets was Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, to 
whom Venus and Adonis was dedicated in 1593, and in the 
following year Lucrece, in words of strong devotion resem- 
bling those of the twenty-sixth sonnet.t B. Hey wood Bright 
(1819), and James Boaden (1832), independently arrived at 
the conclusion that the Mr. W. H. of the dedication, the 
" begetter *' or inspirer of the Sonnets, was William Herbert, 

* A learned and thoughtful student of the Sonnets. See his articles 
in Archiv fur das Stndinm der Neueren Sprachen und Literaturen, 1878- 


t Drake did not, as is sometimes stated, suppose that Mr. W. H. was 
Southampton. He took " begetter " to mean obtainer ; and left Mr. W. 
H. unidentified. Others hold that " W. H." are the initials of Southamp- 
ton's names reversed, as a blind to the public*. 


Earl of Pembroke, to whom, with his brother, as two well- 
known patrons of the great dramatist, his fellows Heminge 
and Condell dedicated the First Folio. Wriothesley was 
born in 1573, nine years after Shakspere; Herbert in 1580. 
Wriothesley at an early age became the lover of Elizabeth 
Vernon, needing therefore' no entreaties to marry (1-17); 
he was not beautiful ; he bore no resemblance to his mother 
(3. 9) ; his life was active, with varying fortunes, to which 
allusions might be looked for in the Sonnets, such as may 
be found in the verses of his other poet, Daniel. Further, i 
it appears from the punning sonnets (135 and 143), that the | 
Christian name of Shakspere's friend was the same as his 
own, Will, but Wriothesley's name was Henry. To Her- 
bert the punning sonnets and the "Mr. W. H." of the dedi- 
cation can be made to apply. He was indeed a nobleman 
in 1609, but a nobleman might be styled Mr. ; " Lord Buck- 
hurst is entered as M. Sackville in England V Parnassus " 
(Minto) ; or the Mr. may have been meant to disguise the 
truth. Herbert was beautiful ; was like his illustrious 
mother; was brilliant, accomplished, licentious; "the most 
universally beloved and esteemed," says Clarendon, "of any 
man of his age." Like Southampton, he was a patron of 
poets, and he loved the theatre. In 1599 attempts were 
unsuccessfully made to induce him to become a suitor for 
the hand of the Lord Admiral's daughter. So far the bal- 
ance leans towards Herbert. But his father lived until 1601 
(see 13 and Notes) ; Southampton's father died while his 
son was a boy; and the date of Herbert's birth (1580), 
taken in connection with Meres's mention of sonnets, and 
the "Two loves" of the Passionate Pilgrim sonnet (1599), 
144, may well cause a doubt. 

A clue, which promises to lead us to clearness, and then 
deceives us into deeper twilight, is the characterization (78- 
86) of a rival poet who for a time supplanted Shakspere in 
his patron's regard. This rival, the "better spirit" of 8o f 


was learned (78) ; dedicated a book to Shakspere's patron 
(82); celebrated his beauty and knowledge (82); in 
" hymns" (85) ; was remarkable for "the full proud sail of 
his great verse" (86,80); was taught "by spirits" to write 
" above a mortal pitch," was nightly visited by " an affable 
familiar ghost " who " gulled him with intelligence " (86). 
Here are allusions and characteristics which ought to lead 
to identification. Yet in the end we are forced to confess 
that the poet remains as dim a figure as the patron. 

Is it Spenser? He was learned, but what ghost was that 
which gulled him? Is it Marlowe? His verse was proud 
and full, and the creator of Faustus may well have had deal- 
ings with his own Mephistophelis, but Marlowe died in May, 
1593, the year of VeJius and Adonis. Is it Dray ton, or Nash, 
or John Davies of Hereford? Persons in search of an in- 
geniously improbable opinion may choose any one of these. 
Is it Daniel? Daniel's reputation stood high; he was re- 
garded as a master by Shakspere in his early poems ; he 
was brought up at Wilton, the seat of the Pembrokes, and in 
1 60 1 he inscribed his Defence of Ryme to William Herbert, 
the Pembroke family favoured astrologers, and the ghost that 
gulled Daniel may have been the same that gulled Allen, 
Sanclford, and Dr. Dee, and through them gulled Herbert. 
Here is at least a clever guess, and Boaden is again the 
guesser. But Professor Minto makes a guess even more 
fortunate. No Elizabethan poet wrote ampler verse, none 
scorned " ignorance " more, or more haughtily asserted his 
learning than Chapman. In The Tears of Peace (1609), 
Homer as a spirit visits and inspires, him ; the claim to such 
inspiration may have been often made by the translator of 
Homer in earlier years. Chapman was pre-eminently the 
poet of Night. The Shadow of Night, with the motto " Ver- 
sus mei habebunt aliquantum Noctis," appeared in 1594 ; 
the title-page describes it as containing " two poetical! 
Hymnes" In the dedication Chapman assails unlearned 


"passion-driven men," "hide-bound with affection to great 
men's fancies," and ridicules the alleged eternity of their 
"idolatrous platts for riches." "Now what a supereroga- 
tion in wit this is, to think Skill so mightily pierced with 
their loves, that she should prostitutely show them her 
secrets, when she will scarcely be looked upon by others, 
but with invocation, fasting, watching; yea, not without hav- 
ing drops of their souls like a heavenly familiar " Of Chap- 
man's Homer a part appeared in 1596; dedicatory sonnets 
in a later edition are addressed to both Southampton and 

Mr. W. II., the only begetter of the Sonnets, remains un- 
known. Even the meaning of the word "begetter" is in 
dispute. " I have some cousin-germans at court," writes 
Decker in Satiromastix, " shall beget you the reversion of the 
master of the king's revels," where beget evidently means 
procure. Was the " begetter " of the Sonnets, then, the per- 
son who procured them for Thorpe ? I cannot think so ; 
there is special point in the choice of the word "begetter," 
if the dedication be addressed to the person who inspired 
the poems and for whom they were written. Eternity through 
offspring is what Shakspere most desires for his friend ; if he 
will not beget a child, then he is promised eternity in verse 
by his poet in verse "whose influence is thine, and born 
of thee" (78). Thus was Mr. W. H. the begetter of these 
poems, and from the point of view of a complimentary ded- 
ication he might well be termed the only begetter. 

I have no space to consider suggestions which seem to 
me of little weightthat W. H. is a misprint for W. S., 
meaning William Shakspere; that "W. H. all" should be 
read "W. Hall;" that a full stop should be placed after 
"wisheth," making Mr. W. H., perhaps William Herbert or 
William Hathaway, the wisher of happiness to Southamp- 
ton, the only begetter (Ph. Chasles and Bolton Conu>y); 
nor do I think we need argue for or against the supposition 


of a painful German commentator (Barnstorff), that Mr. W. 
H. is none other than Mr. William Himself. When Thorpe 
uses the words " the adventurer in setting forth," perhaps 
he meant to compare himself to one of the young volun- 
teers in the days of Elizabeth and James, who embarked on 
naval enterprises, hoping to make their fortunes by discov- 
ery or conquest ; so he with good wishes took his risk on 
the sea of public favour in this light venture of the Son- 
nets. 1 * 

The date at which the Sonnets were written, like their ori- 
gin, is uncertain. In Willobie* s Avisa, 1594, in commen- 
datory verse prefixed to which occurs the earliest printed 
mention of Shakspere by name, H. W. (Henry Willobie), pin- 
ing with love for Avisa, bewrays his disease to his familiar 
friend W. S., " who not long before had tried the curtesy of 
the like passion, and was now newly recovered of the like 
infection." W. S. encourages his friend in a passion which 
he knows must be hopeless, intending to view this "loving 
Comedy " from far off, in order to learn " whether it would 
sort to a happier end for this new actor than it did for the 
old player." From Canto 44 to 48 of Avisa, W. S. addresses 
H. W. on his love-affair, and H. W. replies. It is remarka- 
ble that Canto 47 in form and substance bears resemblance 
to the stanzas in The Passionate Pilgrim beginning " Whenas 
thine eye hath chose the dame." Assuming that W. S. is 
William Shakespeare, we learn that he had loved unwisely, 
been laughed at, and recovered from the infection of his 
passion before the end of 1594. It seemed impossible to 
pass by a poem which has been described as " the one con- 
temporary book which has ever been supposed to throw any 
direct or indirect light on the mystic matter" of the Son- 
nets. But although the reference to W. S., his passion for 
Avisa fair and chaste, and his recovery, be matter of interest 
to inquirers after Shakspere's life, Willobie 's Avisa seems to 
* See Dr. Grosart's Donne, vol. ii. pp. 45, 46. 


me to have no point of connection with the Sonnets of Shak- 
spere.* . . . 

Various attempts have been made by English, French, 
and German students to place the Sonnets in a new and 
better order, of which attempts no two agree between them- 
selves. That the Sonnets are not printed in the quarto, 
1609, at haphazard, is evident from the fact that the Envoy, 
126, is rightly placed; that poems addressed to a mistress 
follow those addressed to a friend ; and that the two Cupid 
and Dian sonnets stand together at the close. A nearer 
view makes it apparent that in the first series (1-126) a con- 
tinuous story is conducted through various stages to its ter- 
mination ; a more minute inspection discovers points of 
contact or connection between sonnet and sonnet, and a 
natural sequence of thought, passion, and imagery. We are 
in the end convinced that no arrangement which has been 
proposed is as good as that of the quarto. But the force 
of this remark seems to me to apply with certainty only to 
Sonnets 1-126. The second series (127-154), although some 
of its pieces are evidently connected with those which stand 
near them, does not exhibit a like intelligible sequence : a 
better arrangement may, perhaps, be found ; or, it may be, 
no possible arrangement can educe order out of the strug- 
gles between will and judgment, between blood and reason ; 
tumult and chaos are, perhaps, a portion of their life and 

A piece of evidence confirming the opinion here advanced 
will be found in the use of thou and you by Shakspere as a 
mode of address to his friend. Why thou or you is chosen, 
is not always explicable ; sometimes the choice seems to be 
determined by considerations of euphony ; sometimes of 

* The force of the allusion to tragedy and comedy is weakened by the 
fact that we find in Alcilia (1595) the course of love spoken of as a tragi- 
comedy, where no reference to a real actor on the stage is intended ; 
"Sic incipit stultorum Tragicomoedia." 


rhyme; sometimes intimate affection seems to indicate the 
use of you, and respectful homage that of thou ; but this is 
by no means invariable. What I would call attention to, 
however, as exhibiting something like order and progress in 
the arrangement of 1609, is this: that in the first fifty son- 
nets, you is of extremely rare occurrence, in the second fifty 
you and thou alternate in little groups of sonnets, thou hav- 
ing still a preponderance, but now only a slight preponder- 
ance ; in the remaining twenty-six, you becomes the ordinary 
mode of address, and thou the exception. In the sonnets to 
a mistress, thou is invariably employed. A few sonnets of the 
first series, as 63-68, have " my love," and the third person 

Whether idealizin-g reality or wholly fanciful, an Eliza- 
bethan book of sonnets was not always, but in many in- 
stances made up of a chain or series of poems, in a de- 
signed or natural sequence, viewing in various aspects a 
single theme, or carrying on a love-story to its issue, pros- 
perous or the reverse. Sometimes advance is made through 
the need of discovering new points of view, and the move- 
ment, always delayed, is rather in a circuit than straight for- 
ward. In Spenser's Amoretti we read the progress of love 
from humility through hope to conquest. In Astrophel and 

* I cannot here present detailed statistics. 1 'J'hou and you are to be 
considered only when addressing friend or lover, not Time, the Muse, 
etc. Five sets of sonnets may then be distinguished : I. Using tJion. 
2. Using you. 3. Using neither, but belonging to a thon group. 4. Using 
neither, but belonging to a you group. 5. Using both (24). I had hoped 
that this investigation was left to form one of my gleanings. But Pro- 
fessor Goedeke, in the Deutsche Ruudschau, March, 1877, looked into the 
matter ; his results seem to me vitiated by an arbitrary division of the 
sonnets using neither tJiou nor you into groups of eleven and twelve, and 
by a fantastic theory that Shakspere wrote his sonnets in books or groups 
of fourteen each. 

1 In his larger ed. . published later, Dowden adds a tabular classification of the Son' 
nets under the five heads mentioned Ed. 


Stella, we read the story of passion struggling with untoward 
fate, yet at last mastered by the resolve to do high deeds: 

" Sweet ! for a while give respite to my heart 
Which pants as though it still would leap to thee ; 
And on my thoughts give thy Lieutenancy 
To this great Cause." 

In Parthenophil and Parthenophe the story is of a new love 
supplanting an old, of hot and cold fevers, of despair, and, 
as last effort of the desperate lover, of an imagined attempt 
to subdue the affections of his cruel lady by magic art. But 
in reading Sidney, Spenser, Barnes, and still more, Watson, 
Constable, Drayton, and others, although a large element of 
the art-poetry of the Renascence is common to them and 
Shakspere, the student of Shakspere's Sonnets does not feel 
at home. It is when we open Daniel's Delia that we recog- 
nize close kinship. The manner is the same, though the 
master proves himself of tardier imagination and less ardent 
temper. Diction, imagery, rhymes, and, in sonnets of like 
form, versification, distinctly resemble those of Shakspere. 
Malone was surely right when he recognized in Daniel the 
master of Shakspere as a writer of sonnets a master quickly 
excelled by his pupil. And it is in Daniel that we find son- 
net starting from sonnet almost in Shakspere's manner, only 
that Daniel often links poem with poem in more formal wise, 
the last or the penultimate line of one poem supplying the 
first line of that which immediately follows. 

Let us attempt to trace briefly the sequence of incidents 
and feelings in the Sonnets 1-126. A young man, beautiful, 
brilliant, and accomplished, is the heir of a great house ; he 
is exposed to temptations of youth, and wealth, and rank. 
Possibly his mother desires to see him married ; certainly it 
is the desire of his friend. "I should be glad if you were 
caught," writes Languet to Philip Sidney, " that so you might 
give to your country sons like yourself." " If you marry a 
wife, and if you beget children like yourself, you will be do 


ing better service to your country than if you were to cut the 
throats of a thousand Spaniards and Frenchmen." " ' Sir,' 
said Crcesus to Cambyses," Languet writes to Sidney, now 
aged twenty-four, " ' I consider your father must be held your 
better, because he was the father of an admirable prince, 
whereas you have as yet no son like yourself.' " It is in 
the manner of Sidney's own Cecropia that Shakspere urges 
marriage upon his friend.* " Nature when you were first 
born, vowed you a woman, and as she made you child of a 
mother, so*to do your best to be mother of a child " (Sonnet 
13. 14); "she gave you beauty to move love; she gave you 
wit to know love; she gave you an excellent body to reward 
love ; which kind of liberal rewarding is crowned with an 
unspeakable felicity. For this as it bindeth the receiver, so 
it makes happy the bestower ; this doth not impoverish, but 
enrich the giver (6. 6). O the comfort of comforts, to see 
your children grow up, in whom you are as it were eter- 
nized ! . . . Have you seen a pure Rose-water kept in a crys- 
tal glass, how fine it looks, how sweet it smells, while that 
beautiful glass imprisons it ! Break the prison and let the 
water take his own course, doth it not embrace the dust, ancl 
lose all his former sweetness and fairness ; truly so are we, 
if we have not the stay, rather than the restraint of Crystal- 
line marriage (5) ; . . . And is a solitary life as good as this? 
then can one string make as good music as a consort (8)." 

In like manner Shakspere urges the youth to perpetuate 
his beauty in offspring (117).! But if Will refuses, then 
his poet will make war against Time and Decay, and confer 
immortality upon his beloved one by Verse (15-19). Will 
is the pattern and exemplar of human beauty (19), so unit- 
ing in himself the perfections of man and woman (20) ; this 

* Arcadia, lib. iii. Noticed by Mr. Massey in his Shakes pear e^s Son- 
nets and his Private Friends, pp. 36, 37. 

t In what follows, to avoid the confusion of he and him t we call Shak- 
spere's friend, as he is called in 135, Will. 


is no extravagant praise, but simple truth (21). And such a 
being has exchanged love with Shakspere (22), who must 
needs be silent with excess of passion (23), cherishing in 
his heart the image of his friend's beauty (24), but holding 
still more dear the love from which no unkind fortune can 
ever separate him (25). Here affairs of his own compel 
Shakspere to a journey which removes him from Will (26, 
27). Sleepless at night, and toiling by day, he thinks of the 
absent one (27, 28); grieving for his own poor estate (29), 
and the death of friends, but finding in the one beloved 
^amends for all (30, 31); and so Shakspere commends to 
his friend his poor verses as a token of affection which may 
survive if he himself should die (32). At this point the 
mood changes in his absence his friend has been false to 
friendship (33) ; now, indeed, Will would let the sunshine 
of his favour beam out again, but that will not cure the dis- 
grace ; tears and penitence are fitter (34) ; and for sake of 
such tears Will shall be forgiven (35), but henceforth their 
lives must run apart (36) ; Shakspere, separated from Will, 
can look on and rejoice in his friend's happiness and honour 
(37), singing his praise in verse (38), which he could not do 
if they were so united that to praise his frie.nd were self- 
praise (39) ; separated they must be, and even their loves 
be no longer one ; Shakspere can now give his love, even 
her he loved, to the gentle thief; wronged though he is, he 
will still hold Will dear (40) ; what is he but a boy whom'a 
woman has beguiled (41)? and for both, for friend and mis- 
tress, in the midst of his pain, he will try to feign excuses 
(42). Here there seems to be a gap of time. The Sonnets 
begin again in absence, and some students have called this, 
perhaps rightly, the Second Absence (43 fol.). His friend 
continues as dear as ever, but confidence is shaken, and a 
deep distrust begins to grow (48). What right indeed has 
a poor player to claim constancy and love (49) ? He is on 
a journey which removes him from Will (50, 51). His 


friend perhaps professes unshaken loyalty, for Shakspere 
now takes heart, and praises Will's truth (53, 54) takes 
heart, and believes that his own verse will forever keep 
that truth in mind. He will endure the pain of absence, 
and have no jealous thoughts (57, 58) ; striving to honour 
his friend in song better than ever man was honoured be- 
fore (59) ; in song which shall outlast the revolutions of 
time (60). Still he cannot quite get rid of jealous fears 
(61) ; and yet, what right has one so worn by years and 
care to claim all a young man's love (62) ? Will, too, in his 
turn must fade, but his beauty will survive in verse (63). 
Alas! to think that death will take away the beloved one 
(64) ; nothing but verse can defeat time and decay (65). 
For his own part Shakspere would willingly die, were it not 
that, dying, he would leave his friend alone in an evil world 
(66). Why should one so beautiful live to grace this ill 
world (67) except as a survival of the genuine beauty of the 
good old times (68) ; yet beautiful as he is, he is blamed, 
for careless living (69), but surely this must be slander (70). 
Shakspere here returns to the thought of his own death : 
hen I leave this vile world, he says, let me be forgotten 
(71, 72) ; and my death is not very far off (73) ; but when 
I die my spirit still lives in my verse (74). A new group 
seems to begin with 75. Shakspere loves his friend as a 
miser loves his gold, fearing it may be stolen (fearing a rival 
poet?). His verse is monotonous and old-fashioned (not 
like the rival's verse?) (76); so he sends Will his manu- 
script book unfilled, which Will may fill, if he please, with 
verse of his own ; Shakspere chooses to sing no more of 
Beauty and of Time ; Will's glass and dial may inform him 
henceforth on these topics (77). The rival poet has now 
won the first place in Will's esteem (78-86). Shakspere 
must bid his friend farewell (87). If Will should scorn him, 
Shakspere will side against himself (88, 89). But if his 
friend is ever to hate him, let it be at -once, that the bitter- 


ness of death may soon be past (90). He has dared to say 
farewell, yet his friend's love is all the world to Shakspere, 
and the fear of losing him is misery (91); but he cannot 
really lose his friend, for death would come quickly to save 
him from such grief; and yet Will may be false and Shak- 
spere never know it (92) ; so his friend, fair in seeming, 
false within, would be like Eve's apple (93) ; it is to such 
self-contained, passionless persons that nature intrusts her 
rarest gifts of grace and beauty yet vicious self-indulgence 
will spoil the fairest human soul (94). So let Will beware 
of his youthful vices, already whispered by the lips of men 
(95) ; true, he makes graces out of faults, yet this should be 
kept within bounds (96). Here again, perhaps, is a gap of 
time.* Sonnets 97-99 are written in absence, which some 
students, perhaps rightly, call Third Absence. These three 
sonnets are full of tender affection, but at the close of 99 
allusion is made to Will's vices, the canker in the rose. After 
this followed a period of silence. In 100 love begins to re- 
new itself, and song awakes. Shakspere excuses his silence 
(101) ; his love has grown while he was silent (102); his 
friend's loveliness is better than all song (103) ; three years 
have passed since first acquaintance ; Will looks as young 
as ever, yet time must insensibly be altering his beauty (104). 
Shakspere sings with a monotony of love (105). All former 
singers praising knights and ladies only prophesied concern- 
ing Will (106) ; grief and fear are past ; the two friends are 
reconciled again ; and both live forever united in Shak- 
spere's verse (107). Love has conquered time and age, 
which destroy mere beauty of face (108). Shakspere con- 
fesses his errors, but now he has returned to his home of 

* The last two lines of 96 not very appropriate, I think, in that sonnet 
are identical with the last two lines of 36. It occurs to me as a possi- 
bility that the MS. in Thorpe's hands may here have been imperfect, and 
that he filled it up so far as to complete 96 with a couplet from an earlier 



love (109), he will never wander again (no) ; and his past 
faults were partly caused by his temptations as a player (i 1 1) ; 
he cares for no blame and no praise now except those of his 
friend (112). Once more he is absent from his friend (Fourth 
Absence ?), but full of loving thought of him (113,1 14). Love 
has grown and will grow yet more (115). Love is uncon- 
querable by Time (IT 6). Shakspere confesses again his 
wanderings from his friend ; they were tests of Will's con- 
stancy (117); and they quickened his own appetite for gen- 
uine love (118). Ruined love rebuilt is stronger than at first 
(i 19) ; there were wrongs on both sides and must now be mut- 
ual forgiveness (120). Shakspere is not to be judged by the 
report of malicious censors (121); he has given away his 
friend's present of a table-book, because he needed no re- 
membrancer (122); records and registers of time are false; 
only a lover's memory is to be wholly trusted, recognizing 
old things in what seem new (123) ; Shakspere's love is not 
based on self-interest, and therefore is uninfluenced by fort- 
une (124) ; nor is it founded on external beauty of form or 
face, but is simple love for love's sake (125). Will is still 
young and fair, yet he should remember that the end must 
come at last (126). 

Thus the series of poems addressed to his friend closes 
gravely with thoughts of love and death. The Sonnets may 
be divided at pleasure into many smaller groups, but I find 
it possible to go on without interruption from i to 32; from 
33 to 42 ; from 43 to 74; from 75 to 96; from 97 to 99; from 
ioo to 126.* 

I do not here attempt to trace a continuous sequence in 
the sonnets addressed to th'e dark-haired woman, 127-154; 
I doubt whether such continuous sequence is to be found in 

* Perhaps there is a break at 58. The most careful studies of the se- 
quence of the Sonnets are Mr. FurnivalPs, in his preface to the Leopold 
Shakspere > and Mr. Spa! ding's, in The Gentleman 's Magazine, March, 


them ; but in the Notes some points of connection between 
sonnet and sonnet are pointed out. 

If Shakspere " unlocked his heart " in these Sonnets, what 
do we learn from them of that great heart ? I cannot answer 
otherwise than in words of my own formerly written. " In 
the Sonnets we recognize three things: that Shakspere was 
capable of measureless personal devotion ; that he was ten- 
derly sensitive, sensitive above all to every diminution or 
alteration of that love his heart so eagerly craved ; and that, 
when wronged, although he suffered anguish, he transcended 
his private injury, and learned to forgive. . . . The errors of 
his heart originated in his sensitiveness, in his imagination 
(not at first inured to the hardness of fidelity to the fact), in 
his quick consciousness of existence, and in the self-abandon- 
ing devotion of his heart. There are some noble lines by' 
Chapman, in which he pictures to himself the life of great 
energy, enthusiasms, and passions, which forever stands upon 
the edge of utmost danger, and yet forever remains in abso- 
lute security : 

'Give me a spirit that on this life's rough sea 
Loves to have his sails fill'd with a lusty wind 
Even till his sail-yards tremble, his masts crack, 
And his rapt ship runs on her side so low 
That she drinks water, and her keel ploughs air ; 
There is no danger to a man that knows 
What life and death is, there's not any law 
Exceeds his knowledge ; neither is it lawful 
That he should stoop to any other law.' 

" Such a master-spirit, pressing forward under strained can- 
vas, was Shakspere. If the ship dipped and drank water, 
she rose again ; and at length we behold her within view of 
her haven, sailing under a large, calm wind, not without to- 
kens of stress of weather, but if battered, yet unbroken by 
the waves." The last plays of Shakspere, The Tempest, Cym- 
beline, Winter's Tale, Henry VIIL, illuminate the Sonnets and 
justify the moral genius of their writer. 


[From Mr. F. J. Furnivairs Comments on the Sonnets*] 

The great question is, do Shakspere's Sonnets speak his 
own heart and thoughts or not? And were it not for the 
fact that many critics really deserving the name of Shak- 
spere students, and not Shakspere fools, have held the Son- 
nets to be merely dramatic, I could not have conceived that 
poems so intensely and evidently autobiographic and self- 
revealing, poems so one with the spirit and inner meaning 
of Shakspere's growth and life, could ever have been con- 
ceived to be other than what they are, the records of his own 
loves and fears. And I believe that if the acceptance of 
them as such had not involved the consequence of Shak- 
spere's intrigue with a married woman, all readers would 
have taken the Sonnets as speaking of Shakspere's own life. 
But his admirers are so anxious to remove every stain from 
him that they contend for a non-natural interpretation of his 
poems. . . . They forget Shakspere's impulsive nature, and 
his long absence from his home. They will not face the 
probabilities of the case, or recollect that David was still 
God's friend though Bathsheba lived. The Sonnets are, in 
one sense, Shakspere's Psalms. Spiritual struggles underlie 
both poets' work. For myself, I 'd accept any number of 
"slips in sensual mire" on Shakspere's part, to have the 
"bursts of (loving) heart" given us in the Sonnets. 

The true motto for the first group of Shakspere's Sonnets 
is to be seen in David's words, " I am distressed for thee, 
my brother Jonathan ; very pleasant hast thou been unto me. 
Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of woman." 
We have had them reproduced for us Victorians, without 
their stain of sin and shame, in Mr. Tennyson's In Memo- 
riam. We have had them again to some extent in Mrs. 
Browning's glorious Sonnets to her husband, with their iter- 
ance, " Say over again, and yet once over again, that thou 

* The Leopold Shakspere (London, 1877), p. Ixiii. fol. 


dost love me." We may look upon the Sonnets as a piece 
of music, or as Shakspere's pathetic sonata, each melody in- 
troduced, dropped again, brought in again with variations, but 
one full strain of undying love and friendship through the 
whole. Why could Shakspere say so beautifully for Antonio 
of The Merchant, "All debts are cleared between you and I, 
if I might but see you at my death : notwithstanding, use 
your pleasure " ? Why did he make Antonio of Twelfth-Night 
say, "A witchcraft drew me hither"? Why did he make 
Viola declare 

" And I most jocund, apt, and willingly, 
To do you rest, a thousand deaths would die " ? 

Why did he paint Helena alone ; saying 

" 'T was pretty though a plague 
To see him every hour ; to sit and draw 
His arched brows, his hawking eyes, his curls, 
In our heart's table, heart too capable 
Of every line and trick of his sweet favour ! 
But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy 
Must sanctify his relics " ? 

Because he himself was Helena, Antonio. A witchcraft 
drew him to a " boy," a youth to whom he gave his 

" Love without pretension or restraint, 
All his in dedication." 

Shakspere towards him was as Viola towards the Duke. He 


" After him I love more than I love these eyes, 
More than my life." 

In the Sonnets we have the gentle Will, the melancholy mild- 
eyed man, of the Droeshout portrait. Shakspere's tender, 
sensitive, refined nature is seen clearly here, but through a 
glass darkly in the plays. 

I have no space to dwell on the sections into which I 
separate the Sonnets, and which follow in the table below. 
I will only call special attention to sections 9 and n/3 (Nos. 


71-74,87-93), in which Shakspere's love to his friend is so 
beautifully set forth, and to section 13 (Nos. 97-99), in which 
Will's flower-like beauty is dwelt on, as Shakspere's love for 
him in absence recalled it. Let those who want to realize 
the difference between one kind of friendship and another, 
contrast these Sonnets of Shakspere's with Bacon's celebrat- 
ed Essay on Friendship. On this point I quote the first 
page of a paper sent in to me at my Bedford Lectures : 

"There are some men who love for the sake of what love 
yields, and of these was Lord Bacon ; and there are some 
who love for ' love's sake,' and loving once, love always ; and 
of these was Shakspere. These do not lightly. give their 
love, but once given, their faith is incorporate with their be- 
ing; and having become part of themselves, to part with that 
part would be to be dismembered. Therefore if change or 
sin corrupt the engrafted limb, the only effect is that the 
whole body is shaken with anguish, 

* And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief 
To bear love's wrongs, than hate's known injury.' Sonn. 40. 

The offending member may be nursed into health, or loved 
into life again ; but forsaken ! never ! 

' Love is not love, 

Which alters when it alteration finds, 
Or bends with the remover to remove." Sonn. 116. 

These are not the men who reap outer advantage from their 
friendship; they generally give rather than take; they are 
often the victims of circumstance, and the scapegoats for 
their friends' offences; still, they reap the benefit which in- 
ward growth produces ; the glorious leaven of self-abnegat- 
ing love within them impregnates their whole being; they 
move simply and naturally among us, but we feel that they 
stand on a higher level than we that they see with ' larger, 
other eyes than ours,' and we yield them homage, and feel 
better for having known them." M. J. 


The thoughtless objection that many Sonnets in this group 
confuse the sex of the person they 're addressed to, is so plain- 
ly answered by Shakspere himself in Sonnet 20, on the master- 
mistress of his passion, that one can only wonder although 
a Shakspere student is bound to wonder at nothing in his 
commentators that the objection was ever taken. 


Section I. Sonnets 1-26. a. 1-17. Will's beauty, and his duty to marry 

and beget a son. 
j8. 18-26. Will's beauty, and Shakspere's love 

for him. 
" 2. " 27-32. First Absence. Shakespere travelling, and away 

from Will. 

" j. " 33-35. Will's sensual fault blamed, repented, and for- 

" 4. " 36-39. Shakspere has committed a fault that will sep- 
arate him from Will. 
*' 5. " 40-42. Will has taken away Shakspere's mistress. 

(See Group 2, 6, Sonnets 133-136.) 

" 6. " 43-61. 0.43-56. Second Absence. Will absent. Shak- 
spere has a portrait of him. 
(3. 57-58. The sovereign: slave watching: so 

made by God. 
y. 59-60. Will's beauty. 
d. 61. Waking and watching. Shakspere 

has rivals. 

* 7. " 62-65. Shakspere full of self-love, conquered by Time, 
which will conquer Will too : yet Shakspere 
will secure him eternity. 

" 8. " 66-70. Shakspere (like Hamlet) tired of the world : 
but not only on public grounds. Will has 
mixed with bad company ; but Shakspere is 
sure he is pure, and excuses him. 

" 9. " 71-74. Shakspere on his own death, and his entire love 
for his friend. (Compare the death-thoughts 
in Hamlet and Measure for Measure*} 

* I do not think that " The coward conquest of a wretch's knife," 74, 
11, alludes to an attempt to stab Shakspere. I believe it is the "con-- 
founding age's cruel knife" of 63. 10. 


Section 10. Sonnets 75-77. Shakspere's love, and always writing on one 

theme, his Will ; with the present of a 

table-book, dial, and pocket looking-glass 

combined in one. 

" ii. " 78-93. a. 78-86. ShakspereonhisrivalsinWill'slove. 

(G. Chapman, the rival poet.*) 
(3. 87-93. Shakspere's farewell to Will : most 
beautiful in the self-forgetful ness 
of Shakspere's love. 
" 12. " 94-96. Will vicious. 

" 13. " 97-99. Third Absence. Will's flower-like beauty, 
and Shakspere's love for him ; followed by 
faults on both sides, and a separation, t 
ended by Will's desire, 120. u. 

* "The proud full sail of his great verse " (86. i) probably alludes to the 
swelling hexameters of Chapman's englishing of Homer. "His spirit, 
by spirits taught to write," may well refer to Chapman's claim that 
Homer's spirit inspired him, a claim made, no doubt, in words, before its 
appearance in print in his Tears of Peace, 1609, Inductio, p. 112, col. i., 
Chatto and Windus ed. 

" I am, said he [Homer], that spirit Elysian, 

That did thy bosom fill 

With such a flood of soul, that thou wert fain, 
With exclamations of her rapture then, 
To vent it to the echoes of the vale . . . 

and thou didst inherit 

My true sense, for the time then, in my spirit ; 
And I invisibly went prompting thee" . . . 

See, too, on Shakspere's sneer at his rival's " affable familiar ghost, which 
nightly gulls him with intelligence," Chapman's Dedication to his Shadow 
of Night (1594), p. 3, "not without having drops of their souls like an 
awaked familiar" and in his Tears of Peace ', p. 123, col. 2 : 

" Still being persuaded by the shameless night, 
That all my reading, writing, all my pains, 
Are serious trifles, and the idle veins 
Of an unthrifty angel that deludes 
My simple fancy" .... 

These make a better case for Chapman being the rival than has been 
made for any one else. (Mr. Harold Littledale gave me some of these 

t Happily not ending like that of Sir Leoline and Lord Roland de Vaux, 
in Coleridge. 


Section 14. Sonnets 100-121. a. 100-112. Renewing of love, three years 

after the first Sonnets (104). 
Shakspere's love stronger 
now in its summer thanit was 
in its spring, 102. 5 ; 1 19. 10- 
12.* Note the "hell of time" 
( 1 20. 6) that Will's unkindness 
has made Shakspere pass.t 
j3. 113-114. Fourth Absence. Shakspere 

sees Will in all nature. 
y. 115-121. Shakspere describes his love for 

Will, and justifies himself. 

" 15. " 122-126. Shakspere excuses himself for giving away 
Will's present of some tables, again de- 
scribes his love for Will, and warns Will 
that he too must grow old. 

With regard to the Second Group of Sonnets, we must al- 
ways keep Shakspere's own words in No. 121 before us : 

ff No, T am that I am ; J and they that level 
At my abuses, reckon up their own : 
I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel ; 
By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown ; 
Unless this general evil they maintain, 
All men are bad, and in their badness reign." 

Still I think it is plain that Shakspere had become involved 
in an intrigue with a married woman, who threw him over for 
his friend Will. She was dark, had beautiful eyes, and was 
a fine musician, but false. The most repulsive of the Son- 
nets is no doubt No. 129. But that and the others plainly 
show that Shakspere knew that his love was his sin (142), 

* The doctrine here that "ruin'd love, when it is built anew, Grows 
fairer than at first" was also put into Tennyson's Princess in its " Bless- 
ings on the falling-out, that all the more endears ;" but was rightly taken 
out again. 

t " And to be wroth with one we love, 

Doth work like madness in the brain." Coleridge. 

I Compare lago's " I am not what I am," in Othello, i. I, and Parolles's 
:s Simply the thing I am shall make me live," in All 's Well, iv. 3. 


and that in his supposed heaven he found hell.* Adultery 
in those days was no new thing, was treated with an indiffer- 
ence that we wonder at now. What was new, is that which 
Shakspere shows us, his deep repentance for the sin com- 
mitted. Sad as it may be to us to be forced to conclude 
that shame has to be cast on the noble name we reverence, 
yet let us remember that it is but for a temporary stain on 
his career, and that through the knowledge of the human 
heart he gained by his own trials we get the intensest and 
most valuable records of his genius. It is only those who 
have been through the mill themselves, that know how hard 
God's stones and the devil's grind. 

The Second Group of Sonnets, 127-154, I divide into 

Section i. Sonnet 127. On his mistress's dark complexion, brows, and 
eyes. (Cf. Berowne on his dark Rosaline, 
in Love's Labotirs Lost.} 
2. " 128. On her, his music, playing music (the virginals). 

" 3. " 129. On her, after enjoying her. He laments his 


" 4. " 130. On her, a chaffing description of her. (Com- 

pare Marlowe's Ignoto ; Lingna, before 1603, 
in Dodsley, ix. 370; and Shirley's Sisters: 
" Were it not fine," etc.) 

" 5- " I 3 I ~ I 3 2 - Though plain to others, his mistress is fairest 
to Shakspere's doting heart. But her deeds 
are black ; and her black eyes pity him. 

" 6. " 133-136. She has taken his friend Will from him (cf. 
40-42). He asks her to restore his friend 
(134), or to take him as part of her (and his) 
Will (135). If she '11 but love his name,she '11 
love him (Shakspere), as his name too is Will 

7. " 137-145. Shakspere knows his mistress is not beautiful, 
and that she 's false, but he loves her (137). 
Each lies to and flatters the other (138). Still 
if she '11 only look kindly on him, it '11 be 
enough (139). She must not look too cruel- 
ly, or he might despair and go mad, and tell 

* Sonnets 1 19. 2, 8 ; 147. i, 14. 



the world that ill of her that it would only 
too soon believe (140). He loves her in 
spite of his senses (141). She has broken 
her bed-vow ; then let her pity him (142). 
She may catch his friend if she will but give 
him a smile (143). He has two loves, a fair 
man, a dark woman who 'd corrupt the man 
(144, the Key Sonnet}. She was going to say 
she hated him, but, seeing his distress, said, 
not him (145). 

SectionS. Sonnet 146. (? Misplaced.) A remonstrance with himself, 
on spending too much, either on dress or out- 
ward self-indulgence, and exhorting himself 
to give it up for inward culture. (The blank 
for two words in line 2, 1 fill with " Hemm'd 
with:" cf. Venus and Adonis, 1022, " Hemm'd 
with thieves.") 

" 9. " 147-148. Shakspere's feverish love drives him mad, his 
doctor Reason being set aside (147). Love 
has obscured his sight (148). 

" 10. " 149-152. He gives himself up wholly to his mistress ; 
loves whom she loves, hates whom she hates 
(149). The worst of her deeds he loves bet- 
ter than any other's best (150). The more 
he ought to hate her, the more he loves her. 
He is content to be her drudge, for he loves 
her (151). Yet he 's forsworn, for he 's told 
lies of her goodness, and she has broken her 
bed-vow; he has broken twenty oaths (152). 

" ii. " 153-154. (May be made Group III., or Division 2 of 
Group II.). Two sonnets lighter in tone. 
In both Cupid sleeps, has his brand put out, 
in (153) a fountain, (154) a well, which the 
brand turns into medical baths ; Shakspere 
comes for cure to each, but finds none. He 
wants his mistress's eyes for that (153). Wa- 
ter cools not love (154). 

I always ask that the Sonnets should be read between the 
Second and Third Periods,* for the " hell of time " of which 

* For Mr. Furnivall's classification of Shakespeare's plays and poems, 
see our ed. of A. Y. L. p. 25. Ed. 



they speak is the best preparation for the temper of that 
Third Period, and enables us to understand it. The fierce 
and stern decree of that Period seems to me to be, " there 
shall be vengeance, death, for misjudgment, failure in duty, 
self-indulgence, sin," and the innocent who belong to the 
guilty shall suffer with them : Portia, Ophelia, Desdemona, 
Cordelia, lie beside Brutus, Hamlet, Othello, Lear. 














T. T 



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. 



When forty winters shall besiege thy brow, 
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field, 
Thy youth's proud livery, so gaz'd on now, 
Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held ; 
Then being ask'd 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. 


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. 



Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend 
Upon thyself 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 thyself alone, 
Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive. 
Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone, 
What acceptable audit canst thou leave ? 

Thy unus'd beauty must be tomb'd with thee 5 
Which, used, lives th' executor to be. 

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 check'd with frost and lusty leaves quite gone. 

Beauty o'ersnow'd 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. 



Then let not winter's ragged hand deface 

In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill'd : 

Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place 

With beauty's treasure, ere it be self-kill'd. 

That use is not forbidden usury 

Which happies those that pay the willing loan ; 

That's for thyself to breed another thee, 

Or ten times happier, be it ten for one ; 

Ten times thyself were happier than thou art, 

If ten of thine ten times refigur'd thee : 

Then what could death do, if thou shouldst depart, 

Leaving thee living in posterity? 

Be not self-will'd, for thou art much too fair 

To be death's conquest and make worms thine heir.' 


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 climb'd 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 out-going in thy noon, 
Unlook'd on diest, unless thou get a son. 



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.' 


Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye 
That thou consum'st thyself 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 ah end, 
And, kept unus'd, the user so destroys it. 
No love toward others in that bosom sits 
That ojn himself such murtherous shame commits. 



For shame ! deny that thou bear'st love to any, 
Who for thyself art so unprovident. 
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art belov'd of many, 
But that thou none lov'st is most evident; 
For thou art so possess'd with murtherous hate 
That 'gainst thyself 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 lodg'd 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. 


As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou growest 
In one of thine, from that which thou departest ; 
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestowest 
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 silver'd 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. 


O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are 
No longer yours than you yourself 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. 




Not from the stars do I my judgment 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. 


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 check'd 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. 



But wherefore do not you a mightier way 
Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time ? 
And fortify yourself 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 your 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 yourself in eyes of men. 
To give away yourself keeps yourself still, 
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill. 


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. 



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 wander'st 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. 


Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws, 
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood ; 
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws, 
And burn the long-liv'd phoenix in her blood; 
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets, 
And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time, 
To the wide world and all her fading sweets ; 
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime : 
O, carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow, 
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen ; 
Him in thy course untainted do allow 
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men. 

Yet, do thy worst, old Time; despite thy wrong, 
My love shall in my verse ever live young. 



A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted 

Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion ; 

A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted 

With shifting change, as is false women's fashion ; 

An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling, 

Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth ; 

A man in hue, all hues in his controlling, 

Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth. 

And for a woman wert thou first created ; 

Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting, 

And by addition me of thee defeated, 

By adding one thing to my purpose nothing. 

But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure, 
Mine be thy love, and thy love's use their treasure. 


So is it not with me as with that Muse 

Stirr'd by a painted beauty to his verse, 

Who heaven itself for ornament doth use 

And every fair with his fair doth rehearse ; 

Making a couplement of proud compare, 

With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems, 

With April's first-born flowers, and all things rare 

That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems. 

O, let me, true in love, but truly write, 

And then believe me, my love is as fair 

As any mother's child, though not so bright 

As those gold candles fix'd in heaven's air : 

Let them say more that like of hearsay well; 

I will not praise that purpose not to sell. 



My glass shall not persuade me I am old, 
So long as youth and thou are of one date ; 
But when in thee time's furrows I behold, 
Then look I death my days should expiajre. 
For all that beauty that doth cover thee 
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart, 
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me : 
How can I then be elder than thou art? 
O, therefore, love, be of thyself so wary 
As I, not for myself, but for thee will ; 
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary 
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill. 

Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain ; 

Thou gav'st me thine, not to give back again. 


As an unperfect actor on the stage 

Who with his fear is put besides his part, 

Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage, 

Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart, 

So I, for fear of trust, forget to say 

The perfect ceremony of love's rite, 

And in mine own love's strength seem to decay, 

O'ercharg'd with burden of mine own love's might. 

O, let my books be then the eloquence 

And dumb presagers of my speaking breast, 

Who plead for love and look for recompense 

More than that tongue that more hath more express'd. 

O, learn to read what silent love hath writ; 

To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit. 



Mine eye hath play'd the painter and hath stell'd 
Thy beauty's form in table of my heart ; 
My body is the frame wherein 't is held, 
And perspective it is best painter's art. 
For through the painter must you see his skill, 
To find where your true image pictur'd lies ; 
Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still, 
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes. 
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done: 
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me 
Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun 
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee ; 

Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art, 
They draw but what they see, know not the heart. 


Let those who are in favour with their stars 
Of public honour and proud titles boast, 
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars, 
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most. 
Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread 
But as the mangold at the sun's eye, 
And in themselves their pride lies buried, 
For at a frown they in their glory die. 
The painful warrior famoused for fight, 
After a thousand victories once foil'd, 
Is from the book of honour razed quite, 
And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd : 
Then happy I, that love and am belov'd 
Where I mav not remove nor be remov'd. 



Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage 
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit, 
To thee I send this written embassage, 
To witness duty, not to show my wit: 
Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine 
' May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it, 
But that I hope some good conceit of thine 
In thy soul's thought, all naked, will bestow it; 
Till whatsoever star that guides my moving 
Points on me graciously with fair aspect, 
And puts apparel on my tatter'd loving, 
To show me worthy of thy sweet respect : 

Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee ; 

Till then not show my head where thou rnayst prove 


Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed, 

The dear repose for limbs with travel tir'd, 

But then begins a journey in my head, 

To work my mind, when body's work 's expir'd ; 

For then my thoughts, from far where I abide, 

Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee, 

And keep my drooping eyelids open wide, 

Looking on darkness which the blind do see: 

Save that my soul's imaginary sight 

Presents thy shadow to my sightless view, 

Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night, 

Makes black night beauteous and her old face new. 

Lo ! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind, 

For thee and for myself no quiet find. 



How can I then return in happy plight, 
That am debarr'd the benefit of rest ? 
When day's oppression is not eas'd by night, 
But day by night, and night by day, oppress'd ? 
And each, though enemies to cither's reign, 
Do in consent shake hands to torture me; 
The one by toil, the other to complain 
How far I toil, still farther off from thee. 
I tell the day, to please him thou art bright 
And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven : 
So flatter I the swart-complexion 'd night, 
When sparkling stars twire not thou gild'st the even. 
But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer, 
And night doth nightly make grief's strength seem 


When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, 
. I all alone beweep my outcast state, > ^^"^ 
I And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, 
And look upon myself and curse my fate, 
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, 
Featur'd like him,"like him with friends possess'd, 
V Desiring this man's art and that man's scope, 
- 4 With what I .most enjoy contented least ; - 
t *' vYet in these thoughts myself almost despising,^ ^e^ 
"Hapl$ I think on thee, and then my state, 
(Like to the lark at break of day arising 
f*\ ^From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate: 
<^ -j) [ For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings 
i s v That then I scorn to change my state with kings. 



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, unus'd to flow, 

For precious friends hid in death's dateless night, 

And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe, 

And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight; 

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, 

And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er 

The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, 

Which I new pay as if not paid before. 

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, 
All losses are restor'd and sorrows end. 


Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts, 
Which I by lacking have supposed dead, 
And there reigns love and all love's loving parts. 
And all those friends which I thought buried. 
How many a holy and obsequious tear 
Hath dear religious love stolen from mine eye 
As interest of the dead, which now appear 
But things remov'd that hidden in thee lie ! 
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live. 
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone, 
Who all their parts of me to thee did give; 
That due of many now is thine alone: 
Their images I lov'd I view in thee, 
And thou, all they, hast all the all of me. 



If thou survive my well-contented day, 
When that churl Deafti my bones with dust shall.-cover, 
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey 
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover, 
Compare them with the bettering of the time, 
And though they be outstripp'd by every pen, 
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme, 
Exceeded by the height of happier men. 
O, then vouchsafe me but this loving thought: 
' Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing age, 
A dearer birth than this his love had brought, 
To march in ranks of better equipage ; 
But since he died and poets better prove, 
Theirs for their style I '11 read, his for his love/ 


Full many a glorious morning have I seen 
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye, 
Kissing with golden face the meadows green, 
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy; 
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride, 
With ugly rack on his celestial face, 
And from the forlorn world his visage hide, 
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace : 
Even so my sun one early morn did shine 
With all-triumphant splendour on my brow ; 
But out, alack ! he was but one hour mine, 
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now. 

Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth; 

Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth. 


xxxiv. r2J 

Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day 

And make me travel forth without my cloak, 

To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way, 

Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke ? 

'T is not enough that through the cloud thou break, 

To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face, 

For no man well of such a salve can speak 

That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace: 

Nor can thy shame give physic to my. grief ; 

Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss: 

The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief 

To him that bears the strong offence's cross. 

Ah ! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds, 
And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds. 



No more be griev'd at that which thou hast done : 
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud ; 
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun, 
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud. 
All men make faults, and even I in this, 
Authorizing thy trespass with compare, 
Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss, 
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are; 
For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense 
Thy adverse party is thy advocate 
And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence. 
Such civil war is in my love and hate 
That I an accessary needs must be 
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me. 



Let me confess that we two must be twain, 
Although our undivided loves are one; 
So shall those blots that do with me remain 
Without thy help by me be borne alone. 
In our two loves there is but one respect, 
Though in our lives a separable spite, 
Which though it alter not love's sole effect, 
Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight. 
I may not evermore acknowledge thee, 
Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame, 
Nor thou with public kindness honour me, 
Unless thou take that honour from thy name: 
But do not so ; I love thee in such sort 
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report. 


As a decrepit father takes delight 

To see his active child do deeds of youth, 

So I, made lame by fortune's dearest spite, 

Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth ; 

For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit, 

Or any of these all, or all, or more, 

Entitled in thy parts clo crowned sit, 

I make my love engrafted to this store. 

So then I am not lame, poor, nor despis'd, 

Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give 

That I in thy abundance am suffic'd 

And by a part of all thy glory live. 

Look, what is best, that best I wish in thee : 
This wish I have; then ten times happy me! 



How can my Muse want subject to invent, 

While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse 

Thine own sweet argument, too excellent 

For every vulgar paper to rehearse ? 

O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me 

Worthy perusal stand against thy sight; 

For who 's so dumb that cannot write to thee, 

When thou thyself dost give invention light? 

Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth 

Than those old nine which rhymers invocate ; 

And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth 

Eternal numbers to outlive long date. 

If my slight Muse do please these curious days, 
The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise. 


O, how thy worth with manners may I sing, 
When thou art all the better part of me ? 
What can mine own praise to mine own self bring? 
And what is 't-but mine own when I praise thee? 
Even for this let us divided live, 
And our dear love lose name of single one, 
That by this separation I may give 
That due to thee which thou deserv'st alone. 
O absence, what a torment wouldst thou prove, 
Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave 
To entertain the time with thoughts of love, 
Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive, 
And that thou teachest how to make one twain, 
By praising him here who doth hence remain! 



Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all ; 
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before? 
No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call ; 
All mine was thine before thou hadst this more. 
Then if for my love thou my love receivest, 
I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest; 
But yet be blam'd, if thou thyself deceivest 
By wilful taste of what thyself refusest. 
I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief, 
Although thou steal thee all my poverty ; 
And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief 
To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury. 
Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows, 
Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes. 


Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits, 
When I am sometime absent from thy heart, 
Thy beauty and thy years full well befits, 
For still temptation follows where thou art. 
Gentle thou art and therefore to be won, 
Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assail'd ; 
And when a woman wooes, what woman's son 
Will sourly leave her till she have prevaiFd ? 
Ay me ! but yet thou mightst my seat forbear, 
And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth, 
Who lead thee in their riot even there 
Where thou art forc'd to break a twofold truth,- 
Hers, by thy beauty tempting her to thee, 
Thine, by thy beauty being false to me. 



That thou hast her, it is not all my grief, 

And yet it may be said I lov'd her dearly; 

That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief, 

A loss in love that touches me more nearly. 

Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye : 

Thou dost love her, because thou know'st I love her; 

And for my sake even so doth she abuse me, 

Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her. 

If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain, 

And losing her, my friend hath found that loss ; 

Both find each other, and I lose both twain, 

And both for my sake lay on me this cross: 

But here's the joy; my friend and I are one; 

Sweet flattery ! then she loves but me alone. 


When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see, 
For all the day they view things unrespected ; 
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee, 
And darkly bright are bright in dark directed. 
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright, 
How would thy shadow's form form happy show 
To the clear day with thy much clearer light, 
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so! 
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made 
By looking on thee in the living day, 
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade 
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay! 
All days are nights to see till I see thee, 
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee 



If the dull substance of my flesh were thought, 
Injurious distance should not stop my way; 
For then despite of space I would be brought, 
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay. 
No matter then although my foot did stand 
Upon the farthest earth remov'd from thee ; 
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land 
As soon as think the place where he would be. 
But, ah! thought kills me that I am not thought, 
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone, 
But that, so much of earth and water wrought, 
I must attend time's leisure with my moan, 
Receiving nought by elements so slow 
But heavy tears, badges of cither's woe. 


The other two, slight air and purging fire, 

Are both with thee, wherever I abide; 

The first my thought, the other my desire, 

These present-absent with swift motion slide. 

For when these quicker elements are gone 

In tender embassy of love to thee, 

My life, being made o*f four, with two alone 

Sinks down to death, oppress'd with melancholy ; 

Until life's composition be recur'd 

By those swift messengers return'd from thee, 

Who even but now come back again, assur'd 

Of thy fair health, recounting it to me. 

This told, I joy ; but then, no longer glad, 

I send them back again, and straight grow sad. 




Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war 

How to divide the conquest of thy sight; 

Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would bar ; 

My heart mine eye the freedom of that right. 

My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie, 

A closet never pierc'd with crystal eyes, 

But the defendant doth that plea deny, 

And says in him thy fair appearance lies. 

To 'cide this title is impanelled 

A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart, 

And by their verdict is determined 

The clear eye's moiety and the dear heart's part : 
As thus: mine eye's due is thy outward part, 
And my heart's right thy inward love of heart. 


Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took, 
And each doth good turns now unto the other: 
When that mine eye is famish'd for a look, 
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother, 
With my love's picture then my eye doth feast 
And to the painted banquet bids my heart; 
Another time mine eye is my heart's guest 
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part. 
So, either by thy picture or my love, 
Thyself away art present still with me; 
For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move. 
And I am still with them and they with thee ; 
Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight 
Awakes my heart to heart's and eye's delight. 



How careful was I, when I took my way, 
Each trifle under truest bars to thrust, 
That to my use it might unused stay 
From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust! 
But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are, 
Most worthy comfort, now my greatest grief, 
Thou, best of dearest and mine only care, 
Art left the prey of every vulgar thief. 
Thee have I not lock'd up in any chest, 
Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art, 
Within the gentle closure of my breast, 
From whence at pleasure thou mayst come and part; 
And even thence thou wilt be stolen, I fear, 
For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear. 


Against that time, if ever that time come, 
When I shall see thee frown on my defects, 
Whenas thy love hath cast his utmost sum, 
CalPd to that audit by advis'd respects ; 
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass 
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye, 
When love, converted from the thing it was, 
Shall reasons find of settled gravity, 
Against that time do I ensconce me here 
Within the knowledge of mine own desert, 
And this my hand against myself uprear, 
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part : 

To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws, 
Since why to love I can allege no cause. 



How heavy do I journey on the way, 

When what I seek, my weary travel's end, 

Doth teach that ease and that repose to say, 

' Thus far the miles are measured from thy friend ! 

The beast that bears me, tired with my woe, 

Plods dully on, to bear that weight in me, 

As if by some instinct the wretch did know 

His rider lov'd not speed, being made from thee: 

The bloody spur cannot provoke him on 

That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide ; 

Which heavily he answers with a groan, 

More sharp to me than spurring to his side ; 

For that same groan doth put this in my mind, 
My grief lies onward and my joy behind. 


Thus can my love excuse the slow offence 
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed : 
From where thou art why should I haste me thence? 
Till I return, of posting is no need. 
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find, 
When swift extremity can seem but slow? 
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind; 
In winged speed no motion shall I know : 
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace ; 
Therefore desire, of perfect'st love being made, 
Shall neigh no dull flesh in his fiery race ; 
But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade : 
Since from thee going he went wilful-slow, 
Towards thee I '11 run, and give him leave to go. 



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 carcanet. 
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 unfolding his imprison'd pride. 

Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope, 
Being had, to triumph, being lack'd, to hope. 


What is your substance, whereof are you made, 
That millions of strange shadows on you tend? 
Since every one hath, every one, one shade, 
And you, but one, can every shadow lend. 
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit 
Is poorly imitated after you ; 
On Helen's cheek all art of beauty set, 
And you in Grecian tires are painted new: 
Speak of the spring and foison of the year, 
The one doth shadow of your beauty show. 
The other as your bounty doth appear ; 
And you in every blessed shape we know. 
In all external grace you have some part, 
But you like none, none you, for constant heart. 



O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem 
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give! 
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem 
For that sweet odour which doth in it live. 
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye 
As the perfumed tincture of the roses, 
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly 
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses; 
But, for their virtue only is their show, 
They live unwoo'd and unrespected fade, 
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so 
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made : 
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth, 
When that shall vade, my verse distills your truth. 


Not marble, nor the gilded monuments 
Of princes, shall outlive 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 Mars his 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 lovers' eyes. 



Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said 
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite, 
Which but to-day by feeding is allay'd, 
To-morrow sharpen'd in his former might: 
So, love, be thou ; although to-day thou fill 
Thy hungry eyes even till they wink with fullness, 
To-morrow see again, and do not kill 
The spirit of love with a perpetual dullness. 
Let this sad interim like the ocean be 
Which parts the shore where two contracted new 
Come daily to the banks, that, when they see 
Return of love, more blest may be the view; 
Else call it winter, which being full of care 
Makes summer's welcome thrice more wish'd, more 


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 any thing, he thinks no ill. 

7 6 



That god forbid that made me first your slave, 

I should in thought control your times of pleasure, 

Or at your hand the account of hours to crave, 

Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure ! 

O, let me suffer, being at your beck, 

The imprison'd absence of your liberty; 

And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check, 

Without accusing you of injury. 

Be where you list, your charter is so strong 

That you yourself may privilege your time 

To what you will ; to you it doth belong 

Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime. 

I am to wait, though waiting so be hell ; 

Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or well. 


If there be nothing new, but that which is 
Hath been before, how are our brains beguil'd, 
Which, labouring for invention, bear amiss 
The second burthen of a former child ! 
O, that record could with a backward look, 
Even of five hundred courses of the sun, 
Show me your image in some antique book, 
Since mind at first in character was done ! 
That I might see what the old world could say 
To this composed wonder of your frame ; 
Whether we are mended, or whether better they, 
Or whether revolution be the same. 
O, sure I am, the wits of former days 
To subjects worse have given admiring praise. 


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 eclipses '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. 


Is it thy will thy image should keep open 

My heavy eyelids to the weary night ? 

Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broker*, 

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 tenour of thy jealousy ? 

O, no ! thy love, though 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. 



Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye 
And all my soul and all my every part; 
And for this sin there is no remedy, 
It is so grounded inward in my heart. 
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine, 
No shape so true, no truth of such account 3 
And for myself mine own worth do define, 
As I all other in all worths surmount. 
But when my glass shows me myself indeed- 
Bated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity, 
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read ; 
Self so self-loving were iniquity. 

'T is thee, myself, that for myself I praise, 
Painting my age with beauty of thy days. 


Against my love shall be, as I am now, 
With Time's injurious hand crush'd and o'erworn, 
When hours have drain'd his blood and fill'd his brow 
With lines and wrinkles, when his youthful morn 
Hath travell'd on to. age's steepy night, 
And all those beauties whereof now he's king 
Are vanishing or vanish'd 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. 




When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd 
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age, 
When sometime lofty towers I see down-ras'd 
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'er-sways 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 wrackful 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 brigrit. 



Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry, 
As, to behold desert a beggar born, 
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity, 
And purest faith unhappily forsworn, 
And gilded honour shamefully misplac'd, 
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted, 
And right perfection wrongfully disgrac'd, 
And strength by limping sway disabled, 
And art made tongue-tied by authority, 
And folly doctor-like controlling skill, 
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity, 
And captive good attending captain ill; 

Tir'd with all these, from these would 1 be gone. 
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone. 


Ah! wherefore with infection should he live ; 
And with his presence grace impiety, 
That sin by him advantage should achieve 
And lace itself with his society? 
Why should false painting imitate his cheek, 
And steal dead seeing of his living hue ? 
Why should poor beauty indirectly seek 
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true ? 
Why should he live, now Nature bankrupt is, 
Beggar'd of blood to blush through lively veins? 
For she hath no exchequer now but his, 
And, proud of many, lives upon his gains. 

O, him she stores, to show what wealth she had 
In days long since, before these last so bad ! 



Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn, 
When beauty liv'd and died as flowers do now, 
Before these bastard signs of fair were born, 
Or durst inhabit on a living brow ; 
Before the golden tresses of the dead, 
The right of sepulchres, were shorn away, 
To live a second life on second head ; 
Ere beaufy's dead fleece made another gay : 
In him those holy antique hours are seen, 
Without all ornament, itself and true, 
Making no summer of another's green, 
Robbing no old to dress his beauty new; 
And him as for a map doth Nature store, 
To show false Art what beauty was of yore. 


Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth view 

Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend ; 

All tongues, the voice of souls, give thee that due, 

Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend. 

Thy outward thus with outward praise is crown'd ; 

But those same tongues that give thee so thine own 

In other accents do this praise confound 

By seeing farther than the eye hath shown. 

They look into the beauty of thy mind, 

And that, in guess, they measure by thy deeds ; 

Then, churls, their thoughts, although their eyes were 


To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds : 
But why thy odour matcheth not thy show, 
The soil is this, that thou dost common grow. 




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 
Thy worth the 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 assaiPd 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 mask'd not thy show, 

Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe. 

LXXI. Vi) 

No longer mourn for me when I am dead 
Than 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 am 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 vou 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 than mine own desert, 
And hang more praise upon deceased I 
Than niggard truth would willingly impart: 
O, lest your true love may seem false in this, 
That you 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 am sham'd by that which I bring forth, 
And so should you, to love things nothing worth. 


That time of year thou mayst in me behold 
W r hen yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang 
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, 
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. 
In me thou seest the twilight of such day 
As after sunset fadeth in the west, 
Which by and by black night doth take away, 
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. 
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire 
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, 
As the death-bed whereon it must expire, 
Consum'd with that which it was nourished by. 

This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong, 
To love that .well which thou must leave ere long. 

8 4 



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 spirit 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. 


So are you to my thoughts as food to life, 

Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground ; 

And for the peace of you I hold such strife 

As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found : 

Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon 

Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure ; 

Now counting best to be with you alone, 

Then bettered that the world may see my pleasure : 

Sometime all full with feasting on your sight, 

And by and by clean starved for a look ; 

Possessing or pursuing no delight, 

Save what is had or must from you be took. 

Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day, 

Or gluttoning on all, or all away. 



Why is my verse so barren of new pride, 
So far from variation or quick change? 
Why with the time do I not glance aside 
To new-found methods and to compounds strange i 
W T hy write I still all one, ever the same, 
And keep invention in a noted weed, 
That every word cloth almost tell my name, 
Showing their birth and where they did proceed ? 
O, know, sweet love, I always write of you, 
And you and love are still my argument ; 
So all my best is dressing old words new, 
Spending again what is already spent: 
For as the sun is daily new and old, 
So is my love still tellin-g what is told. 


Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear, 
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste ; 
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear, 
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste. 
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show 
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory; 
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know 
Time's thievish progress to eternity. 
Look, what thy memory can not contain 
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find 
Those children nurs'd, deliver'd from thy brain, 
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind. 
These offices, so oft as thou wilt look, 
Shall profit thee and much enrich thy book. 



So oft have I invok'd thee for my Muse, 
And found such fair assistance in my verse, 
As every alien pen hath got my use 
And under thee their poesy disperse. 
Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing 
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly, 
Have added feathers to the learned's wing 
And given grace a double majesty. 
Yet be most proud of that which I compile, 
Whose influence is thine and born of thee: 
In others' works thou dost but mend the style, 
And arts with thy sweet graces graced be ; 
But thou art all my art, and dost advance 
As high as learning my rude ignorance. 


Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid, 
My verse alone had all thy gentle grace, 
But now my gracious numbers are decayed, 
And my sick Muse doth give another place. 
I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument 
Deserves the travail of a worthier pen, 
Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent 
He robs thee of and pays it thee again. 
He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word 
From thy behaviour ; beauty doth he give, 
And found it in thy cheek; he can afford 
No praise to thee but what in thee doth live. 
Then thank him not for that which he doth say, 
Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay. 



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-tied, 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 wrack'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 I shall live your epitaph to make, 
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten ; 
From hence your memory death cannot take, 
Although in me each part will be forgotten. 
Your name from hence immortal life shall have, 
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die; 
The earth can yield me but a common grave, 
When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie. 
Your monument shall be my gentle verse, 
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read, 
And tongues to be your being shall rehearse 
When all the breathers of this world are dead ; 
You still shall live such virtue hath my pen 
Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of 



I grant thou wert not married to my Muse, 
And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook 
The dedicated words which writers use 
Of their fair subject, blessing every book. 
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue, 
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise, 
And therefore art enforc'd to seek anew 
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days. 
And do so, love; yet when they have clevis'd 
What strained touches rhetoric can lend, 
Thou truly fair wert truly sympathiz'd 
In true plain words by thy true-telling friend ; 
And their gross painting might be better us'd 
Where cheeks need blood ; in thee it is abus'd. 


I never saw that you did painting need, 
And therefore to your fair no painting set; 
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed 
The barren tender of a poet's debt ; 
And therefore have I slept in your report, 
That you yourself being extant well might show 
How far a modern quill doth come too short, 
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow. 
This silence for my sin you did impute, 
Which shall be most my glory, being dumb; 
For I impair not beauty being mute, 
When others would give life and bring a tomb. 
There lives more life in one of your fair eyes 
Than both your poets can in praise devise. 




Who is it that says most? which can say more 
Than this rich praise, that you alone are you ? 
In whose confine immured is the store 
Which should example where your equal grew. 
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell. 
That to his subject lends not some small glory; 
But he that writes of you, if he can tell 
That you are you, so dignifies his story. 
Let him but copy what in you is writ, 
Not making worse what nature made so clear, 
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit, 
Making his style admired every where. 

You to your beauteous blessings add a curse, 
Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse. 


My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still, 
While comments of your praise, richly compil'd, 
Reserve their character with golden quill 
And precious phrase by all the Muses fil'd. 
I think good thoughts whilst other write good words, 
And, like unletter'd clerk, still cry * Amen ' 
To every hymn that able spirit affords 
In polish'd form of well-refined pen. 
Hearing you prais'd, I say ' 'T is so, 't is true/ 
And to the most of praise add something more ; 
But that is in my thought, whose love to you, 
Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before. 
Then others for the breath of words respect, 
Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect. 



Was it the proud full sail of his great verse, 
Bound for the prize of all too precious you, 
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse, 
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew? 
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write 
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead ? 
No, neither he, nor his compeers by night 
Giving him aid, my verse astonished. 
He, nor that affable familiar ghost 
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence, 
As victors of my silence cannot boast ; 
I was not sick of any fear from thence : 

But when your countenance fill'd up his line, 
Then lack'd I matter ; that enfeebled mine. 


Farewell ! thou art too dear for my possessing, 
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate : 
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing; 
My bonds in thee are all determinate. 
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting? 
And for that riches where is my deserving? 
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting, 
And so my patent back again is swerving. 
Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing, 
Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking ; 
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing, 
Comes home again, on better judgment making. 
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter 
In sleep a king, but waking no such matter. 



When thou shall be disposed to set me. light, 
And place my merit in the eye of scorn, 
Upon thy side against myself I '11 fight, 
And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn. 
With mine own weakness being best acquainted, 
Upon thy part I can set down a story 
Of faults conceal'd, wherein I am attainted, 
That thou in losing me shalt win much glory: 
And I by this will be a gainer too ; 
P'or, bending all my loving thoughts on thee, 
The injuries that to myself I do, 
Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me. 
Such is my love, to thee I so belong, 
That for thy right myself will bear all wrong. 


Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault, 
And I will comment upon that offence ; 
Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt, 
Against thy reasons making no defence. 
Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so ill, 
To set a form upon desired change, 
As I '11 myself disgrace: knowing thy will, 
I will acquaintance strangle and look strange, 
Be absent from thy walks, and in my tongue 
Thy sweet beloved name no more shall dwell, 
Lest I, too much profane, should do it wrong 
And haply of our old acquaintance tell. 
For thee against myself I '11 vow debate, 
For I must ne'er love him whom thou dost hate. 




Then hate me when thou wilt if ever, now; 

Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross, 

Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow, 

And do not drop in for an after-loss. 

Ah, do not, when my heart hath scap'd this sorrow, 

Come in the rearward of a conquered woe ; 

Give not a windy night a rainy morrow, 

To linger out a purpos'd overthrow. 

If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last, 

When other petty griefs have clone their spite, 

But in the onset come; so shall I taste 

At first the very worst of fortune's might, 

And other strains of woe, which now seem woe, 
Compar'd with loss of thee will not seem so. 



Some glory in their birth, some in their skill, 
Some in their wealth, some in their bodies' force, 
Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill, 
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse ; 
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure, 
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest : 
But these particulars are not my measure ; 
All these I better in one general best. 
Thy love is better than high birth to me, 
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost, 
Of more delight than hawks or horses be; 
Andj having thee, of all men's pride I boast: 
Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take 
All this away and me most wretched make. 



But do thy worst to steal thyself away, 
For term of life thou art assured mine, 
And life no longer than thy -love will stay, 
For it depends upon that love of thine. 
Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs, 
When in the least of them my life hath end. 
I see a better state to me belongs 
Than that which on thy humour doth depend ; 
Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind, 
Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie. 
O, what a happy title do I find, 
Happy to have thy love, happy to die ! 

But what 's so blessed-fair that fears no blot ? 

Thou mayst be false, and yet I know it not. 

xcin. A> 

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 ! 


- o 


They that have power to hurt and will do none, 
That do not do the thing they most do show, 
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone, 
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow, 
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces 
And husband nature's riches from expense ; 
They are the lords and owners of their faces, 
Others but stewards of their excellence. 
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet, 
Though to itself it only live and die, 
But if that flower with base infection meet, 
The basest weed outbraves his dignity : 

For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds : 
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds. 


How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame 
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose, 
Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name ! 
O, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose ! 
That tongue that tells the story of thy days, 
Making lascivious comments on thy sport, 
Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise ; 
Naming thy name blesses an ill report. 
O, what a mansion have those vices got 
Which for their habitation chose out thee, 
Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot, 
And all things turn to fair that eyes can see ! 

Take heecl. dear heart, of this large privilege; 

The hardest knife ill-us'd doth lose his edge. 



Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness; 
Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport: 
Both grace and faults are lov'd of more and less ; 
Thou mak'st faults graces that to thee resort. 
As on the finger of a throned queen 
The basest jewel will be well esteem'd, 
So are those errors that in thee are seen 
To truths translated and for true things deem'd. 
How many lambs might the stern wolf betray, 
If like a lamb he could his looks translate ! 
How many gazers mightst thou lead away, 
If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state ! 
But do not so ; I love thee in such sort 
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report. 


How like a winter hath my absence been 
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year ! 
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen! 
What old December's bareness every where ! 
And yet this time remov'd was summer's time, 
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, 
Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime, 
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease : 
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me 
But hope of orphans and unfathered fruit, 
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee, 
And, thou away, the very birds are mute ; 
Or, if they sing, 't is with so dull a cheer 
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter 's near. 

9 6 



From you have I been absent in the spring, 
When proud-pied April dress'd in all his trim 
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing, 
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'cl with him. 
Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell 
Of different flowers in odour and in hue 
Could make me any summer's story tell, 
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew ; 
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white, 
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose : 
They were but sweet, but figures of delight, 
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those. 
Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away, 
As with your shadow I with these did play. 


The forward violet thus did I chide ; 

Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal tliy" sweet that 


If not from my love's breath? The purple pride 
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells 
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dyed. 
The lily I condemned for thy hand, 
And buds of marjoram had stolen thy hair; 
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand, 
One blushing shame, another white despair; 
A third, nor red nor white, had stolen of both, 
And to his robbery had annex'd thy breath ; 
But, for his theft, in pride of all his growth 
A vengeful canker eat him up to death. 
More flowers I noted, yet I none could see 
But sweet or colour it had stolen from thee. 



Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget'st so long 
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might ? 
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song, 
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light? 
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem 
In gentle numbers time so idly spent; 
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem 
And gives thy pen both skill and argument. 
Rise, resty Muse, my love's sweet face survey, 
If Time have any wrinkle graven there; 
If any, be a satire to decay, 
And make Time's spoils despised every where. 

Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life ; 

So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife. 


O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends 

For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed ? 

Both truth and beauty on my love depends ; 

So dost thou too, and therein dignified. 

Make answer, Muse : wilt thou not haply say 

' Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd ; 

Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay; 

But best is best, if never intermix'd ' ? 

Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb? 

Excuse not silence so ; for 't lies in thee 

To make him much outlive a gilded tomb, 

And to be prais'd of ages yet to be. 

Then do thy office, Muse ; I teach thee how 
To make him seem long hence as he shows now. 



My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seeming 
I love not less, though less the show appear : 
That love is merchandiz'd whose rich esteeming 
The owner's tongue doth publish every where. 
Our love was new and then but in the spring 
When I was wont to greet it with my lays, 
As Philomel in summer's front doth sing 
And stops her pipe in growth of riper days; 
Not that the summer is less pleasant now 
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night, 
But that wild music burthens every bough 
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight. 
Therefore like her I sometime hold my tongue, 
Because I would not dull you with my song. 


Alack, what poverty my muse brings forth, 
That, having such a scope to show her pride, 
The argument all bare is of more worth 
Than when it hath my added praise beside ! 
O, blame me not, if I no more can write ! 
Look in your glass, and there appears a face 
That overgoes my blunt invention quite, 
Dulling my lines and doing me disgrace. 
Were it not sinful then, striving to mend, 
To mar the subject that before was well ? 
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. 


( : 

To me, fair friend, you never can be old, 
For as you were when first your eye I eyed, 
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. 


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. 
4 Fair, kind, and true ' is all my argument, 
6 Fair, kind, and true ' varying to other words ; 
And in this change is my invention spent, 
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords. 
1 Fair, kind, and true 'have often liv'd alone, 
Which three till now never kept seat in one. 


CVI. v? 

When in the chronicle of wasted time 
I see descriptions of the fairest wights, 
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme 
In praise of ladies cleacl 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. 
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. 


Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic 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 con fin '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 '11 live in this poor rhyme, 
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes ; 
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 
\Veighs 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. 


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 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. 



Alas, 't is 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 ; 

Most true it is that I have look'd on truth 

Askance and strangely: but, by all above, 

These blenches gave my heart another youth, 

And worse essays prov'd thee my best of love. 

Now all is done, have what shall have no end; 

Mine appetite I never more will grind 

On newer proof, to try an older friend, 

A god in love, to whom I am confin'd. 

Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best, 
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast. 


O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide, 
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds, 
That did not better for my life provide 
Than public means which public manners breeds. 
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand, 
And almost thence my nature is subdued 
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand. 
Pity me then and wish I were renew'd, 
Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink 
Potions of eisel 'gainst my strong infection ; 
No bitterness that I will bitter think, 
Nor double penance, to correct correction. 
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye 
Even that your pity is enough to cure me. 



Your love and pity doth the impression fill 
Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow; 
For what care I who calls me well or ill, 
So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow ? 
You are my all the world, and I must strive 
To know my shames and praises from your tongue; 
None else to me, nor I to none alive, 
That my steePd sense or changes right or wrong. 
In so profound abysm I throw all care 
Of others' voices, that my adder's sense 
To critic and to flatterer stopped are. 
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense : 
You are so strongly in my purpose bred 
That all the world besides methinks are dead. 


Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind, 

And that which governs me to go about 

Doth part his function and is partly blind, 

Seems seeing, but effectually is out; 

For it no form delivers to the heart 

Of bird, of flower, or shape, which it doth latch. 

Of his quick objects hath the mind no part, 

Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch ; 

For if it see the rud'st or gentlest sight, 

The most sweet favour or deformed'st creature, 

The mountain or the sea, the day or night, 

The crow or dove, it shapes them to your feature : 

Incapable of more, replete with you, 

My most true mind thus makes mine eye untrue. 



Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you, 
Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery? 
Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true, 
And that your love taught it this alchemy, 
To make of monsters and things indigest 
Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble, 
Creating every bad a perfect best, 
As fast as objects to his beams assemble ? 
O, 't is the first; 't is flattery in my seeing, 
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up: 
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is greeing, 
And to his palate doth prepare the cup ; 
If it be poison'd, 't is the lesser sin 
That mine eye loves it and doth first begin. 


Those lines that I before have writ do lie, 
Even those that said I could not love you dearer ; 
Yet then my judgment knew no reason why 
My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer. 
But, reckoning time, whose million'd accidents 
Creep in 'twixt vows and change decrees of kings, 
Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents, 
Divert strong minds to the course of altering things, 
Alas, why, fearing of time's tyranny, 
Might I not then say ' Now I love you best/ 
When I was certain o'er incertainty, 
Crowning the present, doubting of the rest? 
Love is a babe ; then might I not say so, 
To give full growth to that which still doth grow ? 



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 prov'd, 

I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd. 


Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all 
Wherein I should your great deserts repay, 
Forgot upon your dearest love to call, 
Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day ; 
That I have frequent been with unknown minds 
And given to time your own dear-purchas'd right; 
That I have hoisted sail to all the winds 
Which should transport me farthest from your sight. 
Book both my wilfulness and errors down, 
And on just proof surmise accumulate; 
Bring me within the level of your frown, 
But shoot not at me in your waken'd hate; 
Since my appeal says I did strive to prove 
The constancy and virtue of your love. 



Like as, to make our appetites more keen, 
With eager compounds we our palate urge, 
As, to prevent our maladies unseen, 
We sicken to shun sickness when we purge, 
Even so, being full of your ne'er-cloying sweetness, 
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding, 
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness 
To be diseas'd ere that there was true needing. 
Thus policy in love, to anticipate 
The ills that were not, grew to faults assur'd 
And brought to medicine a healthful state 
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cur'd ; 
But thence I learn, and find the lesson true, 
Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you. 


What potions have I drunk of Siren tears, 
Distill'd from limbecks foul as hell within, 
Applying fears to hopes and hopes to fears, 
Still losing when I saw myself to win ! 
What wretched errors hath my heart committed, 
Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never! 
How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted 
In the distraction of this madding fever! 
O benefit of ill ! 'now I find true 
That better is by evil still made better; 
And ruin'd love, when it is built anew, 
Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater. 
So I return rebuk'd to my content, 
And gain by ill thrice more than I have spent. 



That you were once unkind befriends me now, 
And for that sorrow which I then did feel 
Needs must I under my transgression bow, 
Unless my nerves were brass or hammer'd steel. 
For if you were by my unkindness shaken 
As I by yours, you've pass'd a hell of time, 
And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken 
To weigh how once I suffer'd in your crime. 
O, that our night of woe might have remember'd 
My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits, 
And soon to you, as you to me, then tendered 
The humble salve which wounded bosoms fits ! 

But that your trespass now becomes a fee ; 

Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me. 


'T is better to be vile than vile esteem'd, 
When not to be receives reproach of being, 
And the just pleasure lost which is so deem'd 
Not by our feeling but by others' seeing; 
For why should others' false adulterate eyes 
Give salutation to my sportive blood ? 
Or on my frailties why are frailer spies, 
Which in their wills count bad what I think good? 
No, I am that I am, and they that level 
At my abuses reckon up their own: 
I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel ; 
By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown ; 
Unless this general evil they maintain, 
All men are bad, and in their badness reign. 



Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain 
Full character'd with lasting memory, 
Which shall above that idle rank remain 
Beyond all date, even to eternity ; 
Or, at the least, so long as brain and heart 
Have faculty by nature to subsist ; 
Till each to raz'd oblivion yield his part 
Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd. 
That poor retention could not so much hold, 
Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score ; 
Therefore to give them from me was I bold, 
To trust those tables that receive thee more : 
To keep an adjunct to remember thee 
Were to import forgetfulness in me. 


No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change: 
Thy pyramids built up with newer might 
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange; 
They are but dressings of a former sight. 
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire 
What thou dost foist upon us that is old, 
And rather make them born to our desire 
Than think that we before have heard them told. 
Thy registers and thee I both defy, 
Not wondering at the present nor the past, 
For thy records and what we see doth lie, 
Made more or less by thy continual haste. 
This I do vow and this shall ever be : 
I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee. 



If my dear love were but the child of state, 
It might for Fortune's bastard be unfather'd, 
As subject to Time's love or to Time's hate, 
Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gather'd. 
No, it was builded far from accident ; 
It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls 
Under the blow of thralled discontent, 
Whereto the inviting time our fashion calls : 
It fears not policy, that heretic, 
Which works on leases of short-numbered hours, 
But all alone stands hugely politic, 
That it nor grows with heat nor drowns with showers. 
To this I witness call the -fools of time, 
Which die for goodness, who have liv'd for crime. 


Were 't aught to me I bore the canopy, 
With my extern the outward honouring, 
Or laid great bases for eternity, 
Which prove more short than waste or ruining? 
Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour 
Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent, 
For compound sweet foregoing simple savour, 
Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent? 
No, let rne be obsequious in thy heart, 
And take thou my oblation, poor but free, 
Which is not mix'd with seconds, knows no art, 
But mutual render, only me for thee. 

Hence, thou suborn'd informer ! a true soul 
When most impeach'd stands least in thy control. 



O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power 
Dost hold Time's fickle glass his fickle hour ; 
Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st 
Thy lovers withering as thy sweet self grow'st ; 
If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack, 
As thou goest onwards, still will pluck thee back. 
She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill 
May time disgrace and wretched minutes kill. 
Yet fear her. O thou minion of her pleasure ! 
She may detain, but not still keep, her treasure ; 
Her audit, though delay'd, answer'd must be, 
And her quietus is to render thee. 


In the old age black was not counted fair, 
Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name ; 
But now is black beauty's successive heir, 
And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame : 
For since each hand hath put on nature's power. 
Fairing the foul with art's false borrow'd face, 
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower, 
But is profan'd, if not lives in disgrace. 
Therefore my mistress' brows are raven bhick, 
Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem 
At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack, 
Slandering creation with a false esteem; 
Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe, 
That every tongue says beauty should look so. 



How oft, when thou, my music, music play'st, 
Upon that bJessed wood whose motion sounds 
With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently sway'st 
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds, 
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap 
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand, 
Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap, 
At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand ! 
To be so tickled, they would change their state 
And situation with those dancing chips, 
O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait, 
Making dead wood more blest than living lips. 
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this, 
Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss. 


The expense of spirit in a waste of shame 

Is lust in action ; and till action, lust 

Is perjur'd, murtherous, bloody, full of blame, 

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust, 

Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight, 

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had 

Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait 

On purpose laid to make the taker mad ; 

Mad in pursuit and in possession so ; 

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme ; 

A bliss in proof, and prov'cl, a very woe ; 

Before, a joy proposed ; behind, a dream. 

All this the world well knows ; yet none knows well 
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell. 



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 damask'd, 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. 


Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art, 
As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel : 
For well thou know'st to my dear doting heart 
Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel. 
Yet, in good faith, some say that thee behold 
Thy face hath not the power to make love groan : 
To say they err I dare not be so bold, 
Although I swear it to myself alone. 
And, to be sure that is not false I swear, 
A thousand groans, but thinking on thy face, 
One on another's neck, do witness bear 
Thy black is fairest in my judgment's place. 
In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds, 
And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds. 



Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me, 

Knowing thy heart torments me with disdain, 

Have put on black and loving mourners be, 

Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain ; 

And truly not the morning sun of heaven 

Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east, 

Nor that full star that ushers in the even 

Doth half that glory to the sober west, 

As those two mourning eyes become thy face. 

O, let it then as well beseem thy heart 

To mourn for me, since mourning doth thee grace, 

And suit thy pity like in every part ! 

Then will I swear beauty herself is black 
And all they foul that thy complexion lack. 


Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan 
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me ! 
Is 7 t not enough to torture me alone, 
But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must be ? 
Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken, 
And my next self thou harder hast engrossed : 
Of him, myself, and thee, I am forsaken ; 
A torment thrice threefold thus to be cross'd. 
Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward, 
But then my friend's heart let my poor heart bail ; 
Whoe'er keeps me, let my heart be his guard ; 
Thou canst not then use rigour in my gaol : 
And yet thou wilt ; for I, being pent in thee, 
Perforce am thine, and all that is in me. 



So, now I have confess'd that he is thine, 
And I myself am mortgag'd to thy will, 
Myself I '11 forfeit, so that other mine 
Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still : 
But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free, 
For thou art covetous and he is kind ; 
He learn'd but surety-like to write for me 
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind. 
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take, 
Thou usurer, that putt'st forth all to use, 
And sue a friend came debtor for my sake ; 
So him I lose through my unkind abuse. 

Him have I lost ; thou hast both him and me 
He pays the whole, and yet am I not free. 


Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy 'Will,' 
And ' Will ' to boot, and ' Will ' in overplus ; 
More than enough am I that vex thee still, 
To thy sweet will making addition thus. 
Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious, 
Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine ? 
Shall will in others seem right gracious, 
And in my will no fair acceptance shine ? 
The sea, all water, yet receives rain still, 
And in abundance addeth to his store; 
So thou, being rich in ' Will,' add to thy < Will ' 
One will of mine, to make thy large ' Will ' more. 

Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill ; 

Think all but one, and me in that one ' Will.' 



If thy soul check thee that I come so near, 
Swear to thy blind soul that I was thy ' Will/ 
And will, thy soul knows, is admitted there; 
Thus far for love my love-suit, sweet, fulfil. 
'Will ' will fulfil the treasure of thy love, 
Ay, fill it full with wills, and my will one. 
In things of great receipt with ease we prove 
Among a number one is reckon'd none : 
Then in the number let me pass untold, 
Though in thy store's account I one must be ; 
For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold 
That nothing me, a something sweet to thee : 
Make but my name thy love, and love that still, 
And then thou lov'st me, for my name is ' Will.' 


Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes, 

That they behold, and see not what they see? 

They know what beauty is, see where it lies, 

Yet what the best is take the worst to be. 

If eyes corrupt by over-partial looks 

Be anchor'd in the bay where all men ride, 

Why of eyes' falsehood hast thou forged hooks, 

Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied? 

Why should my heart think that a several plot 

Which my heart knows the wide world's common place ? 

Or mine eyes, seeing this, say this is not, 

To put fair truth upon so foul a face ? 

In things right true my heart and eyes have err'd, 
And to this false plague are they now transferr'd. 



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 untutor'd youth, 
Unlearned 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 suppress'd. 
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 flatter'd be. 


O, call not me to justify the wrong 
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart ; 
Wound me not with thine eye, but with thy tongue ; 
Use power with power, and slay me not by art. 
Tell me thou lov'st elsewhere, but in my sight, 
Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside ; 
What need'st thou wound with cunning when thy might 
Is more than my o'er-press'd defence can bide ? 
Let me excuse thee : ah ! my love well knows 
Her pretty looks have been mine enemies, 
And therefore from my face she turns my foes, 
That they elsewhere might dart their injuries ; 
Yet do not so, but since I am near slain 
Kill me outright with looks and rid my pain. 



Be wise as thou art cruel ; do not press 
My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain, 
Lest sorrow lend me words, and words express 
The manner of my pity-wanting pain. 
If I might teach thee wit, better it were, 
Though not to love, yet, love, to tell me so, 
As testy sick men, when their deaths be near, 
No news but health from their physicians know ; 
For if I should despair, I should grow mad, 
And in my madness might speak ill of thee : 
Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad, 
Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be. 

That I may not be so, nor thou belied, 

Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go 


In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes, 
For they in thee a thousand errors note, 
But 't is my heart that loves what they despise, 
Who in despite of view is pleas'd to dote ; 
Nor are mine ears with thy tongue's tune delighted, 
Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone, 
Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited 
To any sensual feast with thee alone : 
But my five wits nor my five senses can 
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee, 
Who leaves unsway'd the likeness of a man, 
Thy proud heart's slave and vassal wretch to be ; 
Only my plague thus far I count my gain, 
That she that makes me sin awards me pain. 




Love is my sin and thy dear virtue hate, 
Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving: 
O, but with mine compare thou thine own state, 
And thou shalt find it merits not reproving ; 
Or, if it do, not from those lips of thine, 
That have profan'd their scarlet ornaments 
And seal'd false bonds of love as oft as mine, 
Robb'd others' beds' revenues of their rents. 
Be it lawful I love thee, as thou lov'st those 
Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee; 
Root pity in thy heart, that when it grows 
Thy pity may deserve to pitied be. 

If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide, 
By self-example mayst thou be denied ! 


Lo ! as a careful housewife runs to catch 
One of her feather'd creatures broke away, 
Sets down her babe and makes all swift dispatch 
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay, 
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase, 
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent 
To follow that which flies before her face, 
Not prizing her poor infant's discontent ; 
So runn'st thou after that which flies from thee, 
Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind : 
But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me, 
And play the mother's part, kiss me, be kind ; 
So will I pray that thou mayst have thy ' Will,' 
If thou turn back, and my loud crying still. 



Two loves I have of comfort and despair, 
Which like two spirits do suggest me still ; 
The better angel is a man right fair, 
The worser spirit a woman colour'd ill. 
To win me soon to hell, my female evil 
Tempteth my better angel from my side, 
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil, 
Wooing his purity with her foul pride. 
And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend 
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell ; 
But being both from me, both to each friend. 
I guess one angel in another's hell : 

Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt, 
Till my bad angel fire my good one out. 


Those lips that Love's own hand did make 
Breath'd forth the sound that said ' I hate ' 
To me that languish'd for her sake; 
But when she saw my 'woeful state, 
Straight in her heart did mercy come, 
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet 
Was us'd in giving gentle doom, 
And taught it thus anew to greet. 
' I hate ' she alter'd with an end, 
That follow'd it as gentle day 
Doth follow night, who like a fiend 
From heaven to hell is flown away ; 
1 1 hate ' from hate away she threw, 
And sav'd my life, saying ' not you/ 



Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth, 
Press'd by these rebel powers that thee 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 shalt 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 
For that which longer nurseth the disease, 
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill, 
The 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 madmen's are, 
At random from the truth vainly express'd ; 
For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright, 
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night. 



O me, what eyes hath Love put in my head, 
Which have no correspondence with true sight ! 
Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled, 
That censures falsely what they see aright ? 
If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote, 
What means the world to say it is not so? 
If it be not, then love doth well denote 
Love's eye is not so true as all men's no. 
How can it ? O, how can Love's eye be true, 
That is so vex'd with watching and with tears? 
No marvel then, though I mistake my view; 
The sun itself sees not till heaven clears. 

O cunning Love ! with tears thou keep'st me blind, 
Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find. 


Canst thou, O cruel ! say I love thee not, 
When I against myself with thee partake? 
Do I not think on thee when I forgot 
Am of myself, all tyrant, for thy sake? 
Who hateth thee that I do call my friend ? 
On whom frown'st thou that I do fawn upon ? 
Nay, if thou lower'st on me, do I not spend 
Revenge upon myself with present moan? 
What merit do I in myself respect, 
That is so proud thy service to despise, 
When all my best doth worship thy defect, 
Commanded by the motion of thine eyes? 

But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind; 

Those that can see thou lov'st, and I am blind. 




O, from what power hast thou this powerful might 
With insufficiency my heart to sway? 
To make me give the lie to my true sight, 
And swear that brightness doth not grace the day ? 
Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill, 
That in the very refuse of thy deeds 
There is such strength and warrantise of skill 
That, in my mind, thy worst all best exceeds ? 
Who taught thee how to make me love thee more 
The more I hear and see just cause of hate ? 
O, though I love what others do abhor, 
With others thou shouldst not abhor my state; 
If thy unworthiness rais'd love in me, 
More worthy I to be belov'd of thee. 


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 Move' for whose dear love I rise and fall. 



In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn, 
But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing, 
In act thy bed-vow broke and new faith torn 
In vowing new hate after new love bearing. 
But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee, 
When I break twenty ? I am perjur'd most \ 
For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee, 
And all my honest faith in thee is lost : 
For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness, 
Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy, 
And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness, 
Or made them swear against the thing they see ; 
For I have sworn thee fair; more perjur'd I, 
To swear against the truth so foul a lie! 


Cupid laid'by his brand, and fell asleep: 
A maid of Dian's this advantage found, 
And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep 
In a cold valley-fountain of that ground ; 
Which borrow'd from this holy fire of Love 
A dateless lively heat, still to endure, 
And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove 
Against strange maladies a sovereign cure. 
But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fir'd, 
The boy for trial needs would touch my breast ; 
I, sick withal, the help of bath desir'd, 
And thither hied, a sad distemper'd guest, 
But found no cure : the bath for my help lies 
Where Cupid got new fire my mistress* eyes. 



The little Love-god lying once asleep 

Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand, 

Whilst many nymphs that vow'd chaste life to keep 

Came tripping by ; but in her maiden hand 

The fairest votary took up that fire 

Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd, 

And so the general of hot desire 

Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarmed. 

This brand she quenched in a cool well by, 

Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual, 

Growing a bath and healthful remedy 

For men diseas'd; but I, my mistress' thrall, 

Came there for cure, and this by that I prove. 

Love's fire heats water, water cools not love. 



Abbott (or Gr.), Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar (third edition). 
A. S., Anglo-Saxon. 

A. V., Authorized Version of the Bible (1611). 

B. and F., Beaumont and Fletcher. 
B. J., Ben Jonson. 

Camb. ed., "Cambridge edition" of Shakespeare, edited by Clark and Wright. 
Cf. (confer), compare. 
Coll., Collier (second edition;. 
D., Dyce (second edition). 

Dowden, Prof. E. Dowden's eds. of the Sonnets (see p. n, foot-note, above). 
Gildon, Clias. Gildon's ed. of Shakespeare's Poems (London, 1710). 
H., Hudson (" Harvard" edition). 
Halliwell, J. O. Halliwell (folio ed. of Shakespeare). 
Id. (idem], the same. 
K., Knight (second edition). 

Lintott, the 1709 ed. of the Poems (see p. 10 above). 

Massey, Gerald Massey's Shakespeare's Sonnets, etc. (London, 1866). Cf. p. 21 above. 
Nares, Glossary, edited by Halliwell and Wright (London, 1859). 
Palgrave, F. T. Palgrave's ed. of Shakespeare's Songs and Sonnets (London. 1879). 
Pro!., Prologue. 
S., Shakespeare. 

Schmidt, A. Schmidt's Shakespeare-Lexicon (Berlin, 1874). 
Sewell, Geo. Sewell's ed- of the Poems (7th vol. of Pope's ed. of 1725). 
Sr., Singer. 
St., Staunton. 
Theo., Theobald. 
W., R. Grant White. 

Walker, Wm. Sidney Walker's Critical Examination of the Text of Shakespeare 
(London, 1860). 
Warb., Warburton. 

Wb., Webster's Dictionary (revised quarto edition of 1879). 
Wore., Worcester's Dictionary (quarto edition). 

The abbreviations of the names of Shakespeare's Plays will be readily understood ; as 
T. N. for Twelfth Night, Cor. for Coriolanns, 3 Hen. VI. for The Third Part of King 
Henry tJte Sixth, etc. P. P. refers to The Passionate Pilgrim ; V. and A . to I'enus 
and Adonis; L. C. to Lover's. Complaint; and Sonn. to the Sonnets. 

When the abbreviation of the name of a play is followed by a reference, to page, 
Rolfe's edition of the play is meant. The numbers of the lines in the references are 
those of the " Globe " ed. 

N,O T E S. 

THE DEDICATION. The only begetter. Boswell remarks: "The be- 
getter is merely the person who^/j* or procures a thing. So in Dekker's 
Satiromastix : ' I have some cousin-germans at court shall beget you the 
reversion of the master of the king's revels.' W. H. was probably one 
of the friends to whom Shakespeare's 'sugred sonnets,' as they are termed 
by Meres, had been communicated, and who furnished the printer with 

I2 g NOTES. 

his copy." W. says: "This dedication is not written in the common 
phraseology of its period ; it is throughout a piece of affectation and elab- 
orate quaintness, in which the then antiquated prefix be- might be expect- 
ed to occur ; beget being used for get, as Wiclif uses betook for took in Mark, 
xv. i : ' And ledden him and betoken him to Pilate.' " Cf. Gr. 438. 

SONNET I. As Boswell and Boaden note, this and the following son- 
nets are only an expansion of V. and A. 169-174 : " Upon the earth's in- 
crease why shouldst thou feed," etc. 

" Herr Krauss (Shakespeare- Jahrbuch, 1881) cites, as a parallel to the 
arguments in favour of marriage in these sonnets, the versified dialogue 
between Geron and Histor at the close of Sidney's Arcadia, lib. iii." 

2. Rose. In the quarto the word is printed in italics and with a capi- 
tal. See on 20. 8 below. 

6. Self -substantial fuel. "Fuel of the substance of the flame itself" 

10. Gandy. Gay and showy. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 812 : "Nip not the 
gaudy blossoms of your love," etc. 

12. Mak'st waste in niggarding. Cf. R. and J. i. i. 223 : 

" Benvolio. Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste ? 
Romeo. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste." 

13. Pity the world, etc. " Pity the world, or else be a glutton, devour- 
ing the world's due, by means of the grave (which will else swallow your 
beauty cf. Sonn. 77. 6) and of yourself, who refuse to beget offspring " 
(Dowden). Steevens conjectured " be thy grave and thee " = " be at once 
thyself and thy grave." 

II. " In Sonn. i the Friend is ' contracted to his own bright eyes ;' 
such a marriage is fruitless, and at forty the eyes will be 'deep-sunken.' 
The 'glutton' of i reappears here in the phrase 'all-eating shame;' the 
'makest waste' of i reappears in the 'thriftless praise' of 2. If the 
youth addressed were now to marry, at forty he might have a son of his 
present age, that is, about twenty" (Dowden).* 

4. Tatter 'd. The quarto has "totter'd," as in 26. 1 1 below. Cf. K. 
John, p. 178, note on Tottering. For weed (^garment), see M. N. D. 
p. 149. 

* We reprint Dowden's introductory notes to each sonnet, but we must call attention 
here to his own comments upon them : 

' Repeated perusals have convinced me that the Sonnets stand in the right order, and 
that sonnet is connected with sonnet in more instances than have been observed. My 
notes on each sonnet commonly begin with an attempt to point out the little links or 
articulations in thought and word, which connect it with its predecessor or the group to 
which it belongs. I frankly warn the reader that 1 have pushed this kind of criticism 
iar, perhaps too far. I have perhaps in some instances fancied points of connection 
which have no real existence; some I have set down, which seem to myself conjectural. 
After this warning, I ask the friendly reader not to grow too soon impatient : and if, go- 
ing through the text carefully, he will consider for himself the points which I have noted, 
I have a hope that he will in many instances see reason to agree with what I have 


8. Thriftless. Unprofitable ; as in T. A r . ii. 2. 40 : " What thriftless 
sighs shall poor Olivia breathe !" 

ii. Shall sum my count, etc. " Shall complete my account, and serve 
as the excuse of my oldness " (Dowden). Hazlitt reads " whole " for old. 

III." A proof by example of the truth set forth in 2. Here is a par- 
ent finding in a child the excuse for age and wrinkles. But here that 
parent is the mother. Were the father of Shakspere's friend living, it 
would have been natural to mention him : 13. 14 'you had a father' con- 
firms our impression that he was dead. 

" There are two kinds of mirrors first, that of glass ; secondly, a child 
who reflects his parent's beauty" (Dowden). 

5. Unear'd. Unploughed. Cf. Rich. II. p. 192, note on Ear. For the 
figure, cf. A. and C. ii. 2. 233 : " He plough'd her, and she cropp'd." 
Steevens quotes M.for M. i. 4. 43. W. aptly remarks that the expres- 
sion is "the converse of the common metaphor 'virgin soil.'" 

7. Fond. Foolish ; the usual meaning in S. Cf. M. N. D. p. 163. 
For the passage Malone compares V. and A. 757-761. 

9. Thy mother's glass, etc. Cf. R. of L. 1758, where Lucretius says : 

"Poor broken glass, I often did behold 
In thy sweet semblance my old age new born." 

II. Windows of thine age. Malone quotes L. C. 14: "Some beauty 
peep'd through lattice of sear'd age." 
13. Live. Capell conjectures "love." 

IV. " In Sonn. 3 Shakspere has viewed his friend as an inheritor 
of beauty from his mother ; this legacy of beauty is now regarded as the 
bequest of nature. The ideas of unthriftiness (i) and niggardliness (5) 
are derived from Sonn. i, 2 ; the 'audit' (12) is another form of the 'sum 
my count' of 2. ii. The new idea introduced in this Sonnet is that of 
usury, which reappears in 6. 5, 6" (Dowden). 

3. Nature ^s bequest, etc. Dowden quotes M.for M. i. I. 36: 

" Spirits are not finely touch'd 
But to fine issues, nor Nature never lends 
The smallest scruple of her excellence 
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines 
Herself the glory of a creditor, 
Both thanks and use." 

Steevens compares Milton, Comns, 679 : 

" Why should you be so cruel to yourself, 
And to those dainty limbs which Nature lent 
For gentle usage, and soft delicacy? 
But you invert the covenants of her trust, 
And harshly deal, like an ill borrower, 
With that which you receiv'd on other terms." 

See also Id. 720-727. 

4. Free. Liberal, bountiful. Cf. T. and C. iv. 5. 100 : '* His heart and 
hand both open and both free," etc. 

8. Live. Subsist. "With all your usury you have not a livelihood, 


for, trafficking only with yourself, you put a cheat upon yourself, and win 
nothing by such usury" (Dowden). 

12. Audit. Printed in italics and with a capital in the quarto. See 
on i. 2 above. Acceptable (note the accent) is used by S. nowhere else. 

14. 77*' executor. Malone reads "thy executor" (the conjecture of 

V. " In Sonn. $ and 6, youth and age are compared to the seasons of 
the year ; in 7, they are compared to morning and evening, the seasons 
of the day" (Dowden). 

1. Hours. A dissyllable. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. p. 151. Gr. 480. 

2. Gaze. Object gazed at ; as in Macb. v. 8. 24: " Live to be the show 
and gaze o' the time." 

4. And that unfair, etc. "And render that which was once beautiful 
no longer fair " (Malone). Unfair is the only instance of the verb (or the 
word) in S. CL fairing in 127. 6 below. 

6. Confounds. Destroys. Cf. 60. 8, 64. 10, and 69. 7 below. 

8. Bareness. Sewell (2d ed.) has " barrenness." Cf. 97. 4 below. 

9. Distillation. Perfumes distilled from flowers. Malone compares 
Sonn. 54 and M. N. D. i. I. 76 : " Earthlier happy is the rose distill'd," etc. 

II. Bereft. Taken away, lost. 

14. Leese. " Lose " (Sevvell's reading). Dowden notes that the word 
occurs in i Kings, xviii. 5, in the ed. of 1611 (lose in modern eds.). 

VI. "This sonnet carries on the thoughts of 4 and 5 the distilling 
of perfumes from the former, and the interest paid on money from the 
latter " (Dowden). 

i. Ragged. Rugged, rough. See A. Y. L. p. 160. 

5. Use. Interest. Cf. V. and A. 768 : " But gold that 's put to use 
more gold begets ;" and see also 134. 10 below. 

6. Happies. Makes happy ; the only instance of the verb in S. 

13. Self-wiWd. Delius conjectures '" self-kill'd." 

VII. "After imagery drawn from summer and winter, S. finds new 
imagery in morning and evening" (Dowden). 

7. Yet mortal looks adore, etc. Malone quotes R. and J. i. I. 125 : 

"Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun 
Peer'd forth the golden window of the east." 

IO. Redeth. Dowden quotes R. and J. ii. 3. 3 : 

" And necked darkness like a drunkard reels 
From forth day's path.' 1 

ii. Fore. So in the quarto ; " 'fore " in the modern eels. Cf. Hen. V. 
p. 155. Converted = turned away ; as in 11.4 below. 

On the passage, Dowden compares T. of A. i. 2. 150 : " Men shut their 
doors against a setting sun." 

13. Thyself, etc. " Passing beyond your zenith " (Dowden). 

VIII. i. Music to hear. Thou, to hear whom is music. Malone 


thought S. might have written "Music to ear " = " Thou whose every 
accent is music to the ear." 

14. Wilt prove none. Perhaps, as Dowden suggests, an allusion to the 
proverbial expression that "one is no number/' Cf. 136. 8 : "Among a 
number one is reckon'd none." See also R. and J. p. 146, note on 32. 
The meaning seems to be that "since many make but one, one will prove 
also less than itself, that is, will prove none." 

IX. "The thought of married happiness in 8 husband, child, and 
mother united in joy suggests its opposite, the grief of a weeping wid- 
ow. 'Thou single wilt prove none' ol 8. 14 is carried on in 'consum'st 
thyself in single life ' of 9. 2 " (Dowden). 

4. Makdess. Without a make, or mate. For make, cf. Spenser, F. Q. 
iii. 11.2 : "That was as trew in love as Turtle to her make ;" Id. iv. 2. 
30 : " And each not farre behinde him had his make," etc. In Ben Jon- 
son's New Inn, the Host forms a hieroglyphic to express the proverb 
"A heavy purse makes a light heart," which he interprets thus : 

"There 't is exprest ! first, by a purse of gold, 
A heavy purse, and then two turtles, makes, 
A heart with a light stuck in 't, a light heart" 

9. Unthrift. Prodigal ; as in 13. 13 below. In Rich. II. ii. 3. 122, the 
only other instance of the noun in S., it is good-for-nothing. 

10. His. Its ; referring to what. 

12. The user. The one having the use of it, the possessor. Sewell 
reads " the us'rer." 

X. " The ' murtherous shame ' of 9. 14 reappears in the ' For shame !' 
and ' murtherous hate ' of 10. In 9 Shakspere denies that his friend loves 
any one ; he carries on the thought in the opening of 10, and this leads 
up to his friend's love of Shakspere, which is first mentioned in this son- 
net" (Dowden). 

7. Ruinate, etc. Cf. A', of L. 944: "To ruinate proud buildings," etc. 
The meaning is, "seeking to bring to ruin that house (that is, family) 
which it ought to be your chief care to repair." Dowden adds: "these 
lines confirm the conjecture that the father of Shakspere's friend was 
dead." Cf. 13. 9-14 below. For the figure, cf. also 3 Hen. VI. v. I. 83 
and T. G. of V. v. 4. 9. 

9. Thy thought. Thy purpose of not marrying. 

XL "The first five lines enlarge on the thought (10. 14) of beauty 
living ' in thine ;' showing how the beauty of a child may be called thine ' 

2. Departest. From may be understood, the preposition (Gr. 394) be- 
ing often omitted in relative sentences when it has been previously ex- 
pressed ; or the verb may be transitive, as in 2 Hen. IV. iv. 5. 91 : "De- 
part the chamber," etc. 

4. Convertest. Dost turn away. Cf. 7. II above and 14. 12 below. 
Note the rhyme with departest, and see also 14. 12, 17. 2, 49. 10, and 72. 6 

I 3 2 


7. The times. " The generations of men " (Dowden). 

9. For store. "To be preserved for use" (Malone). Schmidt makes 
s tore=" increase of men, fertility, population." 

II. Look, whom she best^ endowed, etc. To whom she gave much she 
gave more. Cf. Matt. xiii. 12: "For whosoever hath, to him shall be 
given, and he shall have more abundantly." Sewell (ist ed.), Malone, 
St., Delius, and H. read "gave thee more;" making whom she best en- 
dow\i "however liberal she may have been to others" (Malone). 

14. Not let that copy die. Malone compares 7\ N. i. 5. 261 : 

"Lady, you are the cruell'st she alive, 
If you will lead these graces to the grave 
And leave the world no copy." 

XII. "This sonnet seems to be a gathering into one of 5, 6, and 7. 
Lines i, 2, like So/in. 7, speak of the decay and loss of the brightness and 
beauty of the day ; lines 3-8, like Sonn. 5 and 6, of the loss of the sweets 
and beauties of \\\Q year" (Dowden). 

2. Brave. Beautiful. Cf. 15. 8 below. See also Ham. ii. 2. 312 : " this 
brave o'erhanging firmament," etc. 

3. Violet past prime. Dowden compares Ham. i. 3. 7 : "A violet in 
the youth of primy nature." 

4. Sable curls all silver 1 d. The quarto has "or siluer'd ;" corrected 
by Malone. The Camb. ed. notes an anonymous conjecture, "o'er-sil- 
vered with white." Steevens compares Ham. i. 2. 242 : 

" It was, as I have seen it in his life, 

A sable silver'd;" 

referring to the Ghost's beard. 

8. Beard. Capell (" C." in the Var. of 1821) quotes M. N. D. ii. i. 95 : 

"the green corn 
Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard." 

9. Question make. Consider. Elsewhere it is = doubt ; as in M. of V. 
i. i. 156, 184, L. C. 321, etc. 

14. Save breed, etc. " Except children, whose youth may set the scythe 
of Time at defiance, and render thy own death less painful " (Malone). 

XIII. " Shakspere imagines his friend in 12. 14, borne away by Time. 
It is only while he lives here that he is his own (i, 2). Note yoit and 
your instead of thy, tliine, and the address my love for the first time " 
(Dowden). Cf. p. 27 above. 

I. Yourself. That is, master of yourself; as the context shows. 

5. Beauty which you hold in lease. Malone compares Daniel's Delia, 47 : 

"in beauty's lease expirM appears 
The date of age, the calends of our death." 

6. Determination. End ; the legal sense. On the passage, cf. V. and 
A. 171 fol. 

10. Husbandry. Economy, thrift. Cf. Macb. p. 183. 
13. Unthrifts. See on 9. 9 above. 


14. You had a father. Dowden compares A. W. i. I. 19: "This young 
gentlewoman had a father O, that ' had !' how sad a passage 't is 1" Sec 
on 10. 7 above ; but cf. p. 185 below. 

XIV. "In 13 S. predicts stormy winter and the cold of death ; he 
now explains what his astrology is, and at the close of the sonnet repeats 
his melancholy prediction " (Dowden). 

I, 2. Dowden quotes Sidney, Arcadia, book iii. : "O sweet Philoclea, 
. . . thy heavenly face is my astronomy ;" and Astrophel and Stella (ed. 
1591), Sonn. 26: 

"Though dusty wits dare scorn astrology 

* * * * * 

[I] oft forejudge my after-following race 
By only those two stars in Stella's face." 

So Daniel, Delia, 30 (on Delia's eyes) : 

"Stars are they sure, whose motions rule desires; 
And calm and tempest follow their aspects." 

>. Pointing. Pointing out, appointing. See T. of S. p. 148. Cf. Bacon, 
Essay 45 (ed. of 1625): " But this to be, if you doe not point, any of the 
lower Roomes, for a Dining Place of Servants ;" and Essay 58 : *' Point- 
ing Daves for Pitched Fields," etc. ///>=its ; as in 9. 10 above. 

8. Oft predict. Frequent prediction or prognostication. Sewell reads 
"ought predict" ( = anything predicted). 

9. From thitie eyes, etc. Steevens quotes L. L. L. iv. 3. 350 : " From 
women's eyes this doctrine I derive," etc. 

11-14. Dowden puts Truth . . . convert and Thy end . . . date in quo- 
tation marks, explaining read such art as =" gather by reading such 
truths of science as the following." 

12. Store. See on 11. 9 above. Malone paraphrases thus : " If thou 
wouldst change thy single state, and beget a numerous progeny." 

Convert here rhymes with art, as in Daniel's Delia, 1 1, with heart (Dow- 
den). See on n. 4 above, and cf. A\ of L. 592. 

XV. " Introduces Verse as an antagonist of Time. The stars in 14 
determining weather, plagues, dearths, and fortune of princes reappear 
in 15. 4, commenting in secret influence on the shows of this world" 

3. Stage. Malone reads "state ;" but, as Dowden notes, the theatrical 
words presenteth (see M. N. D. p. 156) and shows confirm the old text. 

9. Conceit. Conception, imagination; as in 108. 13 below. Cf. Ham. 
p. 238. 

n. Debateth. Combats, contends. Malone quotes A. W. i. 2. 75 : 

"nature and sickness 
Debate it at their leisure." 

Schmidt may be right in putting the present passage under Mafc=dis- 
cuss. Dowden hesitates between the two explanations. 



XVI. "The gardening image engraft in 15. 14 suggests the thought 
of ' maiden gardens ' and * living flowers ' of this sonnet " (Dowden). 

6. Maiden gardens yet unset. Malone compares L. C. 171 : "Heard 
where his plants in others' orchards grew." 

7. Bear your living flowers. Lintott, Gildon, Malone, H., and others 
change your to "you ;" but, as Dowden says, " your living floivers stands 
over against your painted counterfeit." 

8. Much liker, etc. Much more like you than your painted portrait 
is. For counterfeit, cf. M. of V. p. 150. 

9. Lines of life. Probably =" living pictures, that is, children" (an 
anonymous explanation in the Var. of 1821). Dowden remarks : "The 
unusual expression is selected because it suits the imagery of the sonnet, 
lines applying to ( I ) lineage, (2) delineation with a pencil, a portrait, 
(3) lines of verse, as in 18. 12. Lines of life are living lines, living poems 
and pictures, children." H. reads "line of life," which he makes = 
"living line, or lineage." 

10. This timers pencil. We are inclined to think this is =any painter 
of the time. Massey supposes that some particular artist is referred to, 
perhaps Mirevelt, who painted the Earl of Southampton's portrait. 
The quarto reads "this (Times pensel or my pupill pen)," etc., and the 
modern eds. generally read "this, Time's pencil," etc. Dowden asks: 
"Are we to understand the line as meaning ' Which this pencil of Time 
or this my pupil pen ;' and is Time here conceived as a limner who has 
painted the youth so fair, but whose work cannot last for future genera- 
tions? In 19 ' Devouring Time' is transformed into a scribe; may not 
' tyrant Time ' be transformed here into a painter ? In 20 it is Nature 
who paints the face of the beautiful youth. This masterpiece of twenty 
years can endure neither as painted by Time's pencil, nor as represented 
by Shakspere's unskilful, pupil pen. Is \.\\t painted counterfeit Shakspere's 
portrayal in his verse ? Cf. 53. 5." 

11. Fair. Beauty. Cf. 18. 7, 68. 3, and 83. 2 below. 

XVII. " In 16 Shakspere has said that his ' pupil pen ' cannot make 
his friend live to future ages. He now carries on this thought ; his verse, 
although not showing half his friend's excellencies, will not be believed 
in times to come " (Dowden). 

2. Deserts. For the rhyme with/flr/j, see on 14. 12 above. Cf. 72. 6 below. 

12. Stretched metre. " Overstrained poetry " (Dowden). Keats took 
this line for the motto of his Endymion. 

13. 14. " If a child were alive his beauty would verify the descriptions 
in Shakspere's verse, and so the friend would possess a twofold life, in 
his child and in his poet's rhyme " (Dowden). 

XVIII. " Shakspere takes heart, expects immortality for his verse, 
and so immortality for his friend as surviving in it " (Dowden). 

3. Rough winds do shake, etc. Malone quotes Cymb. i. 3. 36 : 

"And, like the tyrannous breathing of the north, 
Shakes all our buds from growing;" 

and T. of S. v. 2. 140 : " as whirlwinds shake fair buds." 


5. Eye of heaven. Cf. Rich. II. iii. 2. 37 : " the searching eye of heaven ;" 
and R. of L. 356 : " The eye of heaven is out." 

7. Fair. Beauty. See on 16. 11 above. So in 10 below, fair thou 
owest=bea.uty thou possessest. For owe, cf. 70. 14 below. 

14. So long lives this. This anticipation of immortality for their works 
was a common conceit with the poets of the time. Cf. Spenser, Amoretti, 
-!> 69> 95 ; Dray ton, Idea, 6, 44 ; Daniel, Delia, 39, etc. 

XIX. " Shakspere, confident of the immortality of his friend in verse, 
defies Time " (Dowden). 

I. Devouring. Walker conjectures " Destroying." 

4. Phoenix. For allusions to the phoenix in S., see A. Y. L. p. 189, 
note on 17. 

5. Fleets. The quarto has " fleet'st ;" but the analogy of 8. 7 ("con- 
founds ") favours Dyce's emendation, which is also adopted by Dowden 
and H. 

10. Antique. Accented on the first syllable, as regularly in S. 

XX. " His friend is ' beauty's pattern ' (19. 12) ; as such he owns the 
attributes of male and female beauty " (Dowden). 
Palgrave omits this sonnet, with 151, 153, and 154. 

1. With Nature"* s ozun hand painted. Not artificially coloured a fash- 
ion which S. detested, as he did false hair. See L. L. L. p. 151, note on 

2. Master-mistress of my passion. " Who sways my love with united 
charms of man and woman" (Dowden). 

5. Less false in rolling. Dowden compares Spenser, F. Q. iii. i. 41 : 

" Her wanton eyes (ill signes of womanhed) 
Did roll too lightly." 

8. Hues. Printed in the quarto in italics and with a capital. This led 
Tyrwhitt to surmise that " Mr. W. H." might be Mr. William Hews, or 
Hughes. But the following words are all printed in the same manner : 
Rose, I. 2 ; Audit, 4. 12 ; Statues, 55. 5 ; Intrim, 56. 9 ; Alien, 78. 3 ; Sat- 
ire, 100. II ; Autnmne, 104. 5; Abisme, 112.9; Alcumie, 114.4; Syren, 
119. I ; Hereticke, 124. 9 ; Informer, 125. 13 ; Audite, 126. II ; and Quie- 
tus, 126. 12. The word hue was used by Elizabethan writers not only in 
the sense of complexion, but also in that of shape, form. In Spenser, F. 
Q. v. 9. 17, Talus tries to seize Malengin, who transforms himself into a 
fox, a bush, a bird, a stone, and then a hedgehog : 

"Then gan it [the hedgehog] run away incontinent, 
Being returned to his former hew." 

The meaning here may then be "A man in form and appearance, hav- 
ing the mastery over all forms in that of his, which steals, etc." (Dow- 

1 1. Defeated. Disappointed, defrauded. Cf. M. N. D. iv. I. 161 : 

"They would have stolen away; they would, Demetrius, 
Thereby to have defeated you and me, 
You of your wife, and me of my consent." 

I3 6 NOTES. 

13. Prick' it. Marked. See J. C. p. 160 ; and for the equivoque cf. 
2 Hen. IV. iii. 2. 122. 

XXL "The first line of 20 suggests this sonnet. The face of Shak- 
spere's friend is painted by Nature alone, and so too there is no false 
painting, no poetical hyperbole, in the description. As containing ex- 
amples of such extravagant comparisons, amorous fancies, far-fetchec 
conceits of sonnet- writers as S. here speaks of, Mr. Main (Treasury of 
English Sonnets, p. 283) cites Spenser's Amoretti, 9 and 64; Daniel's 
Delia, 19; Barnes's Parthenophil and Parthenophe, Sonn. 48. Compare 
also Griffin's Fidessa, Sonn. 39; and Constable's Diana (1594), the 6tl 
Decade, Sonn. I " (Dowden). Sonn. 130 is in the same vein as this. 

I. So is it not, etc. " I am not like that poet who exaggerates in praise 
of a painted beauty, coupling her with all other beauty in earth or heav 
en" (Palgrave). 

5. Couplement. Union, combination. The quarto has " cooplement.' 
Gildon reads "complement," and Sewell (2d ed.) "compliment." Foi 
compare as a noun, cf. 35. 6 and 130. 14 below. 

8. Rondure. Circle. Cf. rotindnre in K. John, ii. i. 259. 

12. Gold candles. Malone compares M. of V. v. i. 220 : " these blessec 
candles of the night ;" R. and J. iii. 5. 9 : " Night's candles are burn 
out ;" and Macb. ii. 1.5: 

"There's husbandry in heaven; 
Their candles are all out." 

13. That like of hearsay well. Apparently referring to the common 
place style of which he has been speaking. Schmidt makes it ="tha 
fall in love with what has been praised by others ;" and Dowden " tha 
like to be buzzed about by talk." For like 0/~=like, see L. L. L. p. 130 
Cf. Gr. 177. 

14. I will not praise, etc. Steevens quotes L. L. L. iv. 3. 239 : 

"Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not; 
To things of sale a seller's praise belongs." 

Cf. also 102. 3 below. 

XXII. " The praise of his friend's beauty suggests by contrast Shak 
spere's own face marred by time. He comforts himself by claiming hi< 
friend's beauty as his own. Lines 11-14 gi ve the fi rst mnt of possible 
wrong committed by the youth against friendship " (Dowden). 

4. Expiate. Bring to an end. Cf. Rich. III. iii. 3. 23 : " Make haste 
the hour of death is expiate ;" and see the note in our ed. p. 213. Here 
as there, Steevens conjectures "expirate," which W. and H. adopt 
Surely there is no need of coining a word to replace one which S. twice 
uses and which can be plausibly explained. Malone quotes Chapman'? 
Byron'' s Conspiracie, in which an old courtier speaks of himself as " A 
poor and expiate humour of the court." 

XXIII. " The sincerity and silent love of his verses ; returning to the 
thought of 21 " (Dowden). 


1. As an imperfect actor, etc. Mai one compares Cor. v. 3. 40 : 

" Like a dull actor now, 
I have forgot my part, and I am out, 
Even to a full disgrace." 

S. uses imperfect only here ; but we find unperfectness in Oth. ii. 3. 298. 

2. Besides. For the prepositional use, cf. T. N. iv. 2. 92 : " Alas, sir, 
how fell you besides your five wits ?" See our ed. p. 158, or Gr. 34. 

5. For fear of trust. Fearing to trust myself. Schmidt makes it = 
" doubting of being trusted ;" but the context clearly confirms the expla- 
nation we have given. Dowden calls attention to the construction of the 
first eight lines, 5, 6 referring to I, 2, and 7, 8 to 3, 4. 

6. Ceremony. H. says that the word "is here used as a trisyllable, as 
if spelt ceremony ;" but how he would scan the verse we cannot imagine, 
The word is clearly a quadrisyllable, as almost always in S. 

9. Books. Sewell reads " looks ;" but, as Malone notes, the old read- 
ing is supported by 13 below. The books, as Dowden remarks, are prob- 
ably the manuscript books in which the poet writes his sonnets. 

12. More than that tongue, etc. "More than that tongue (the tongue 
of another than S.) which hath more fully expressed more ardours of 
love, or more of your perfections" (Dowden). 

XXIV. " Suggested by the thought (22. 6) of Shakspere's heart being 
lodged in his friend's breast, and by the conceit of 23. 14 ; there eyes are 
able to hear through love's fine wit ; here eyes do other singular things, 
play the painter " (Dowden). 

1. Stell\L 
sfrelsy} : 

Here the quarto , ... 

2. 7 able. The tablet or surface on which a picture is painted. Cf. A. 
W.\. i. 106 and K. John, ii. i. 503 (see our ed. p. 150). 

4. Perspective. The word in S. means either a kind of picture which 
was so painted as to be distinct only when viewed obliquely, or a kind of 
glass employed to produce optical illusions. See the long note in Rich, 
II. p. 1 80. Here the meaning seems to be that the poet's eye (the painter} 
is that through which the person addressed must look to see his image, or 
picture, hanging in the bosom's shop, or heart, within. For the accent of 
perspective, see Gr. 492. 

Dowden remarks: "The strange conceits in this sonnet are paral- 
leled in Constable's Diana (1594), Sonn. 5 (p. 4, ed. Hazlitt): 

1 Thine eye, the glasse where I behold my heart, 

Mine eye, the window through the which thine eye 
May see my heart, and there thyselfe espy 
In bloody colours how thou painted art.' 

Compare also Watson's Teares of Fauci e (1593). Sonn - 45 4^ (ed. Arbcr, 
p. 201): 

' My Mistres seeing her faire counterfet 
So sweetelie framed in ny bleeding^ brest 

But it so fast was fixed to my heart,'" etc. 

13 8 NOTES. 

II. Where-through. Cf. where-a gainst in Cor. iv. 5. 113, whereout in 7*. 
0;/</ C. iv. 5. 245, where-until in Z. Z. Z. v. 2. 493, etc. 

XXV. " In this sonnet S. makes his first complaint against Fortune, 
against his low condition. He is about to undertake a journey on some 
needful business of his own (26, 27), and rejoices to think that at least in 
one place he has a fixed abode, in his friend's heart" (Dowden). 

Prof. Hales (Cornhill Mag. Jan. 1877) suggests that the journeys spok- 
en of in the Sonnets may have been from London to Stratford. 

5. Great princes' favourites, etc. Cf. MucJi Ado, iii. i. 8 : 

"Where honeysuckles, riperfd by the sun, 
Forbid the sun to enter, like favourites 
Made proud by princes," etc. 

Hales thinks that Essex or Raleigh may have furnished the suggestion 
of the simile. 

6~ The marigold. The "garden marigold" {Calendula officinalis}. Cf. 
the long note in IV. T. p. 191 ; and see also Two Noble Kinsmen, p. 155, 
note on 10. 

9. For fight. The quarto reads "for worth ;" corrected by Malone at 
the suggestion of Theo., who also proposed forth for the rhyming word 
in II if worth was retained. W. adopts the latter reading. Capell pro- 
posed "for might ;" and Steevens suggested this delectable emendation : 

"The painful warrior for worth famoused, 
After a thousand victories once foil'd, 
Is from the book of honour quite razed," etc. 

XXVI. "In 25 S. is in disfavour with his stars, and unwillingly as I 
suppose about to undertake some needful journey. He now sends this 
written embassage to his friend (perhaps it is the Envoy to the preceding 
group of sonnets), and dares to anticipate a time when the ' star that 
guides his moving? now unfavourable, may point on him graciously with 
fair aspect" (Dowden). 

Drake writes (Shakspeare and His Times, vol. ii. p. 63) : " Perhaps one 
of the most striking proofs of this position [that the Sonnets are ad- 
dressed to the Earl of Southampton] is* the hitherto unnoticed fact that 
the language of the Dedication to the Rape of Lucrece, and that of part of 
the twenty-sixth sonnet are almost precisely the same. The Dedication 
runs thus : * The love I dedicate to your Lordship is without end. . . . 
The warrant I have of your honourable disposition, not the worth of 
my untutored lines, makes it assured of acceptance. What I have is 
yours, what I have to do is yours ; being part of all I have devoted 
yours. Were my worth greater, my duty would show greater.' " Capell 
had previously noted the parallel. 

2. My duty strongly knit. Steevens quotes Macb. iii. 1.15. 

8. In thy soul's thought, etc. That is, " I hope some happy idea of 
yours will convey my duty, even naked as it is, into your soul's thought " 
(Dowden). For bestow ( stow, deposit), see C. of E. p. 114. Sewell 
has " my " for thy. 

10. Aspect. Accented on the last syllable, as regularly in S. 


11. Tatter W. The quarto has "tottered." See on 2.4 above. 

12. Respect. Regard, consideration. The quarto has *' their " for thy 
as in 27. 10 below. 

XXVII. " Written on a journey, which removes S. farther and farther 
from his friend " (Dowden). 

3. Head. Dowden omits the comma after this word, thinking that the 
construction may be " a journey in my head begins to work my mind." 

6. Intend. Here Schmidt makes the word =" bend, direct ;" as in 
M. W. ii. I. 188, I Hen. IV. iv. i. 92, A. and C. v. 2. 201, etc. 

9. Imaginary. Imaginative. Cf. K. John, iv. 2. 265 : " foul imaginary 
eyes of blood " (that is, the sanguinary eyes of my imagination), etc. 

1 1. Like a jewel, etc. Malone quotes R. and J. i. 5. 47 : 

" It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night 
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear. 1 * 

13. By day my limbs, etc. By day my limbs find no quiet for myself, 
that is, on account of my travel ; by night my mind finds no quiet for 
thee, that is, thinking of thee. For the interlaced construction, cf. IV. T, 
iii. 2. 164 : 

"though I with death and with 
Reward did threaten and encourage him;" 

and see note in our ed. p. 161. Cf. also 75. ii, 12 below. 

XXVIII. "A continuation of Sonn. 27" (Dowden). 
5. Either 's. The quarto has "ethers," the ed. of 1640 "others." 
9. To please him, etc. Most eds. put a comma after him. On the 
whole, we prefer to omit it, as the Camb. ed. does. 

11. Swart-complexion 'd. First hyphened by Gildon. For swart (= dark, 
black), cf. C. of E. iii. 2. 104, K. John, iii. i. 46, etc. 

12. Twire. Peep, twinkle. Boswell quotes B. J., Sad Shepherd, ii. I : 
"Which maids will twire at, 'tween their fingers thus." Nares adds B. 
and F., Woman Pleased, iv. i : " I saw the wench that twir'd and twin- 
kled at thee;" and Marston, Antonio and Mellida, act iv. : "I saw a 
thing stir under a hedge, and I peeped, and I spied a thing, and I peered 
and I tweered underneath." Gildon reads "tweer out." Malone con- 
jectures "twirl not," Steevens "twink not," and Massey "tire not." 
For gild'st the quarto has " guil'st ;" corrected by Sewell. 

14. Strength. The quarto has " length ;" corrected by D. (the conject- 
ure of Capell and Coll.). Dowden, who retains the old text (though 
with some hesitation), explains it thus : " Each day's journey draws out 
my sorrows to a greater length ; but this process of drawing-out does 
not weaken my sorrows, for my night-thoughts come to make my sor- 
rows as strong as before, nay stronger." Capell suggested to Malone 
" draw my sorrows stronger . . . length seem longer." 

XXIX. "These are the night-thoughts referred to in the last line of 
28 ; hence a special appropriateness in the image of the lark rising at 
break of day " (Dowden). 

I 4 o NOTES. 

8. With what I most enjoy contented least. " The preceding line makes 
it not improbable that S. is here speaking of his own poems " (Dowden). 

12. Sings hymns at heaverfs gate. Malone quotes Cymb. ii. 3. 21 : 
" Hark, hark ! the lark at heaven's gate sings ;" and Reed adds Lyly, 
Campaspe, v. I (referring to the lark) : 

" How at heaven's gate she claps her wings, 
The morn not waking till she sings." 

Milton may have remembered S. when he wrote (P. L. v. 198) : 

"ye birds, 
That singing up to heaven-gate ascend," etc. 

XXX. "Sonnet 29 was occupied with thoughts of present wants and 
troubles; 30 tells of thoughts of past griefs and losses" (Dowden). 

I. Sessions of sweet silent thought. Malone quotes Oth. iii. 3. 138 : 

"who has a breast so pure 
But some uncleanly apprehensions 
Keep leets and law-days and in session sit 
With meditations lawful?" 

6. Dateless. Endless; the only sense in S. Cf. 153. 6 below; and 
see also Rich. II. i. 3. 151 and R. and J. v. 3. 115. 

8. Moan the expense. Lament the loss. Dowden thinks it means "pay 
my account of moans for," being explained by what follows ("tell o'er," 
etc.) ; but we cannot agree with him. For expense, cf. 94. 6 and 129. i 

10. Tell. Count; as in 138. 12 below. Cf. Temp. p. 123. 

XXXI. " Continues the subject of 30 Shakspere's friend compen- 
sates all losses in the past " (Dowden). 

5. Obsequious. Funereal. See Ham. p. 180. 

6. Dear religious love. " In A Lover's Complaint, the beautiful youth 
pleads to his love that all earlier hearts which had paid homage to him 
now yield themselves through him to her service (a thought similar to 
that of this sonnet) ; one of these fair admirers was a nun, a sister sanc- 
tified, but (250): 'Religious love put out Religion's eye'" (Dowden). 
Walker would read "dear-religious," which he explains as "making a 
religion of its affections." 

8. Thee. The quarto has " there ;" corrected by Gildon. 

II. Parts of me. Shares in me, claims upon me. 

XXXII. "From the thought of dead friends of whom he is the sur- 
vivor, S. passes to the thought of his own death, and his friend as the 
survivor. This sonnet reads like an Envoy" (Dowden). 

4. Lover. For the masculine use, see M. of V. p. 153. 

5, 6. Dowden asks : " May we infer from these lines (and 10) that S. 
had a sense of the wonderful progress of poetry in the time of Elizabeth?" 

7. Reserve. Preserve ; as in Per. iv. I. 40 : 

That excellent complexion," etc. 


XXXIII. "A new group seems to begin with this sonnet It intro- 
duces the wrongs done to S. by his friend " (Dowclen). 

4. Heavenly alchemy. Steevens compares K. John, iii. i. 77 : 

"To solemnize this day the glorious sun 
Stays in his course and plays the alchemist, 
Turning with splendour of his precious eye 
The meagre cloddy earth to glittering gold." 
He might have added M. N. D. iii. 2. 391-393. 

6. Rack. A mass of floating clouds. Cf. Temp, p. 137. D. quotes 
Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, 115 : "The winds in the upper region, which 
move the clouds above (which we call the rack}." On the passage, Ca- 
pell compares I Hen. IV. i. 2. 221 fol. 

7. Forlorn. Accented on the first syllable because followed by a noun 
so accented. Cf. T. G. of V. i. 2. 124: "Poor forlorn Proteus, passion- 
ate Proteus." For the other accent, see A', of L. 1500 and L. L. L. v. 2. 
805. See also on 107. 4 below. 

12. The region cloud. S. uses region several times as =air. Cf. Ham. 

"the dreadful thunder 
Doth rend the region;" 

and again in 607 : "the region kites." See our ed. p. 211. 

14. Stain. Grow dim, as if stained or soiled. Cf. L. L. L. ii. I. 48 : 
" If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil," etc. Cf. the transitive use in 
35. 3 below. See also the noun in V. and A. 9 : " Stain to all nymphs" 
(that is, by eclipsing them), etc. 

XXXIV. "Carries on the idea and metaphor of 33" (Dowden). 
12. Cross. The quarto has "losse;" corrected by Malone (the con- 
jecture of Capell). Cf. 42. 12 and 133. 8. 

XXXV. " The ' tears ' of 34 suggest the opening. Moved to pity, 
S. will find guilt in himself rather than in his friend " (Dowclen). 

4. Canker. Canker-worm ; as in 70. 7, 95. 2, and 99. 12 below. See 
also M. N. D. p. 150. 

5. Make faults. Cf. R. of L. 804 : "all the faults which in thy reign 
are made ;" W. T. iii. 2. 218: " All faults I make," etc. 

And even /, etc. : " And even I am faulty in this, that I find precedents 
for your misdeed by comparisons with roses, fountains, sun, and moon " 

6. Atithorizing. Accented on the second syllable, as elsewhere in S. 
See Macb. p. 218. For compare, see on 21. 5 above. The meaning is : 
"giving a precedent for thy fault by comparing it with mine" (Pal- 

7. Amiss. For the noun, cf. 151. 3 below and Ham. iy. 5. 18. 
For corrupting, salving, Capell would read "corrupt in salving." 

8. Thy . . . thy. The quarto reads "their . . . their;" corrected by 
Malone (the conjecture of Capell). Steevens explains the line thus : 
" Making the excuse more than proportioned to the offence." 

9. Sense. Reason. Malone conjectured " incense " for in sense. Dow- 


den says: "If we receive the present text, 'thy adverse party' must 
mean Shakspere. But may we read: 

* For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense, [that is, judgment, 
Thy adverse party, as thy advocate.' reason] 

Sense against which he has offended brought in as his advocate ?" 

14. Sweet thief. Cf. 40. 9 : "gentle thief." For sourly Gildon has 

XXXVI. " According to the announcement made in 35, S. proceeds 
to make himself out the guilty party" (Dowden). 

I. We two must be twain. Malone compares T. and C. iii. I. no: 
" She '11 none of him ; they two are twain." 

4. Borne. The Var. of 1821 misprints "born." 

5. Respect. Regard, affection. Dowden quotes Cor. iii. 3. 112 : 

" I do love 

My country's good with a respect more tender, 
More holy and profound than my own life." 

Palgrave explains one respect as "one thing we look to." 

6. A separable spite. " A cruel fate that spitefully separates us from each 
other " (Malone). Separable is used by S. only here. For the active use 
of adjectives in -ble, see Gr. 3. Cf. Rich. If. p. 185 (on Deceivable}, Lear, 
p. 193 (on Comfortable}, etc. 

9. Evermore. Walker conjectures " ever more." 

10. My bewailed guilt. Explained by Spalding and others as "the 
blots that remain with S. on account of his profession " as an actor ; but 
Dowden thinks the meaning may be : "I may not claim you as a friend, 
lest my relation to the dark woman now a matter of grief should con- 
vict you of faithlessness in friendship." The interpretation of many 
expressions in the Sonnets must depend upon the theory we adopt con- 
cerning their autobiographical or non- autobiographical character, and 
their relations to one another. 

12. That honour. The honour you give me. 

13, 14. These lines are repeated at the end of Sonn. 96. 

XXXVII. "Continues the thought of 36. 13, 14" (Dowden). 

3. So I, made lame. Cf. 89. 3 below: "Speak of my lameness, and I 
straight will halt." Capell and others have inferred that S. was literally 
lame. Malone remarks : " In the 8gth Sonnet the poet speaks of his 
friend's imputing to him a fault of which he was not guilty, and yet, he says, 
he would acknowledge it : so (he adds) were he to be described as lame, 
however untruly, yet rather than his friend should appear in the wrong, 
he would immediately halt. If S. was in truth lame, he had it not in his 
power to halt occasionally for this or any other purpose. The defect 
must have been fixed and permanent. The context in the verse before 
us in like manner refutes this notion. If the words are to be understood 
literally, we must then suppose that our admired poet was also poor and 
despised, for neither of which suppositions is there the smallest ground." 
Dowden says : " S. uses to lame in the sense of disable ; here the worth 
and truth of his friend are set over against the lameness of S. ; the lame- 


ness then is metaphorical a disability to join in the joyous movement 
of life, as his friend does." 

Dearest. Most intense. Cf. Ham.\. 2. 182: "my dearest foe;" and 
see note in our ed. p. 185. 

7. Entitled in thy parts. Finding their title or claim to the throne in 
thy qualities. Cf. R. of L. 57 : 

"But beauty, in that white intituled, 
From Venus' doves doth challenge that fair field ;" 

and see note in our ed. p. 183. Malone explains entitled as "ennobled." 
The quarto has "their parts," which Schmidt would retain, explaining 
the passage thus : " or more excellencies, having a just claim to the first 
place as their due." 

XXXVIII. " The same thought as that of the two preceding sonnets: 
S. will look on, delight in his friend, and sing his praise. In 37. 14 S. 
is 'ten times happy' in his friend's happiness and glory; thus he re- 
ceives ten times the inspiration of other poets from his friend, who is 
'the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth' than the old nine Muses" 

8. Invention. Imagination, or the poetic faculty. Cf. 76. 6, 103. 7, 
and 105. ii below. 

13. Curious. Fastidious, critical. Cf. A. W. \. 2. 20 : 

" Frank Nature, rather curious than in haste, 
Hath well compos'd thee." 

XXXIX. "In 38 S. spoke of his friend's worth as ten times that 
of the nine Muses, but in 37 he had spoken of his friend as the better 
part of himself. He now asks how he can with modesty sing the worth 
of his own better part. Thereupon he returns to the thought of 36, ' we 
two must be twain ;' and now, not only are the two lives to be divided, 
but ' our dear love ' undivided in 36 must * lose name of single one ' " 

12. Which time and thoughts, etc. Which doth so sweetly beguile 
time and thoughts. Malone takes thoughts to be = melancholy (cf. J. C. 
p. 146). See on 44. 9 below. The quarto has " dost " for doth ; correct- 
ed by Malone. 

13, 14. " Absence teaches how to make of the absent beloved two per- 
sons: one, absent in reality; the other, present to imagination" (Dow- 

XL." In 39-S. desires that his love and his friend's may be separat- 
ed, in order that he may give his friend what otherwise he must give also 
to himself. Now, separated, he gives his beloved all his loves, yet knows 
that, before the gift, all his was his friend's by right. 'Our love 1 
name of single one ' (39. 6) suggests the manifold loves, mine and thine 

5, 6. Then if for love of me you receive her whom I love, 1 cann 
blame you for using her. For in 6 = because; as in 54. 9 and 106. n 
below. Gr. 151. 



7. 8. " Yet you are to blame if you deceive yourself by an unlawful 
union while you refuse loyal wedlock " (Dowden). The quarto has " this 
selfe " for thyself ; corrected by Gildon. 

10. All my poverty. The poor little that I have. Cf. 103. I below. 
For thee, see Gr. 220. 

XLI. " The thought of 40. 13, ' Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well 
shows,' is carried out in this sonnet" (Dowden). 

i. Pretty. Bell and Palgrave read " petty." Cf. M. of V. ii. 6. 37 : 

" But love is blind, and lovers cannot see 
The pretty follies that themselves commit." 

3. Befits. See Gr. 333. 

5, 6. Gentle thou art, etc. Steevens quotes I Hen VI. v. 3. 77 : 

"She's beautiful, and therefore to be woo'd; 
She is a woman, therefore to be won." 

8. She have. The quarto reads " he have ;" corrected by Malone (the 
conjecture of Tyrwhitt). Dowden thinks that the old text may be right. 

9. Ay me ! H. and some others read " Ah me !" which is not found 
in S. See M. N. D. p. 128. 

My seat. Malone reads " thou mightst, my sweet, forbear ;" but, as 
Boaden notes, the old reading is confirmed and explained by Oik. ii. i. 


" I do suspect the lusty Moor 
Hath leap'd into my seat." 

Dr. Ingleby adds, as a parallel, JR. of L. 412, 413. 

XLI I. "In 41. 13, 14 S. declares that he loses both friend and mis- 
tress ; he now goes on to say that the loss of his friend is the greater of 
the two " (Dowden). 

9. My love* s gain. That is, my mistress's gain. 

1 1. Both twain. Dowden compares L. L. L. v. 2. 459 : " I remit both 

XLIII. Dowden asks : " Does this begin a new group of sonnets ?" 

1. Wink. Shut my eyes. Cf. V. and A. p. 172. 

2. Uninspected. Unnoticed, unregarded ; as in 54. 10 below, the only 
other instance of the word in S. 

5. Whose shadow, etc. " Whose image makes bright the shades of 
night" (Dowden). 

II. Thy. The quarto again misprints "their;" corrected by Malone 
(the conjecture of Capell). 

13. All days are nights to see, etc. " All days are gloomy to behold," 
etc. (Steevens). Malone wished to read "nights to me;" and Lettsom 
conjectured : 

"All days are nights to me till thee I see, 
And nights bright days when dreams do show me thee." 

Thee me = \.\\te to me. ' 


XLIV. " In 43 he obtains sight of his friend in dreams ; 44 expresses 
the longing of the waking hours to come into his friend's presence by 
some preternatural means " (Dowclen). 

4. From, Gildon has "To." Where^ 'to where. 

6. Farthest earth removed. That is, earth farthest removed. See Gr. 
419^; and cf. in. 2 below. 

9. Thought kills me. Here, as Dowden notes, thought may mean " mel- 
ancholy contemplation." See on 39. 12 above. 

11. So much of earth and water wrought. That is, so much of these 
baser elements being wrought into my nature. The allusion is to the old 
idea of the four elements entering into the composition of man. See J. 
C. p. 185, note on His life was gentle, etc. Cf. T. N. ii. 3. 10 : " Does not 
our life consist of the four elements ?" and Hen. V. iii. 7. 22 : " He is pure 
air and fire, and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in 
him," etc. See also A. and C. v. 2. 292. Walker quotes Chapman, 
Iliad) vii. : 

"But ye are earth and water all, which symboliz'd [that is, collected] in one- 
Have franVd your faint unfiery spirits.'' 

XLV. " Sonnet 44 tells of the duller elements of earth and water ; 
this sonnet, of the elements of air and fire" (Dowden). 
4. Present-absent. The hyphen was inserted by Malone. 

8. Melancholy. To be pronounced melancholy (Walker). 

9. Recur'd. Restored to health. Cf. V. and A. 465 : " A smile re- 
cures the wounding of a frown." See also Rich. III. iii. 7. 130. 

12. Thy. Again "their" in the quarto; corrected by Malone. 

XLVI. " As 44 and 45 are a pair of companion sonnets, so are 46 
and 47. The theme of the first pair is the opposition of the four ele- 
ments in the person of the poet ; the theme of the second is the opposi- 
tion of the heart and the eye, that is, of love and the senses " (Dowden). 

3. 77iy. The quarto has " their," as in 8, 13, and 14 below ; corrected 
by Malone. 

9. 'Cide. The quarto has "side ;" corrected by Sewell (2d ed.). 

10. Quest. Inquest, or jury ; as in Rich. III. i. 4. 189 : 

"What lawful quest have given their verdict up 
Unto the frowning judge ?" 

12. Moiety. Share, portion ; not necessarily an exact half. Cf. Ham. 
p. 174. 

XLVIL "Companion sonnet to the last" (Dowden). 
i. Took. Capell conjectures "strook." 

3. Famished for a look. Cf. 75. 10 below. Malone quotes C. of E. 11. 
I. 88 : " Whilst I at home starve for a merry look." 

9. Thy picture or. Lintott has " the picture or," and Gildon " the pict- 
ure of." 

10. Art. The quarto has " are ;" corrected by Malone. 

11. Not. The quarto has "nor " corrected in the ed. of 1640. 

146 NOTES. 

With Sonn. 46, 47, Dowden compares Sonn. 19, 20 of Watson's Tears 
of Fancie, 1593 (ed. Arber, p. 188) : 

" My hart impos'd this penance on mine eies, 
(Eies the first causers of my harts lamenting): 
That they should weepe till loue and fancie dies, 
Fond loue the last cause of my harts repenting. 
Mine eies vpon my hart inflict this paine 
(Bold hart that dard to harbour thoughts of loue) 
That it should loue and purchase fell disdaine, 
A grieuous penance which my heart doth proue, 
Mine eies did weep as hart had them imposed, 
My hart did pine as eies had it constrained," etc. 

Sonnet 20 continues the same : 

" My hart accus'd mine eies and was offended, 


Hart said that loue did enter at the eies, 
And from the eies descended to the hart ; 
Eies said that in the hart did sparkes arise," etc 

Cf. also Diana (ed. 1584), Sixth Decade, Sonnet 7 (Arber's English Gar- 
ner, vol. ii. p. 254) ; and Drayton, Idea,^. 

XLVIII. "Line 6 of 46, in which S. speaks of keeping his friend in 
the closet of his breast, suggests 48 (see lines 9-12). I have said he is 
safe in my breast ; yet, ah ! I feel he is not " (Dowden). 

II. Gentle closure of my breast. Cf. V. and A. 782: "Into the quiet 
closure of my breast." 

14. Dowden asks : " Does not this refer to the woman who has sworn 
love (152. 2), and whose truth to S. (spoken of in 41. 13) now proves .thiev- 
ish ?" Capell compares V. and A. 724 : " Rich preys make true mea 
thieves." For the antithesis of true men and thieves, see Cymb. p. 182. 

XLIX. "Continues the sad strain with which 48 closes. Notice the 
construction of the sonnet, each of the quatrains beginning with the same 
words, 'Against that time;' so also 64, three quatrains beginning with 
the words ' When I have seen.' So Daniel's sonnet beginning 'If this 
be love,' repeated in the first line of each quatrain " (Dowden). 

3. Whenas. When. Cf. C. of E. p. 142. 

4. Advised respects. Deliberate considerations; as in K. John, iv. 2. 
214 : "More upon humour than advis'd respects." For advis'd, see M. 
of V. p. 130, or Rich. II. p. 165. 

7. Converted. Changed. Steevens compares J. C. iv. 2. 20 : 

" When love begins to sicken and decay, 
It useth an enforced ceremony." 

8. Reasons. That is, for the change it has undergone. 
10. Desert. Rhyming with part, and spelled " desart " in the quarto. 
See on 14. 12 and 17. 2 above. Cf. 72. 6 below. 

L. " This sonnet and the next are a pair, as 44, 45 are, and 46, 47. 
The journey is that spoken of in 48. I " (Dowden). 

6. Dully. The quarto has "duly;" corrected in the ed. of 1640. 


7. Instinct. Accented on the last syllable, as regularly in S. Cf. 2 
Hen. IV. p. 149. 

LI. "Companion to 50" (Dowden). 

6. Swift extremity. The extreme of swiftness. 

10. Perfect" st. The quarto has "perfects," and Gildon "perfect." 
Perfect 1 st is due to D. For the superlative, cf. Much Ado, ii. I. 317 : " Si- 
lence is the perfectest herald of joy;" and for the contracted form, see 
Gr. 473. 

11. Shall neigh no dull flesh, etc. The quarto reads "shall naigh noe 
dull flesh," etc. Malone was the first to make no dull flush parenthetical. 
Dowden thinks the meaning may be, "Desire, which is all love, shall 
neigh, there being no dull flesh to cumber him as he rushes forward in 
his fiery race." Massey makes^fcjv& the object of neigh (=neigh to). 

13. Wilftil-slow. The hyphen is due to Malone. 

14. Go. The word here, as Dowden notes, seems to have the specific 
sense of walking as opposed to running. ' Cf. Temp. iii. 2. 22 : 

" Stephano. We '11 not run, Monsieur monster. 
Trinculo. Nor go neither;" 

and T. G. of V. iii. i. 388 : " Thou must run to him, for thou hast stayed 
so long that going will scarce serve thy turn." Schmidt defines go in 
these two passages as ="walk leisurely, not to run ;" but the instance 
in the text he puts under the head Qi go ="make haste." 

LIT. "The joy of hope ; the hope of meeting his friend spoken of in 
the last sonnet" (Dowden). 

i. Key. Pronounced kay in the time of S. Note the rhyme with sur- 

4. For blunting. For fear of blunting. Cf. T. G. of V. \. 2. 136 : " Yet 
here they shall not lie, for catching cold ;" and 2 Hen. VI. iv. I. 74: 

"Now will I dam up this thy yawning mouth, 

For swallowing the treasure of the realm." 
See Gr. 154. 

5. Therefore are feasts, etc. Malone quotes I Hen. IV. i. 2. 229 : 

" If all the year were playing holidays, 
To sport would be as tedious as to work; 
But when they seldom come, they wish'd for come, 
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents;" 

and Id. iii. 2. 57: 

"and so my state, 

Seldom but sumptuous, showed like a feast, 
And won by rareness such solemnity." 

8. Captain. Chief. For the adjective use, cf. 66. 12 below. For tar. 
canet=neck\2ice, see C. of E. p. 124. 

ii. Special blest. Malone has "special-blest." For adjectives use< 
adverbially, see Gr. i. 

LIII. " Not being able, in absence, to possess his friend, he finds his 
friend's shadow in all beautiful things" (Dowden). 

1 48 NOTES. 

2. Strange. Stranger, not your own. 

4. "You, although but one person, can give off all manner of shadowy 
images. Shakspere then, to illustrate this, chooses the most beautiful of 
men, Adonis, and the most beautiful of women, Helen ; both are but 
shadows or counterfeits (or pictures, as in Sonn. 16) of the ' master-mis- 
tress ' of his passion " (Dowden). 

5. Counterfeit. On the rhyme with set, Walker remarks that -feit was 
pronounced nearly 2^ fate ; and so ofei generally. He quotes Ford, Per- 
kin Warbeck, iii. 2, where Katherine, referring to the word counterfeit, 

" Pray dp not use 
That word; it carries fate in 't." 

In C. of E. iv. 2. 63 straight rhymes with conceit ; and in L. L. L. v. 2. 399, 
conceit with wait. Many similar examples might be cited. 

8. Tires. Head-dresses. Cf. T. G. of V. iv. 4. 190: 

" If I had such a tire, this face of mine 
Were full as lovely as is this of hers." 

See also Much Ado, p. 148. In the present passage, the word may pos- 
sibly be a contraction of attires. 

9. Poison. Plenty, harvest (here = autumn). See Macb. p. 240. OD 
the passage, Malone compares A. and C. v. 2. 86 : 

" For his bounty, 

There was no winter in 't ; an autumn 't was 
That grew the more by reaping." 

LIV. " Continues the thought of 53. There S. declared that over 
and above external beauty, more real than that of Helen and Adonis, his 
friend was pre-eminent for his constancy, his truth. Now he proceeds to 
celebrate the worth of this truth " (Dowden). 

5. Canker-blooms. Dog-roses. Cf. Much Ado, i. 3. 28 : "I had rather 
be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace ;" and I Hen. IV. i. 3. 76 : 

"To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose, 
And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke." 

8. Discloses. Uncloses, unfolds. Cf. Ham. i. 3. 40 : 

"The canker galls the infants of the spring 
Too oft before their buttons be disclosed." 

9. For. Because ; as in 106. 1 1 below. See also on 40. 6 above. 

10. Unrespected. Unregarded. Cf. 43. 2 above. 

12. Sweetest odours. For the allusion to distillation of perfumes, see 
on 5. 9 above. 

14. Vade. Fade. See V. and A. p. 209. The quarto has "by verse;" 
corrected by Malone. That refers to the abstract youth implied in the 
concrete youth. * 

LV. " A continuation of 54. This looks like an Envoy, but 56 is 
still a sonnet of absence " (Dowden). 

Mr. Tyler (Athenaum, Sept. n, 1880) ingeniously argues that the 


thought and phrasing of lines in this sonnet are derived from a passage 
in Meres s Palladia Tamia, 1598, where Shakespeare among others is 

mentioned with honour : 

" As Ovid saith of his worke ; 

Jamque opus exegi, quod nee Jovis ira, nee ignis, 
Nee poterit ferrum, nee edax abolere vetustas ; 

And as Horace saith of his : 

Exegi monumentum aere perennius, 

Regalique situ pyramidum altius ; 

Quod non imber edax, non Aquilo im/>otens 

Possit diruere, aut innumerabilis 

A nnorum series et fuga teinporum : 

So say I seuerally of Sir Philip Sidneys, Spencers, Daniels, Draytons, 
Shakespeares, and Warners workes ; 

Nee Jovis ira, imbres, Mars, ferrum, flamma, senfdus, 
Hoc opus unda, lues, turbo, venena ruent. 

Et quanquam ad pulcherrimum hoc opus euertendum tres illi Dii con- 
spirabunt, Chronus, Vulcanus, et Pater ipse gentis ; 

Nee tamen annorum series, non flamma, nee ensis, 
Aeternum potuit hoc abolere decus." 

I. Monuments. The quarto has "monument;" corrected by Malone. 
3. These contents. What is contained in these verses of mine. 

7. Mars his sword. Cf. T. and C. ii. i. 58 : "Mars his idiot," etc. Gr. 

13. Till the judgment, etc. " Till the decree of the judgment day that 
you arise from the dead " (Dowden). H. has this strange note : " Arise 
is here used transitively, and is put in the plural for the rhyme, though 
its subject is in the singular : * Till the judgment-day that raises your- 
self from the dead,' is the meaning." 

LVI. "This, like the sonnets immediately preceding, is written in 
absence. The love S. addresses (' Sweet love, renew thy force ') is the 
love in his own breast. Is the sight of his friend, of which he speaks, 
only the imaginative seeing of love ; such fancied sight as two betrothed 
persons may have although severed by the ocean ?" (Dowden.) 

6. Wink. Close in sleep, as after a full meal. See on 43. I above. 

8. Dullness. " Taken in connection with wink, meaning sleep, dull- 
ness seems to mean drowsiness, as when Prospero says of Miranda's 
slumber ( Temp. \. 2. 185) * 'T is a good dullness ' " (Dowden). 

13. Else. The quarto has " As ;" corrected by Palgrave. 

LVII. "The absence spoken of in this sonnet seems to be voluntary 
absence on the part of Shakspere's friend " (Dowden). 

5. World-withont-end hour. "The tedious hour, that seems as if it 
would never end. So L. L. L. v. 2. 799: 'a world-\yithout-end bar- 
gain' " (Malone). 

12. Where yon are, etc. How happy you make those where you are. 

13. Will. The quarto has " Will " (not in italics). " If a play on 


I5 o NOTES. 

words is intended, it must be ' Love in your Will (your Will Shakspere^ 
can think no evil of you, do what you please ;' and also 'Love can dis- 
cover no evil in your will ' " (Dowden). 

LVIII. " A close continuation of 57 ; growing distrust in his friend, 
with a determination to resist such a feeling. Hence the attempt to dis- 
qualify himself for judging his friend's conduct, by taking the place of a 
vassal, a servant, a slave, in relation to a sovereign " (Dowden). 

3. To crave. For the to, see Gr. 350. 

6. The imprisoned absence of your liberty. " The separation from you, 
which is proper to your state of freedom, but which to me is imprison- 
ment. Or the want of such liberty as you possess, which I, a prisoner, 
suffer" (Dowden). 

7. Tame to sufferance. " Bearing tamely even cruel distress ; or, tame 
even to the point of entire submission " (Dowden). Malone compares 
Lear, iv. 6. 225 : "made tame to fortune's blows." Bide each check 
endure each rebuke or rebuff. 

10. Your time To what, etc. Malone reads "your time : Do what," etc. 

LIX. "Is this connected with the preceding sonnet? or a new start- 
ing-point ? Immortality conferred by verse (54, 55) is again taken up in 
60, connected with 59, and jealousy (57) in 61 " (Dowden). 

5. Record. Accented by S. on either syllable, as suits the measure. 
Cf. 122. 8 below. 

6. Courses. Yearly courses, not daily. Cf. If en. VIII. ii. 3. 6 : 

" After 
So many courses of the sun enthron'd;" 

T. and C. iv. I. 27 : "A thousand complete courses of the sun," etc. 

7. Antique. For the accent, see on 19. 10 above. 

8. Since mind, etc. "Since thought was first expressed in writing" 

11. Or whether. The quarto has "or where," and some modern eds 
print " whe'r " or " wher." See Gr. 466. 

12. Or whether revolution, etc. Whether the revolution of time brings 
about the same things. 

LX. "The thought of revolution, the revolving ages (59. 12), sets the 
poet thinking of changes wrought by time " (Dowden). 

I. Like as. Cf. 118. I below. See also T. and C. i. 2. 7, Ham. \. 2. 
217, etc. 

5. Nativity, etc. The child once brought into this world of light. " As 
the main of waters would signify the great body of waters, so the main of 
light signifies the mass or flood of light into which a new-born child is 
launched " (K.). Dowden remarks that the image in main of light is 
suggested by line I, where our minutes are compared to waves. 

7. Crooked. Malignant. Cf. T. G. of V. iv. I. 22 : "If crooked fortune 
had not thwarted me," etc. For the allusion to the supposed evil influ- 
ence of eclipses, cf. 107. 5 below. Cf. also Macb. iv. I. 28, Ham. i. I. l2Cv 
Lear, i. 2. 1 1 2, Oth. v. 2. 99, etc. 


8. Confound. Destroy. See on 5. 6 above. 

9. Flourish. " External decoration " (Malone). Cf. L. L. L. ii. I. 14 : 
" the painted flourish of your praise," etc. 

10. Delves the parallels. Makes furrows. For the figure, cf. 2. 2 above ; 
and for a different one, see 19. 9. 

13. Times in hope. Future times. 

LXI. " The jealous feeling of 57 reappears in this sonnet " (Dowden). 
8. Tenour. The quarto has " tenure ;" corrected by Malone. 

11. Defeat. Destroy. Cf. Oth. iv. 2. 160 : " His unkindness may defeat 
my life ;" and see our ed. p. 201. 

LXI I. " Perhaps the thought of jealousy in 61 suggests this. ' How 
self-loving to suppose my friend could be jealous of such an one as I 
beated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity ! My apology for supposing 
that others could make love to me is that my friend's beauty is mine by 
right of friendship ' " (Dowden). 

5. Gracious. Full of grace, beautiful. Cf. K. John, iii. 4. 81 : "a gra- 
cious creature ;" T. N. i. 5. 281 : " A gracious person," etc. 

7. And for myself, etc. Walker conjectures "so define," and Lettsom 
"so myself." Dowden asks : "Does/^r myself mean 'for my own sat- 
isfaction'?" Perhaps it merely adds emphasis to the statement. 

8. As /, etc. In such a way that I, etc. 

10. Bated. The quarto has "beated," which was probably an error 
of the ear for bated (= beaten down, weakened ; as in M. of V. iii. 3. 32 : 
"These griefs and losses have so bated me," etc.), bent being then pro- 
nounced bate. See W. 7\ p. 170, note on Baits ; and cf. T. G. of V. p. 125, 
note on 68. Malone conjectured " 'bated," but thought beated might be 
right, as casted occurs in Hen. V. (iv. i. 23). He says that thrusted is 
found in Macb., but no such form is used by S. He has splitted in C. of 
E. i. i. 104, v. I. 308, A. and C.v. I. 24, etc., catchtd in L. /.. L. v. 2. 69, 
becomed in R. and J. iv. 2. 26, Cymb. v. 5. 406, etc. Cf. Gr. 344. Stee- 
vens would read " blasted," and Coll. " beaten," which W. adopts. 

For chopped (the quarto chopt} D. and others read "chapp'd." Cf. 
A. Y.L. p. 158. 

13. ' T is thee, myself. That is, thee, who art my other self. 

LXIII. "Obviously in close continuation of 62" (Dowden). 

5. Steepy night. Malone was at first inclined to read "sleepy night," 
but afterwards decided that steepy is explained by 7. 5, 6 above. Dow- 
den takes the same view. " Youth and age are on the steep ascent and 
the steep decline of heaven." St. says : " Chaucer [C. T. 201, 755] has 
'eyen stepe,' which his editors interpret 'eyes deep.' We believe in 
both cases the word is a synonym for black or dark." H. reads " sleepy." 

9. For such a time. That is, in anticipation of it. Fortify fortify my- 
self, take defensive measures. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. i. 3. 56 : " We fortify in 
paper and in figures." 

10. Confounding. See on 60. 8 above. 


LXIV. " In 63. 12 the thought of the loss of his * lover's life ' occurs ; 
this sonnet (see line 12) carries out the train of reflection there started. 
'Time's fell hand' repeats 'Time's injurious hand' of 63. 2" (Dowden). 
Palgrave remarks that the three sonnets 64-66 " form one poem of mar- 
vellous power, insight, and beauty." 

2. Rich proud. Hyphened by Malone, like down-ras'd below. 

5. When I have seen the hungry ocean, etc. Some critics have ex- 
pressed surprise that S. should know anything of these gradual encroach- 
ments of the sea on the land ; but they had become familiar on the east 
coast of England before his day. For one striking instance of the kind, 
see Rich. //. p. 178, note on Ravenspurg. 

Capell quotes 2 Hen. IV. iii. I. 45 : 

"O God! that one might read the book of fate, 
And see the revolution of the times 
Make mountains level, and the continent, 
Weary of solid firmness, melt itself 
Into the sea ! and, other times, to see 
The beachy girdle of the ocean 
Too wide for Neptune's hips," etc. 

13. This thought^ etc. This thought, which cannot choose but weep 
... is as a death. 

14. To have. At having. See Gr. 356. 

LXV. "In close connection with 64. The first line enumerates the 
conquests of time recorded in 64. 1-8" (Dowden). 

3. This rage. Malone conjectured " his rage." 

4. Action. Perhaps, as Dowden suggests, used in a legal sense, sug- 
gested by hold a plea. 

6. Wrackful. The quarto has " wrackfull ;" the only instance of the 
word in S. Cf. wrack-threatening in R. of L. 590. Wrack is the only 
spelling in the early eds. See Rich. II. p. 177 ; and note the rhyme in 
126. 5 below. 

10. Chest. Theo. conjectured " quest ;" but, as Malone shows, the fig- 
ure is a favourite one with S. Cf. 48. 9 above ; and see also K. John, v. 
i. 40, Rich. II. i. I. 180, etc. Timers chest the oblivion to which he con- 
signs our precious things. 

12. Of beauty. The quarto has "or" for of, and Gildon reads "on." 

LXVI. " From the thought of his friend's death Shakspere turns to 
think of his own, and of the ills of life from which death would deliver 
him" (Dowden). 

1. All these. The evils enumerated below. 

2. Born. St. conjectures " lorn," and " empty " for needy. 

8. Disabled. A quadrisyllable, which W. prints " disableed." See Gr. 

9. Art made tongue-tied, etc. " Art is commonly used by S. for letters, 
learning, science. Can this line refer to the censorship of the stage ?" 

11. Simplicity. Folly; as in L. L. L. iv. 2. 23, iv. 3. 54, v. 2, 52, 
78, etc. 


LXVIL "In close connection with 66. Why should my friend con- 
tinue to live in this evil world?" (Dovvden.) 

4. Lace. Embellish. See Macb. p. 200. 

6. Dead seeing. " Why should painting steal the lifeless appearance of 
beauty from his living hue?" (Dowden.) Capell and Farmer conjecture 

9. Bankrupt. Spelled "banckrout " in the quarto. See V. and A pp 
175, 184. 

12. Proud of many, etc. " Nature, while she boasts of many beautiful 
persons, really has no treasure of beauty except his" (Dowden), 

13. Stores. See on u. 9 above. 

LX VIII. "Carries on the thought of 67. 13, 14. CC the last two 
lines of both sonnets " (Dowden). 

i. Map of days outworn. Malone compares R. of L. 1350: " this pat- 
tern of the worn-out age." For map picture, image, cf. R. of L. 402 : 
" the map of death ;" Rich. II. v. I. 12 : " Thou map of honour," etc 

3. fyiir. See on 16. n above. 

5, 6. For Shakespeare's antipathy to false hair, see M, of V. p. 149. 
Cf. note on 20. I above. 

10. Without all. That is, without any. Dowden compares 74. 2 be- 
low. For itself M.a\o\\Q conjectures "himself." 

LXIX. " From the thought of his friend's external beauty S. turns to 
think of the beauty of his mind, and the popular report against it" 

3. Due. The quarto has " end ;" corrected by Malone (the conjecture 
of Capell and Tyrwhitt). Sewell (2d ed.) has " thy due." 

5. Thy. The quarto has " Their ;" corrected by Malone, who later 
substituted "Thine." 

7. Confound. Destroy. See on 5. 6 above. 

14. Soil. The quarto has "solye," and the ed. of 1640 "sovle." Gil- 
don has " toil." Malone (followed by D., W., and H.) reads " solve " 
(^solution). The Camb. editors and Dowden give "soil," and the for- 
mer say : " As the verb to soil is not uncommon in Old English, meaning 
to solve (as, for example, in Udal's Erasmus: 'This question could not 
one of them all soile '), so the substantive soil may be used in the sense 
of solution. The play upon words thus suggested is in the author's 

LXX. " Continues the subject of the last sonnet, and defends his 
friend from the suspicion and slander of the time " (Dowden). 

I. Art. The quarto has "are ;" corrected in the ed. of 1640. 

3. Suspect. Suspicion. For the noun, which S. uses some dozen tunes, 
cf. Rich. III. p. 1 88. 

6. Thy. Again the quarto has "Their." 

Bein* ivorfd of time. "Being solicited or tempted by the p: 
times" (Dowden). Steevens quotes B. J., Every Man Ont of his Hu- 



mour, pro!. : " Oh, how I hate the monstrousness of time " (that is, the 
times). St. conjectures " crime " for time. 

7. Canker. The canker-worm ; as in 35. 4 above. 

12. To tie up. As to tie up, that is, silence. Gr. 281. Cf. M. N. D. 
iii. i. 206 : " Tie up my love's tongue, bring him silently." See also A*. 
and J. iv. 5. 32, and M. for M. iii. 2. 199. Enlarg'd=ss\. at large, given 
free scope. Hales writes to Dowden on this passage : " Surely a refer- 
ence here to the Faerie Queene, end of book vi. Calidore ties up the 
Blatent Beast ; after a time he breaks his iron chain, * and got into the 
world at liberty again,' that is, is evermore enlargd." 

14. Owe. Own, possess. Cf. 18. 10 above. 

LXXI. " Shakspere goes back to the thought of his own death, from 
which he was led away by 66. 14, ' to die, I leave my love alone.' The 
world in this sonnet is the ' vile world' described in 66" (Dowden). 

2. The surly sullen bell. Cf. 2 Hen. IV.\. I. 102 : 

"as a sullen bell 
Remember'd knotting- a departed friend ;" 

R. and J. iv. 5.88: "sullen dirges;" and Milton, II Pens. 76: "Swing- 
ing slow with sullen roar " (the curfew bell). 

10. Compounded am with clay. Malone quotes 2 Hen. IV. iv. 5. 116 : 
" Only compound me with forgotten dust." 

LXXIL "In close continuation of 71. ' When I die, let my mem- 
ory die with me ' " (Dowden). 

4. Prove. Find ; as in R. of L. 613 : " When they in thee the like of- 
fences prove," etc. See also 153. 7 below. 

6. Desert. For the rhyme, cf. 14. 12, 17. 2, and 49. 10 above. 

7. /. Cf. M. of V. iii. 2. 321 : " between you and I." See also Gr. 209. 
14. So should you. That is, be shamed. To !0ve = for loving. Gr. 356. 

LXXIII. " Still, as in 71 and 72, thoughts of approaching death" 

2. Yellow leaves. Steevens compares Macb. v. 3. 23 : 

"my way of life 
Is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf." 

4. Ruirid choirs. The quarto has " rn'wd quiers ;" corrected in the 
ed. of 1640. i Steevens remarks : " The image was probably suggested 
by our desolated monasteries. The resemblance between the vaulting 
of a Gothic aisle and an avenue of trees whose upper branches meet and 
form an arch overhead, is too striking not to be acknowledged. When 
the roof of the one is shattered, and the boughs of the other leafless, the 
comparison becomes yet more solemn and picturesque."J 

9. The glowing of such fire, etc. Malone remarks that Gray perhaps i 
remembered these lines when he wrote " Even in our ashes live [not j 
"glow," as Malone quotes it] their wonted fires." 

12. Consnn?d> etc. - " Wasting away on the dead ashes which once j 
nourished it with living flame " (Dowden). 



LXXIV. " In immediate continuation of 73 " (Dowden). 
r. That fell arrest. Capell quotes Ham. v. 2. 347 : 

" Had I but time as this fell sergeant, death, 
Is strict in his arrest." 

6. Consecrate. Cf. C. of E. ii. 2. 134 : " this body, consecrate to thee,' 

7. His. Its ; as in 9. 10 and 14. 6 above. 

ii. The coward conquest, etc. Dowden asks: "Does S. merely speak 
of the liability of the body to untimely or violent mischance? Or does 
he meditate suicide ? Or think of Marlowe's death, and anticipate such 
a fate as possibly his own? Or has he, like Marlowe, been wounded? 
Or does he refer to dissection of dead bodies? Or is it 'confounding 
age's cruel knife ' of 63. 10 ?" If not a merely figurative expression, like 
this last, the key to it is probably in the first question above : this life 
which is at the mercy of any base assassin's knife. The latter seems to 
us the preferable explanation. Palgrave says that the expression " must 
allude to anatomical dissections, then recently revived in Europe by Ve- 
salius, Fallopius, Pare, and others." Cf. p. 39, foot-note, above. 

13, 14. The worth etc. "The worth of that (my body) is that which 
it contains (my spirit;, and that (my spirit) is this (my poems)" (Dow- 

LXXV. " The last sonnet seems to me like an Envoy, and perhaps a 
new MS. book of Sonnets begins with 75-77 " (Dowden). 

2. Sweet-seasoned. The hyphen is due to Malone. 

3. The peace of you. "The peace, content, to be found in you; an- 
tithesis to strife'' 1 (Dowden). Malone conjectured "price" or "sake" 
for pace. 

6. Doubting. Suspecting, fearing. Cf. M. W. i. 4. 42 : "I doubt he be 
not well," etc. 

.10. Clean. Quite, completely. Cf. Rich. II. p. 188. On the line, cC 
47. 3 above (see note). 

1 1, 12. Possessing or pursuing, etc. 1 hat is, possessing no delight save 
what is had, and pursuing none save what must be taken from you. CC 
27. 13 above. For took, cf. 2 Hen. IV. i. I. 131 : " Stumbling in fear, was 
took," etc. Gr. 343. 

14. Or gluttoning, etc. That is, either having a surplus of I 
none at all. 

LXXVL " Is this an apology for Shakspere's own sonnets of which 
his friend begins to weary in contrast with the verses of the rival poet. 
spoken of in 78-80?" (Dowden.) 

6. In a noted weed. " In a dress by which it is always known, as t 

. . 

persons are who always wear the same colours " (Steevens). For Wflrt 
see on 2. 4 above ; and for noted, cf. K. John, iv. 2. 21 : " the antique and 
well noted face," etc. For invention, see on 38. 8 above. 

7. Tell. The quarto has "fel," and Lintott "fell ;" corrected by Ma- 
lone. T/iat=so that ; as in 98. 4 below. Gr. 283. 

I5 6 NOTES. 

8. Where. Capell conjectured "whence;" but cf. Hen. V.\\\. 5. 15, A. 
and C. ii. I. 18, etc. 

LXXVII. " ' Probably,' says Steevens, * this sonnet was designed to 
accompany a present of a book consisting of blank paper.' 'This con- 
jecture,' says Malone, 'appears to me extremely probable.' If I might 
hazard a conjecture, it would be that Shakspere, who had perhaps be- 
gun a new manuscript -book with Sonnet 75, and who, as I suppose^ 
apologized for the monotony of his verses in 76, here ceased to write, 
knowing that his friend was favouring a rival, and invited his friend to 
fill up the blank pages himself (see on 12 below). Beauty, Time, and 
Verse formed the theme of many of Shakspere's sonnets ; now that he 
will write no more, he commends his friend to his .glass, where he may 
discover the truth about his beauty ; to the dial, where he may learn the 
progress of time ; and to this book, which he himself not Shakspere 
must fill. C. A. Brown and Henry Brown treat this sonnet as an En- 
voy" (Dowdeny 

6. Mouthed graves. "All-devouring graves " (Malone). ^LV.andA. 
757 : " What is thy body but a swallowing grave ?" 

7. Shady stealth. That is, the stealthy motion of the shadow. 

8. Timers thievish progress. Cf. A. W. ii. I. 169: "the thievish min- 
utes," etc. 

10. Blanks. The quarto has "blacks ;" corrected by Malone (the con- 
jecture of Theo. and Capell). 

12. Dowden remarks: "Perhaps this is said with some feeling of 
wounded love my verses have grown monotonous and wearisome; 
write yourself, and you will find novelty in your own thoughts when once 
delivered from your brain and set down by your pen. Perhaps, also, 
'this learning mayst thou taste' (4) is suggested by the fact that S. is 
unlearned in comparison with the rival. I cannot bring you learning ; 
but set down your own thoughts, and you will find learning in them." 

LXXVIII. " Shakspere, I suppose, receives some renewed profession 
of love from his friend, and again addresses him in verse, openly speak- 
ing of the cause of his estrangement, the favour with which his friend re- 
gards the rival poet" (Dowden). 

3. As every alien pen, etc. That every other poet has acquired my 
habit of writing to you. For the use of as, see Gr. 109. In the quarto 
alien is in italics and begins with a capital. See on 20. 8 above. 

6. Heavy ignorance. As Malone notes, the expression occurs again in 
Oth. ii. i. 144. 

7. The learned' 1 s wing. D. compares Spenser, Teares of the Muses : 

" Each idle wit at will presumes to make, 
And doth the learned' s task upon him take." 


9. Compile. Compose, write ; the only sense in S. Cf. 85. 2 below ; 
and see also Z. Z. Z. iv. 3. 134, v. 2. 52, 896. 

12. Arts. Learning, letters. Cf. Z. Z. Z. p. 128, note on Living art. 

13. Advance. Raise, lift up. Cf. Cor. p. 210. 


LXXIX. "In continuation of Sonnet 78" (Dowden). 

5. Thy lovely argument. The argument or theme of your loveliness. 

6. Travail. The ed. of 1640 has "travel." The two forms are used 
indiscriminately in the early eds. without regard to the meaning. 

LXXX. " Same subject continued " (Dowden). 

2. A better spirit. For the conjectures as to this better spirit^ see p. 24 
above. Spirit is monosyllabic, as often. Cf. 74. 8 above ; and see Gr. 

11. Wrack" d. The quarto has " wrackt." See on 65. 6 above. 

LXXXI. " After depreciating his own verse in comparison with that 
of the rival poet, S. here takes heart, and asserts that he will by verse 
confer immortality on his friend, though his own name may be forgotten " 

1. Or. St. conjectures " Whe'r" ( Whether). See on 59. n above. 

12. The breathers of this world. Those who are now living. Malone 
compares A. Y. L. iii. 2. 297 : "I will chide no breather in the world but 
myself." Walker proposes to point as follows : 

"shall o'er-read, 

And tongues to be your being shall rehearse; 
When all the breathers of this world are dead, 
You still shall live," etc. ; 

but, as Dowden remarks, it is rare with S. to let the verse run on without 
a pause at the twelfth line of the sonnet. 

LXXXII. " His friend had perhaps alleged in playful self-justifica- 
tion that he had not married Shakspere's Muse, vowing to forsake all 
other and keep him only unto her" (Dowden). 

2. Attaint. Blame, discredit. Cf. the verb in 88. 7 below. Overlook 
= peruse ; as in M. N. D. ii. 2. 121, Lear, v. I. 50, etc. 

3. Dedicated words. "This may only mean devoted words^ but proba- 
bly has reference, as the next line seems to show, to the words of some 
dedication prefixed to a book " (Dowden). 

5. Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue. " S. had celebrated his 
friend's beauty (hue); perhaps his learned rival had celebrated the ^pa- 
tron's knowledge; such excellence reached 'a limit past the praise* of 
Shakspere, who knew small Latin and less Greek " (Dowden). 

10. Strained. Forced, overwrought. 

11. Sympathized. Described sympathetically, or with true apprecia- 
tion. Cf. R. of L. 1113 : 

"True sorrow then is feelingly suffic'd 

When with like semblance it is sympathiz d. 

The meaning seems to be : thy nature, which is trul v fair, needs no forced 
rhetoric to set it off, but is best described in the plain language of simple 

LXXXTII. " Takes up the last words of 82, and continues the same 

theme " (Dowden). 

I5 8 NOTES. 

2. Fair. Beauty. See on 16. n above. 

5. And therefore have I slept, etc. " And therefore I have not sounded 
your praises" (Malone). 

7. Modern. Ordinary, common. See Macb. p. 243. 

8. What. Malone conjectured " that." 

12. Bring a tomb. Dowden compares 17. 3 above. 

LXXXIV. " Continues the same theme. Which of us, the rival poet 
or I, can say more than that you are you ?" (Dowden.) 

6. His. Its ; as in 9. 10, 14. 6, and 74. 7 above. 

8. Story. Most eds. put a comma after this word. We retain the 
pointing of -the quarto, which Dowden also thinks may be right. 

II. Fame. Make famous. Elsewhere S. uses only the participle 

14. Being fond on. Doting on. Cf. M. N. D. ii. I. 266: "More fond 
on her than she upon her love." See also the verb (though Schmidt 
thinks it may as well be the adjective) in T. N. ii. 2. 35 : 

"my master loves her dearly; 
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him." 

LXXXV. " Continues the subject of 84. Shakspere's friend is fond 
on praise ; Shakspere's Muse is silent, while others compile comments 
of his praise" (Dowden). 

1. Tongtie-tied muse. Cf. 80. 4 above. 

2. Compird. See on 78. 9 above. 

3. Reserve their character. Probably corrupt. The Camb. ed. records 
the plausible anonymous conjecture, " Rehearse thy " (or " your "). Dow- 
den suggests "Deserve their character" (^deserve to be written). Ma- 
lone makes reserve ^preserve (cf. 32. 7 above), but does not tell us what 
"preserve their character" can mean here. 

4. Ftfd. Polished (as with a file). Cf. L. L. L. v. I. 12: "his tongue 
filed." See also on 86. 13 below. 

1 1. But that. That is, what I add. 

LXXXVI. " Continues the subject of 85, and explains the cause of 
Shakspere's silence" (Dowden). 
I. Protid full sail. Cf. 80. 6 above. 
4. Making their tomb the womb, etc. Malone compares R. and J. ii. 

3-9 : 

" The earth that 's nature's mother is her tomb ; 
What is her burying grave, that is her womb." 

See also Per. ii. 3. 45 : 

" Whereby I see that Time 's the king of men : 
He 's both their parent and he is their grave ;" 

and Milton, P. L. ii. 911: " The womb of nature, and perhaps her grave." 
We find the same thought in Lucretius, v. 259 : " Omniparens eadem rc- 
rum commune sepulcrum." 

5-10. See p. 24 and p. 40, foot-note, above. 


8. Astonished. Stunned as by a thunderstroke. Cf. R. of L. 1730: 
" Stone-still, astonish'd with this deadly deed," etc. 

13. Fiird up his line. Malone, Steevens, and D. read "fil'd," etc. 
Steevens cites B. J., Verses on Shakespeare : " In his well-torned and true- 
filed lines." But, as Dowclen notes,y?//V up his line is opposed to then 
lack\i I matter. The quarto has "fild," as in 17. 2 and 63. 3 ; while it 
has "fil'd" in 85. 4. 

LXXXVIL " Increasing coldness on his friend's part brings S. to the 
point of declaring that all is over between them. This sonnet in form is 
distinguished by double-rhymes throughout " (Dowden). 

4. Determinate. " Determined, ended, out of date. The term is used 
in legal conveyances " (Malone). Schmidt explains the word as = " lim- 
ited ;" as in T. N. ii. I. 1 1 : "my determinate voyage is mere extrava- 

8. Patent. PnVilege. Cf. M. N. D. i. i. 80 : " my virgin patent ;" A. 
W. iv. 5. 69 : " a patent for his sauciness," etc. 

11. Misprision. Mistake, error. Cf. Muck Ado, iv. i. 187 : "There is 
some strange misprision in the princes," etc. 

14. No stick matter. Nothing of the kind. Cf. Much Ado^ ii. 3. 225 : 
" the sport will be when they hold one an opinion of another's dotage, 
and no such matter," etc. 

LXXXVIII. " In continuation. S. still asserts his own devotion, 
though his unfaithful friend not only should forsake him, but even hold 
him in scorn " (Dowden). 

i. Set me light. Set light by me, esteem me lightly. Cf. Rich. II. ii. 
3. 293 : " The man that mocks at it and sets it light." 

7. Attainted. See on 82. 2 above. 

8. Shalt. The quarto has "shall ;" corrected by Sewell. 

12. Double-vantage. The hyphen was inserted by Malone. 

LXXXIX. " Continues the subject of 88, showing how S. will take 
part with his friend against himself" (Dowden). 

3. My lameness. See on 37. 3 above. 

6. To set a form^ etc. By giving a good semblance to the change which 
you desire. Palgrave makes it = "by defining the change you desire." 
For the infinitive, see Gr. 356. Dowden compares M. N. D. i. I. 233. 

8. / will acqitaintance strangle. " I will put an end to our familiarity " 
(Malone). Cf. T. N. v. I. 150: "That makes thee strangle thy propri- 
ety" (disavow thy personality); A. and C. ii. 6. 130: "the band that 
seems to tie their friendship together will be the very strangler of their 
amity." Malone calls strangle " uncouth ;" but, as K. asks, " why is any 
word called itncouth which expresses a meaning more clearly and forcibly 
than any other word ? The miserable affectation of the last age, in re- 
jecting words that in sound appeared not to harmonize with the mincing 
prettiness of polite conversation, emasculated our language ; and it will 
take some time to restore it to its ancient nervousness." 

!6o NOTES. 

13. Debate. Contest, quarrel ; the only meaning in S. Cf. M. N. D. 
ii. I. 116: 

"And this same progeny of evils comes 
From our debate, from our dissension." 

XC. "Takes up the last word of 89, and pleads pathetically for 
hatred ; for the worst, speedily, if at all " (Dowden). 

6. The rearward, etc. Malone compares Much Ado, iv. I. 128: 

"Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames, 
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches, 
Strike at thy life." 

13. Strains of woe. Dowden quotes Much Ado, v. i. 12 : 

"Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine, 
And let it answer every strain for strain." 

XCI. " Having in 90 thought of his own persecution at the hand of 
Fortune, S. here contrasts his state with that of the favourites of Fortune, 
maintaining that if he had but assured possession of his friend's love, he 
would lack none of their good things " (Dowden). 

3. Neiv-fangled. Cf. L. L. L.\. 1. 106 and A. Y. L. iv. I. 152. 

4. Horse. Probably a contracted plural. See Macb. p. 204, or Gr. 471. 
Cf. sense in 112. 10 below. 

9. Better. The quarto has "bitter ;" corrected in the ed. of 1640. 

XCII. "In close connection with 91. This sonnet argues for the 
contradictory of the last two lines of that immediately preceding it. No : 
you cannot make me wretched by taking away your love, for, with such a 
loss, death must come and free me from sorrow" (Dowden). 

10. On thy revolt doth lie. Hangs upon thy faithlessness. Ci.-Oth. 
iii. 3. 188 : " The smallest doubt or fear of her revolt," etc. 

13. Blessed -fair. Hyphened by Malone. 

XCIII. "Carries on the thought of the last line of 92" (Dowden). 

7. /// many^s looks. Cf. R. and J. i. 3. 91 : " in many's eyes " (omitted 
by Schmidt). 

11. Whatier. The quarto has "what ere ;" corrected by Gildon. 

XCIV. "In 93 Shakspere has described his friend as able to show a 
sweet face while harbouring false thoughts ; the subject is enlarged on in 
the present sonnet. They who can hold their passions in check, who 
can seem loving yet keep a cool heart, who move passion in others, yet 
are cold and unmoved themselves they rightly inherit from heaven large 
gifts, for they husband them ; whereas passionate intemperate natures 
squander their endowments ; those who can assume this or that sem- 
blance as they see reason are the masters and owners of their faces ; oth- 
ers have no property in such excellences as they possess, but hold them 
for the advantage of the prudent self-contained persons. True, these 
self-contained persons may seem to lack generosity ; but, then, without 
making voluntary gifts they give inevitably, even as the summer's flower 
is sweet to the summer, though it live and die only to itself. Yet, let 


such an one beware of corruption, which makes odious the sweetest flow- 
ers " (Dowden). 

4. Cold. The quarto has "could ;" corrected in the ed. of 1640. 

6. Expense. Expenditure, waste. Cf. 129. I below. 

11. Base. St. conjectures "foul," and Walker "barest" for basest in 
the next line. 

14. Lilies, etc. This line is found also in Edw. III. ii. i, the passage 
being as follows : 

" A spacious field of reasons could I urge 
Between his glory, daughter, and thy shame: 
That poison shows worst in a golden cup : 
Dark night seems darker by the lightning flash ; 
Lilies, that fester, smell far worse than weeds ; 
And every glory, that inclines to sin, 
The same is treble by the opposite." 

The scene is one that some critics ascribe to S. The play was first print- 
ed in 1596. See also on 142. 6 below. Festtr=iot ; as in Hen. V. iv. 3. 
88 and R. and J. iv. 3. 43. 

Dowden compares with this sonnet T. N. iii. 4. 399 fol.*: " But O how 
vile an idol," etc. 

XCV. " Continues the warning of 94. 13, 14. Though now you seem 
to make the shame beautiful, beware ! a time will come when it may be 
otherwise " (Dowden). 

2. Canker. See on 35. 4 above. 

8. Aiming thy name, etc. Steevens compares A. and C. ii. 2. 243 : 

"for vilest things 

Become themselves in her, that the holy priests 
Bless her when she is riggish." 

12. Turn. The quarto has " turnes ;" corrected by Sewell. 

XCVL " Continues the subject of 95. Pleads against the misuse of 
his friend's gifts, against youthful licentiousness " (Dowden). 

2. Gentle sport. Cf. 95. 6 above. 

3. More and less. High and low; as in I Hen. IV. iv. 3.68: "The 
more and less came in with cap and knee." See our ed. p. 192. 

10. If like a lamb, etc. " If he could change his natural look, and as- 
sume the innocent visage of a lamb" (Malone). As Dowden notes, the 
thought of 9, 10 is expressed in different imagery in 93. For translate^- 
transform, cf. Ham. iii. I. 113 : "translate beauty into his likeness." 

12. The strength of all thy state. " Used periphrastically, and =all 
thy strength " (Schmidt). Dowden makes state = " majesty, splendour." 

13, 14. The same couplet closes Sonn. 36. See p. 33 above. 

6. The teeming autumn, etc. Malone compares M. N. D. ii. I. 112 : 
' The childing autumn," etc. 

1 62 NOTES. 

7. Prime. Spring; as in R. of L. 332: "To add a more rejoicing to 
the prime." 

10. Hope of orphans. "Such hope as orphans bring; or, expectation 
of the birth of children whose father is dead" (Dowden). 

XCVIII. "The subject of 97 is Absence in Summer and Autumn; 
the subject of 98 and 99, Absence in Spring" (Dowden). 

2. Proud-pied April. April in its richly variegated apparel. For pied, 
cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 904 : " daisies pied," etc. On the passage, Malone com- 
pares R. and J. i. 2. 27 : 

"Such comfort as do lusty young men feel 
When well-apparell'd April on the heel 
Of limping winter treads." 

4. That. So that; as in 76. 7 above. Heavy Saturn = " : the gloomy 
side of nature ; or the saturnine spirit in life" (Palgrave). 

6. Different flowers in, etc. That is, flowers different in, etc. Cf. 44. 
6 above. Gr. 419^7. 

7. Summer's story. Malone remarks : " By a summer's story S. seems 
to have meant some gay fiction. Thus his comedy founded on the ad- 
ventures of the king and queen of the fairies, he calls a Midsummer Night's 
Dream. * On the other hand, in W. T. he tells us ' a sad tale 's best for 
winter? So also in Cymb. iii. 4. 12 : 

'If 't be summer news, 
Smile to 't before; if winterly, thou need'st 
But keep that countenance still.' " 

9. Lily's. The quarto has "lillies," which was probably meant to 
be the possessive ; but Malone and others retain it as the objective 

11. They were but sweet, etc. "The poet refuses to enlarge on the 
beauty of the flowers, declaring that they are only sweet, only delightful, 
so far as they resemble his friend" (Steevens). Malone would read 
" They were, my sweet," etc. Lettsom proposes " They were but fleet- 
ing figures of delight." 

XCIX. " In connection with the last line of 98. The present sonnet 
has fifteen lines, as also has one of the sonnets in Barnes's Parthenophil 
and Parthenophe " (Dowden). 

6. Condemned for thy hand. Condemned for stealing the whiteness 
of thy hand. 

7. And buds of marjoram, etc. Dowden compares Suckling's Tragedy 
of Brennoralt, iv. I : 

, " Hair curling, and cover'd like buds of marjoram ; 

Part tied in negligence, part loosely flowing." 

He adds : " Mr. H. C. Hart tells me that buds of marjoram are dark 

* Dowden asks : " But is not A Midsummer-Night's Dream so named because on 
Midsummer Eve men's dreams ran riot, ghosts were visible, maidens practised divina- 
tion for husbands, and 'midsummer madness' (T. N. iii. 4. 61) reached its height?" 


purple-red before they open, and afterwards pink ; dark auburn I sup- 
pose would be the nearest approach to marjoram in the colour of hair. 
Mr. Hart suggests that the marjoram has stolen not colour but perfume 
from the young man's hair. Gervase Markham gives sweet marjoram 
as an ingredient in 'The water of sweet smells,' and Culpepper says 
'marjoram is much used in all odoriferous waters.' Cole (Adam in 
Eden, ed. 1657) says ' Marjerome is a chief ingredient in most of those 
powders that Barbers use, in whose shops I have seen great store of this 
herb hung up.' " 

8. On thorns did stand. A quibbling allusion to the proverbial ex- 
pression, " to stand on thorns." Cf. W. T. iv. 4. 596 : " But O the thorns 
we stand upon !" 

9. One. The quarto has " Our ;" corrected by Sewell. 

13. Canker. See on 35. 4 above. 

15. Sweet. Walker conjectures "scent" 

C. " Written after a cessation from sonnet-writing, during which S. 
had been engaged in authorship writing plays for the public as I sup- 
pose, instead of poems for his friend" (Dowden). 

3. Fury. Poetic enthusiasm or inspiration. Cf. L. L. L. iv. 3. 229 : 
" what fury hath inspir'd thee now ?" So we have " prophetic fury " in 
Of A. iii. 4. 72. 

9. Resty. Too fond of rest, torpid; as in Cymb. iii. 6. 34: "resty 
sloth," etc. D. quotes Coles, Latin Diet. : " Resty, piger, lentns" 

II. Satire. Satirist. Walker quotes B. J., Masque of Time Vindicated: 
"'T is Chronomastix, the brave satyr;" Poetaster, v. i: "The honest 
satyr hath the happiest soul " \satyr and satire were used interchange- 
ably in this sense] ; Goffe, Courageous Turk, ii. 3 : 

" Poor men may love, and none their wills correct, 
But all turn satires of a king's affect ;" 

Shirley, Witty Fair One, i. 3 : " prithee, Satire, choose another walk," etc. 

14. So thou prevenfst, etc. " So by anticipation thou hinderest the 
destructive effects of his weapons" (Steevens). 

CL " Continues the address to his Muse, calling on her to sing again 
the praises of his friend : 100 calls on her to praise his beauty ; 101, his 
1 truth in beauty dyed ' " (Dowden). 

6. His colour. That of my friend. 

7. Lay. That is, lay on, like a painter's colours. Cf. T. N. \. 5. 258 : 

" 'T is beauty truly blent, whose red and white 
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on." 

ii. Him. Changed to " her " in the ed. of 1640 ; as him and he in 14 

to " her " and " she." 

CIL "In continuation. An apology for having ceased to sing" 

1 64 


3. That love is merchandized, etc. See on 21. 14 above ; and cf. L. L. 

*' "my beauty, though but mean, 

Needs not the painted flourish of your praise : 
Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye, 
Not utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues." 

7. In summer 'j front. In the beginning of summer. Cf. W. T. iv. 4. 
3 : " Peering in April's front." 

8. Her pipe. The quarto has " his pipe ;" corrected by Housman 
(Coll. of Eng. Sonnets, 1835). 

9. Not that the summer, etc. Capell quotes M. of V. v. I. 104 : 

"The nightingale, if she should sing by day, 
When every goose is cackling, would be thought 
No better a musician than the wren." 

CIII. "Continues the same apology" (Dowden). 

3. The argument, all bare. The mere theme of my verse. 

7. Blunt. Dull, clumsy. 

9. Striving to mend, etc. Malone compares Lear, i. 4. 369: " Striving 
to better, oft we mar what 's well." 

CIV. " Resumes the subject from which the poet started in 100. 
After absence and cessation from song, he resurveys his friend's face, 
and inquires whether Time has stolen away any of its beauty. Note 
the important reference to time, three years ' since first I saw you fresh ' " 

3. Winters. D. reads " winters'," which may be right. 

4. Summers' pride. Steevens cites R. and J. i. 2. 10 : " Let two more 
summers wither in their pride." 

10. Steal from his figure. Creep away from the figure on the dial. 
Cf. 77. 7 above. 

CV. "To the beauty praised in ioo,.and the truth and beauty in 
101, S. now adds a third perfection, kindness ; and these three sum up 
the perfections of his friend " (Dowden). 

i. Let not my love, etc. " Because tjie continual repetition of the same 
praises seemed like a form of worship" (Walker). Cf. 108. 1-8. 

14. Never kept seat. Gildon reads "never sate," and Sewell "have 
never sate." 

CVI. " The last line of 105 declares that his friend's perfections were 
never before possessed by one person. This leads the poet to gaze back- 
ward on the famous persons of former ages, men and women, his friend 
being possessor of the united perfections of both man and woman (as in 
20 and 53) " (Dowden). 

i. Chronicle. Hales (quoted by Dowden) asks : " What chronicle is 
he thinking of? The Faerie Qneene ?" The chronicle of wasted time may 
be simply =the history of the past. 

8. Master. Possess, control ; as in Hen. V. ii. 4. 137 : " these he mas- 
ters now," etc. 


9. Dovvden compares Constable's Diana: 

" Miracle of the world, I never will deny 
That former poets praise the beauty of their days ; 
But all those beauties were but figures of thy praise, 
And all those poets did of thee but prophesy." 

11. And for they looked. And because they looked. See on 54.9 

12. Skill. The quarto has "still ;" corrected by Malone (the conject- 
ure of Tyrwhitt and Capell). 

C VII. " Continues the celebration of his friend, and rejoices in their 
restored affection. Mr. Massey explains this sonnet as a song of tri- 
umph for the death of Elizabeth, and the deliverance of Southampton 
from the Tower. Elizabeth (Cynthia) is the eclipsed mortal moon of 
line 5 ; cf. A. and C. Hi. 13. 153 : 

' Alack, our terrene moon [Cleopatra] 
Is now eclips'd.' 

But an earlier reference to a moon-eclipse (35. 3) has to do with his 
friend, not with Elizabeth, and in the present sonnet the moon is imag- 
ined as having endured her eclipse, and come out none the less bright. 
I interpret (as Mr. Simpson does, in his Philosophy of Shaksperis Son- 
nets, p. 79) : ' Not my own fears (that my friend's beauty may be on the 
wane (see 104. 9-14) nor the prophetic soul of the world, prophesying 
in the persons of dead knights and ladies your perfections (see 106), 
and so prefiguring your death, can confine my lease of love to a brief 
term of years. Darkness and fears are past, the augurs of ill find their 
predictions falsified, doubts are over, peace has come in place of strife ; 
the love in my heart is fresh and young (see 108. 9), and I have con- 
quered Death, for in this verse we both shall find life in the memories 
of men ' " (Dowden). 

4. Supposed as forfeit, etc. " Supposed to be a lease expiring within a 
limited term" (Dowden). 

Confined. For the accent, see on 33. 7. For the ordinary accent, cf. 
105. 7 and no. 12. 

5. Eclipse. See on 60. 7 above. 

6. Mock their oi<>n presage. " Laugh at the futility of their own pre- 
dictions " (Steevens). 

7. Incerlainties. Cf. 115. ii below, and W. T. iii. 2. 170. These are 
the only instances of the word in S., and uncertainty also occurs three 

8. And peace proclaims, etc. "The peace completed early in 1609, 
which ended the war between Spain and the United Provinces, might 
answer to the tone of this sonnet. Mr. Massey dates it at the accession 
of James I., and argues that the eclipse of the mortal moon refers to the 
death of Elizabeth " (Palgrave). See Dowden's note above. 

10. My love looks fresh. " I am not sure whether this means ' the love 
in my heart,' or 'my love' =my friend. Compare 104. 8 and 108. 9" 

Subscribes. Yields, submits. Cf. Lear, p. 178. 

2 5 

!66 NOTES. 

12. Insults o'er. Exults or triumphs over. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. i. 3. 14: 
" insulting o'er his prey." 

CVIII. " How can ' this poor rhyme ' which is to give us both unend- 
ing life (107. 10-14) be carried on ? Only by saying over again the same 
old things. But eternal love, in 'love's fresh case ' (an echo of 'my love 
looks -fresh,' 107. 10), knows no age, and finds what is old still fresh and 
young " (Dowden). 

3. New to register. The quarto has " now " for new ; corrected by 
Malone. Walker would read " What 's now to speak, what now," etc/ 

5. Sweet boy. The ed. of 1640 has " sweet-love." 

9. Love's fresh case. " Love's new condition and circumstances, the 
new youth of love spoken of in 107. 10" (Dowden). Malone takes it to 
be a reference to the poet's own compositions. 

13. 14. Finding, etc. " Finding the first conception of love that is, 
love as passionate as at first excited by one whose years and outward 
form show the effects of age " (Dowden). 

CIX. " The first ardour of love is now renewed as in the days of our 
early friendship (108. 13, 14). But what of the interval of absence and 
estrangement? S. confesses his wanderings, yet declares that he was 
never wholly false " (Dowden). 

2. Qualify. Temper, moderate. Cf. R. of L. 424 : 

" His rage of lust by gazing qualified; 
Slack'd, not suppressed,'' etc. 

4. /;/ thy breast. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 826 : " Hence ever then my heart is 
in thy breast." See also A. Y. L. v. 4. 121, Rich. III. \. i. 204, etc. 

5. My home of love, etc. Malone compares M. N. D. iii. 2. 170 : 

"My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourn' d, 
And now to Helen is it home return'd." 

7. Just to the time, etc. " Punctual to the time, not altered with the 
time" (Dowden); the only instance of this sense of exchanged in S. 
ii. Stairfd. St. conjectures "strain'd." 

14. My rose. Cf. I. 2 above. 

CX. "In 109 S. has spoken of having wandered from his 'home of 
love ;' here he continues the subject, ' Alas, 't is true I have gone here 
and there.' This sonnet and the next are commonly taken to express 
distaste for his life as a player " (Dowden). 

2. Motley. A wearer of motley, that is, a fool or jester. See A. Y.L. p. 162. 

3. Gor'd mine own thoughts. That is, done violence to them. Cf. T. 
and C. iii. 3. 228 : " My fame is shrewdly gor'd," etc. 

4. Made old offences, etc. " Entered into new friendships and loves 
which were transgressions against my old love " (Dowden). 

6. Strangely. Distantly, mistrustfully. Cf. 49. 5 above. 

7. Blenches. Startings-aside, aberrations ; the only instance of the 
noun in S. Cf. the verb in W. T. i. 2. 333, T. and C. ii. 2. 68, M.for M. 
iv. 5. 5, etc. 



9. Have what shall have no end. Mai one reads " save what " (the con- 
jecture of Tyrwhitt) ; but the meaning is " now all my wanderings and 
errors ave over, take love which has no end " (Dowden). 

10. Grind. Whet. 

12. A god in love, etc. "This line seems to be a reminiscence of the 
thoughts expressed in 105, and to refer to the First Commandment' 1 

CXI. " Continues the apology for his wanderings of heart, ascribing 
them to his ill fortune that, as commonly understood, which compels 
him to a player's way of life " (Dowden). 

1. With. The quarto has " wish ;" corrected by Gildon. For chide 
with, cf. Cymb. v. 4. 32, Oth. iv. 2. 167, etc. 

2. Harmful. The ed. of 1640 has " harmlesse." 

10. Eisel. Vinegar. Skelton (quoted by Nares) says of Jesus : 

" He drank eisel and gall 
To redeeme us withal." 
Cf. Ham. p. 265. 

CXII. "Takes up the word//(y from in. 14, and declares that his 
friend's love and pity compensate the dishonours of his life, spoken of in 
the last sonnet " (Dowden). 

4. O'er-green. Sevvell reads " o'er-skreen," and Steevens conjectures 
" o'er-grieve." Allow approve ; as in Lear, ii. 4. 194 : 

"O heavens, 

If you do love old men, if your sweet sway 
Allow obedience." 

Cf. Ps. xi. 6 (Prayer-Book version) : " The Lord alloweth the righteous." 
7. None else, etc. " No one living for me except you, nor I alive to 
any, who can change my feelings fixed as steel either for good or ill 
either to pleasure or pain" (Dowden). Malone conjectures "e'er 
changes," and K. "so changes." D. prints "sense'," both here and in 
10 below. In the latter case it is pretty certainly the contracted plural 
(see on 91. 4 above), and perhaps here also. 

9. Abysm. Printed " Abysme" in the quarto. See on 20. 7 above: 

10. Adders sense. For other allusions to the proverbial deafness of 
the adder, see 2 Hen. VI. iii. 2. 76 and T. and C. ii. 2. 172. 

11. Critic. Carper ; the only meaning in S. Cf. L. L. L. p. 141. 

12. With ... dispense. Excuse. See C. of E. p. 1 17, note on 103. 

13. So strongly, etc. "So kept and harbour'd in my thoughts' 

14. Are dead. The quarto has " y' are ;" corrected by Malor 
D. and Dowden read "they're." 

CXIII. "In connection with 112 ; the writer's mind and senses are 
filled with his friend; in 112 he tells how his ear is stopped to all other 
voices but one beloved voice ; here he tells how his eye sees things < 
as related to his friend " (Dowden). 

j68 NOTES. 

3. Part his function. Divide its function. H. makes part il depart 
from, forsake ;" but partly confirms the other explanation. 

6. Latch. Catch. Cf. Macb. iv. 3. 195: "Where hearing should not 
latch them ;" and see our ed. p. 244. The quarto has " lack ;" corrected 
by Mai one. 

10. Favour. Countenance, aspect. Cf. 125. 5 below. See also Prov. 
xxxi. 30. 

14. Makes mine eye untrue. The quarto reads " maketh mine untrue," 
which Malone explains thus : " The sincerity of my affection is the cause 
of my untruth, that is, my not seeing objects truly, such as they appear to 
the rest of mankind;" and W. as follows: "maketh the semblance, the 
fictitious (and so the false or untrue) object which is constantly before 
me." On the whole, we prefer the reading in the text, which occurred 
independently to Capell and Malone. Coll. suggests " maketh my eyne 
untrue," and Lettsom "mak'th mine eye untrue." 

CXIV. "Continues the subject treated in 113, and inquires why and 
how it is that his eye gives a false report of objects " (Dowden). 

4. Alchemy. Printed "Alcumie" in the quarto. See on 20. 7 above. 

5. Indigest. Chaotic, formless. Cf. 2 Hen. VI. v. I. 157: "foul indi- 
gested lump;" and 3 Hen. VI. v. 6. 51 : "an indigested and deformed 
lump." These are the only instances of the words in S. 

6. Cherubins. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 152: "a cherubin ;" and see our ed. 
p. 115. 

9. ' T is flattery in my seeing. Dowden quotes T. N. i. 5. 238: 

" I do I know not what, and fear to find 
Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind." 

11. What with his gust is greeing. What suits its (the eye's) taste. 
The quarto has greeing, not " 'greeing," as commonly printed. See Wb. 
F 'or gust, cf. 71 .A 7 ", i. 3. 33 : "the gust he hath in quarrelling," etc. 

13, 14. As Steevens remarks, the allusion is here to the tasters to 
princes, whose office it was to taste and declare the good quality of dish- 
es and liquors served up. Cf. K. John, v. 6. 28 : " who did taste to him ? 7 ' 
and see Rich. II. p. 220, note on Taste of it first. 

CXV. " Shakspere now desires to show that love has grown through 
error and seeming estrangement. Before trial and error love was but a 
babe" (Dowden). 

II. Certain o'er in certainty, etc. Cf. 107. 7 above. 

CXVI. " Admits his wanderings, but love is fixed above all the errors 
and trials of man and man's life" (Dowden). 

2. Impediments. Alluding to the Marriage Service : " If any of you 
know cause or just impediment," etc. 

Love is not love, etc. Steevens quotes Lear, i. i. 241 : 

" Love 's not love 

When it is mingled with regards that stands 
Aloof from the entire point." 


I6 9 

5. An ever-fixed mark, etc. Malone cites Cor. v. iii. 74: " Like a great 
sea-mark standing every flaw." 

8. Whose worth. V unknown, etc. Apparently, whose stellar influence 
is unknown, although his angular altitude has been determined" (Pal- 
grave) ; an astrological allusion. Dowden remarks : " The passage 
seems to mean, As the star, over and above what can be ascertained con- 
cerning it for our guidance at sea, has unknowable occult virtue and in- 
fluence, so love, beside its power of guiding us, has incalculable potencies. 
This interpretation is confirmed by the next sonnet (117) in which the 
simile of sailing at sea is introduced ; Shakspere there confesses his wan- 
derings, and adds as his apology 

' I did strive to prove 
The constancy and virtw of your love ' 

constancy, the guiding fixedness of love; virtue, the 'unknown worth.' 
Walker proposed * whose north 'j unknown/ explaining * As, by follow- 
ing the guidance of the northern star, a ship may sail an immense way, 
yet never reach the true north ; so the limit of love is unknown. Or can 
any other good sense be made of "north"" ? Judicent ret astronomic* 
periti? Dr. Ingleby ( The Soule Arayed, 1872, pp. 5, 6, note) after quoting 
in connection with this passage the lines in which Caesar speaks of him- 
self (J. C. iii. i) as 'constant as the northern star,' writes: * Here human 
virtue is figured under the " true-fix'd and resting quality " of the north- 
ern star. "Surely, then, the worth spoken of must be constancy or fixed- 
ness. The sailor must know that the star has this worth, or his latitude 
would not depend on its altitude. Just so without the knowledge of this 
worth in love, a man " hoists sail to all the winds," and is "frequent with 
unknown minds." ' Height, it should be observed, was used by Eliza- 
bethan writers in the sense of value, and the word may be used here in a 
double sense, altitude (of the star) and value (of love) ; love whose worth 
is unknown, however it may be valued." 

9. Time's fool. The sport or mockery of Time. Malone quotes I Hen. 
IV. v. 4. 81 : " But thought 's the slave of life, and life time's fool." 

11. His brief hours. Referring to Time. 

12. 77ie edge of doom. Cf. A. W. iii. 3. 5 : 

" We '11 strive to bear it for your worthy sake 
To the extreme edge of hazard." 

CXVIL " Continues the confession of his wanderings from his friend, 
ut asserts that it was only to try his friend's constancy in love ' 

C 5. 'Frequent. Intimate. In the only other instance of the word in S. 
W. T. iv. 2. 36) it is =addicted. Unknown minds= persons of J rte, 



otmg. To the world, or society. Cf. 70. 6 above. Dowden sug- 
gests that the meaning may be, "given away to temporary occasion wna 
is your property and therefore an heirloom for eternity. 
them" for time. ' f D . w ^ 

il-'~evel. Aim ; a technical use of the word Cf. R. ami J. p. ic 

S' the verb in 121. 9 below. 

iyo NOTES. 

C XVIII. " Continues the subject ; adding that he had sought strange 
loves only to quicken his appetite for the love that is true" (Dowden). 

1. Like as. See on 60. I above. 

2. Eager. Tart, poignant (Fr. aigre)-, as in Ham. i. 5. 69: "eager 
droppings into milk." 

4. Purge. Take a cathartic. Cf. I Hen. IV. v. 4. 168: "I '11 purge, 
and leave sack." 

5. Ne'er- cloy ing. The quarto has "nere cloying," and the ed. of 1640 
"neare cloying;" corrected by Malone (the conjecture of Theo.). 

7. Meetness. Fitness, propriety ; used by S. only here. 
12. Rank. " Sick (of hypertrophy)," as Schmidt defines it. Cf. 2 Hen. 
IV. iv. i. 64: " To diet rank minds sick of happiness." 

CXIX. " In close connection with the preceding sonnet ; showing the 
gains of ill, that strange loves have made the true love more strong and 
dear" (Dowden). 

2. Limbecks. Alembics. The word occurs again in Macb. i. 7. 67. 

3. Applying fears to hopes. " Setting fears against hopes " (Palgrave). 

4. Still losing, etc. "Either, losing in the very moment of victory, or 
gaining victories (of other loves than those of his friend) which were in- 
deed but losses " (Dowden). 

7. Fitted. The word must be from the noun^/, and = started by the 
paroxysms we fits of his fcver. Lettsom would read "flitted," which 
surely would be no improvement. 

II. Ruined I ove,z.\.z. " Note the introduction of the metaphor of rebuilt 
love, reappearing in later sonnets" (Dowden). Cf. C. of E. iii. 2. 4, A. 
and C. iii. 2. 29, T. and C. iv. 2. 109, etc. 

14. ///. The quarto has " ile ;" corrected by Malone. 

CXX. " Continues the apology for wanderings in love ; not Shake- 
speare alone has so erred, but also his friend " (Dowden). 

3. " I must needs be overwhelmed by the wrong I have done to you, 
knowing how I myself suffered when you were the offender " (Dowden). 

6. A hell of time. Malone quotes Oth. iii. 3. 169: 

" But O, what damned minutes tells he o'er 
Who dotes yet doubts, suspects yet strongly loves;" 

and 7?. of L. 1286: 

"And that deep torture may be call'd a hell, 
When more is felt than one hath power to tell." 

9. Our. St. conjectures " sour." 
Remembered. Reminded ; as in Temp. i. 2. 243 : " Let me remember 
thee what thou hast promis'd," etc. 

12. Salve. Dowden compares 34. 7 above. 

CXXI. " Though admitting his wanderings from his friend's love 
(118-120), S. refuses to admit the scandalous charges of unfriendly cen- 


" Dr. Burgersdijk regards this sonnet as a defence of the stage against 
the Puritans" (Dowden). 

2. When not to be, etc. When one is unjustly reproached with being 
so (that is, vile]. 

3,4. And the just pleasure, etc. "And the legitimate pleasure lost, 
which is deemed vile, not by us who experience it, but by others who 
look on and condemn " (Dowden). 

5. Adulterate. Lewd ; as in Rich. III. iv. 4. 79, and L. C. 175. It is 
^adulterous in JR. of L. 1645, Hani. i. 5. 42, etc. 

6. Give salutation, etc. Dowden quotes Hen. VIII. ii. 3. 103 : 

"Would I had no being, 
If this salute my blood a jot!" 

Sportive^ amorous, wanton ; as in Rich. III. i. i. 14: " Shap'd for sport- 
ive tricks." 

8. /;/ their wills. " According to their pleasure " (Dowden). 

ir. Bevel. Slanting; figuratively opposed to straight, or "upright." 
The word is used by S. only here. 

CXXII. "An apology for having parted with tables (memorandum- 
book), the gift of his friend " (Dowden). 

1. Tables. Cf. Ham. i. 5. 107 : " My tables meet it is I set it down," 

On the passage, Malone compares Ham. \. 5. 98: " Yea, from the table 
of my memory," etc. ; Id. i. 3. 58 : 

"And these few precepts in thy memory 
Look thou character;" 

and T. G. of V. ii. 7. 3 : 

"Who art the table wherein all my thoughts 
Are visibly character'd and engrav'd." 

3. That idle rank. " That poor dignity (of tables written upon with 
pen or pencil) " (Dowden). 

9. That poor retention. " The table-book given to him by his friend, 
incapable of retaining, or rather of containing, so much as the tablet of the 
brain" (Malone). 

10. Tallies. Notched sticks used to "keep tally," as schoolboys still 
say. Cf. 2 Hen. VI. iv. 7. 39 : "our forefathers had no other books but 
the score and the tally," etc. 

CXXIII. "In the last sonnet Shakspere boasts of his Masting mem- 
ory' as the recorder of love ; he now declares that the registers and rec- 
ords of Time are false, but Time shall impose no cheat upon his memory 
or heart " (Dowden). 

2. Thy pyramids. "I think this is metaphorical ; all that Time piles 
up from day to day, all his new stupendous erections are really but ' dress- 
ings of a former sight.' Is there a reference to the new love, the 'ruined 
love built anew' (119. n), between the two friends? The same meta- 
phor appears in the next sonnet : * No, it [his love] was builded far from 


accident ;' and again in 125 : ' Laid great bases for eternity,' etc. Does 
Shakspere mean here that this new love is really the same with the old 
love ; he will recognize the identity of new and old, and not wonder at 
either the past or present ?" (Dowden.) /^r.wV/^adornings. 

5. Admire. Wonder at; as in T. N. iii. 4. 165: "Wonder not, nor 
Admire not," etc. 

7. And rather make them* etc. " Them refers to 'what thou dost foist,' 
etc. ; we choose rather to think such 4hings new, and specially created 
for our satisfaction, than, as they really are, old things of which we have 
already heard" (Dowden). 

II. Records. S. accents the noun on either syllable, as may suit the 
measure. Cf. 55. 8 above. 

CXXIV. "Continues the thought of 123. 13, 14. The writer's love, 
being unconnected with motives of self-interest, is independent of Fort- 
une and Time " (Dowden). 

I. State. Rank, power. 

4. Weeds, etc. " My love might be subject to time's hate, and sp plucked 
up as a weed, or subject to timers love, and so gathered as a flower " (Dow- 

5. Builded. The participle is oftener built ; as in 119. n and 123. 2 

7, 8. " When time puts us, who have been in favour, out of fashion " 

9. Policy, that heretic. " The prudence of self-interest, which is faith- 
less in love. Cf. R. and J. i. 2. 95 (Romeo speaking of eyes unfaithful 
to the beloved) : ' Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars ' " (Dowden). 

II. Hugely politic. "Love itself is infinitely prudent, prudent for eter- 
nity" (Dowden). H. takes the phrase to be=" organized or knit together 
in a huge polity or State ;" to which we can only add his own comment : 
" Rather an odd use of politic, to us." 

12. That. So that ; as in 76. 7 and 98.4 above. Steevens conjectures 
"glows " for grows, and Capell " dries." v 

13, 14. To this I witness, etc. Dowden asks : " Does this mean, * I call 
to witness the transitory unworthy loves (fools of time = sports of time 
cf. 116. 9), whose death was a virtue since their life was a crime ?" Stee- 
vens thinks that/00/.r of time, etc., may be "a stroke at some of Fox's 
Martyrs;" and Palgrave says: "apparently, the plotters and political 
martyrs of the time." H. suggests that it may mean, "those fools who 
make as if they would die for virtue after having devoted their lives to 

CXXV. "In connection with 124: there S. asserted that his love 
was not subject to time, as friendships founded on self-interest are ; here 
he asserts that it is not founded on beauty of person, and therefore can- 
not pass away with the decay of such beauty. It is pure love for love " 

I. Bore the canopy. That is, paid outward homage, as one who bears 
a canopy over a superior. King James I. made his progress through 


London, 1603-4, under a canopy. In the account of the King and 
Queen's entertainment at Oxford, 1605, we read (Nichol's Processes of 
King James, vol. i. p. 546, quoted by Dowden) : " From thence was car- 
ried over the King and Queen a fair canopy of crimson taffety by six of 
the Canons of the Church." 

2. Extern. Outward show. Cf. Oth. i. 1.63: "compliment extern." 
Elsewhere S. uses external ; as in 53. 13 above. On the passage, cf.69. 
1-5 above. 

3. Or laid, etc. "The love of the earlier sonnets, which celebrated 
the beauty of Shakspere's friend, was to last forever, and yet it has been 
ruined " (Dowden). 

5. Favour. Outward appearance. Cf. 113. 10 above. 

6. Lose nil, and more. " Cease to love, and through satiety even grow 
to dislike" (Dowden). 

9. Obsequious. Devoted, zealous. Cf. M. W. iv. 2. 2 : "I see you are 
obsequious in your love, "etc. H. explains it as = " mourned or lamented." 

n. Mix'd with seconds. Steevens remarks: "I am just informed by 
an old lady, that seconds is a provincial term for the second kind of flour, 
which is collected after the smaller bran is sifted. That our author's 
oblation was pure, unmixed with baser matter, is all that he meant to 
say." Seconds is still used (at least in this country) in the sense which 
Steevens mentions. We have little doubt that he is right in his expla- 
nation of the figure, which is not unlike the familiar one of the wheat 
and the chaff (cf. Hen. VIII. v. I. 1 1 1, Cymb. i. 6. 178, etc.) ; but K. thinks 
otherwise. He says, after quoting Steevens's note, "Mr. Dyce called 
this note 'preposterously absurd.' Steevens, however, knew what he 
was doing. He mentions the flour, as in almost every other note upon 
the Sonnets, to throw discredit upon compositions with which he could 
not sympathize. He had a sharp, cunning, pettifogging mind ; and he 
knew many prosaic things well enough. He knew that a second in a 
duel, a seconder in a debate, a secondary in ecclesiastical affairs, meant 
one next to the principal. The poet's friend has his chief oblation ; no 
seconds, or inferior persons, are mixed up with his tribute of affection. 

"In the copy of the Sonnets in the Bodleian Library, formerly belong- 
ing to Malone (and which is bound in the same volume with the Lucrece, 
etc.), is a very cleverly drawn caricature representing Shakspere address- 
ing a periwig'-pated old fellow in these lines : 

' If thou couldst, Doctor, cast 
.The water of my Sonnets, find their disease, 
Or purge my Editor till he understood them, 
I would applaud thee.' 

Under this Malone has written, ' Mr. Steevens borrowed this volume 
from me in 1779, to peruse the Rape of Lucrece, in the original edition, 
of which he was not possessed. When he returned it he made this draw- 
ing. I was then confined by a sore throat, and attended by Mr. Atkin- 
son, the apothecary, of who'm the above figure, whom Shakspeare ad- 
dresses, is a caricature.' " 

12. Mutual render. "Give-and-take. This sonnet appears directed 
against some one who had charged him with superficial love" (Palgrave). 


13. Suborn W informer. Dowclen asks: "Does this refer to an actual 
person, one of the spies of 121. 7, 8 ? or is the informer Jealousy, or Sus- 
picion, as in V. and A. 655 ?" 

CXXVI. "This is the concluding poem of the series addressed to 
Shakspere's friend ; it consists of six rhymed couplets. In the quarto 
parentheses follow the twelfth line thus : 

as if to show that two lines are wanting. But there is no good reason 
for supposing that the poem is defective. In William Smith's Chloris, 
1596, a 'sonnet' (No. 27) of this six-couplet form appears" (Dowden). 

2. Fickle hour. The quarto reads " sickle, hower," and Lintott " fickle 
hower." The old text has not been satisfactorily explained. W. (if his 
note is meant to be taken seriously) regards the line as " a most remark- 
able instance of inversion for * Dost hold Time's fickle hour-glass, his 
sickle.'" Walker conjectures "sickle-hour," the hour being, as he 
thinks, "represented poetically as a sickle;" which H. adopts, adding 
that the figure is used " for the same reason that Time is elsewhere pict- 
ured as being armed with a scythe." We assume that '.'sickle" was a 
misprint to* fickle (an easy slip of the type when the long s was in vogue), 
and explain, with Mr. J. Crosby : "during its fickle hour. The boy sim- 
ply held Time's fickle glass while it raji its fickle hourly course. Dost 
/t0/d=dost hold in hand, in check, in thy power ; and fickle hour 
Time's course that is subject to mutation and vicissitude." This seems 
to us the best that can be done for this puzzling passage. For his its, 
cf. 9. 10, 14. 6, 74. 7, and 84. 6 above. 

5. Wrack. For the rhyme, cf. V. and A. 558, R. of L. 841, 965, and 
Macb. v. 5. 51. See also on 65. 6 above. 

9. Minion. Darling, favourite. See Macb. p. 153. 

12. Quietus. "This is the technical term for the acquittance which 
every sheriff receives on settling his accounts at the Exchequer. Com- 
pare Webster, Duchess of Malfi, i. I : ' And 'cause you shall not come to 
me in debt, Being now my steward, here upon your lips I sign your 
Quietus est" 1 " (Steevens). S. uses the word again in Ham. iii. i. 75. 

To render thee. "To yield thee up, surrender thee. When Nature 
is called to a reckoning (by Time ?) she obtains her acquittance upon 
surrendering thee, her chief treasure " (Dowden). 

CXXVII. "The sonnets addressed to his lady begin here. Stee- 
vens called attention to the fact that 'almost all that is said here on th.e 
subject of complexion is repeated in /.. L. L. iv. 3. 250-258: " O, who can 
give an oath ?" etc.' 

" Herr Krauss points out several resemblances between Sonn. 126-152 
and the Fifth Song of Sidney's Astrophel and Stella (that beginning 
'While favour fed my hope, delight with hope was brought'), in which 
may be felt ' the ground tone of the whole series ' of later sonnets " 

i. In the old age black was not counted fair. W. remarks : " This is an 


allusion to the remarkable fact that during the chivalric ages brunettes 
were not acknowledged as beauties anywhere in Christendom. In all the 
old contes, fabliaux, and romances that I am acquainted with, the heroines 
are blondes. And more, the possession of dark eyes and hair, and the 
complexion that accompanies them, is referred to by the troubadours as 
a misfortune." 

3. Successive. By order of succession ; as in 2 Hen. VI. iii. i. 49 : " As 
next the king he was successive heir." 

7. Boiver. Habitation. Malone reads " hour." 

9. My mistress'' brows. The quarto has '* eyes " for brows, which is due 
to the Camb. editors. Walker conjectures " hairs." Cf. W. T. ii. I. 8: 

"Your brows are blacker;, yet black brows, they say, 
Become some women best," etc. 

10. Suited. Clad ; as in M. of V. \. 2. 79, A. W. \. I. 170, etc. For and 
they D. reads "as they." 

12. Slandering creation, etc. "Dishonouring nature with a spurious 
reputation, a fame gained by dishonest means " (Dowden). 

13. Becoming of . Gracing. For 0/"with verbals, see Or. 178. 

CXXVIIL i. My music. Cf. 8. I above. 

5. Envy. Accented on the second syllable; as in T. of S. ii. I. 18: 
" Is it for him you do envy me so ?" Malone compares Marlowe, Etiw. 
II. : " If for the dignities thou be envy'd ;" and Sir John Davies, Epi- 
grams : " Why doth not Ponticus their fame envy ?" 

Jacks. The keys of the virginal, or the piano of the time. For the 
instrument, see Tivo Noble Kinsmen, p. 177. Steevens quotes Ram Al- 
ley, 1611 : 

" Where be these rascals that skip up and down 
Like virginal jacks?" 

11. Thy. The quarto has " their," as in 14 ; corrected by Gilclon. 

CXXIX. i. Expense. Expenditure. Cf. 94. 6 above. 
2. Lust. The subject of the sentence. 
9. Mad. The quarto has " Made ;" corrected by Gildon. 
ii. Prov'd, a very woe. The quarto reads " proud and very wo ;" cor- 
rected by Sewell and Malone. 

CXXX. " She is not beautiful to others, but beautiful she is to me, 
although I entertain no fond illusions, and see her as she is" (Dowden). 

4. If hairs be wires. Cf. K. John, iii. 4. 64 : 

"O, what love I note 
In the fair multitude of those her hairs ! 
Where but by chance a silver drop hath fallen, 
Even to that drop ten thousand wiry friends 
Do glue themselves," etc. 

5. DamasVd. Variegated. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 5. 123 : " Betwixt the con- 
stant red and mingled damask." 

14. Any she. Cf. Hen. V. ii. I. 83 : "the only she," etc. For compart, 
see on 21. 5 above. 

I7 6 NOTES. 

CXXXI. " Connected with 130 ; praise of his lady, black, but, to her 
lover, beautiful " (Uowden). 

6. Groan. Cf. 133. I below. See also V. and A. 785 : " No, lady, no ; 
my heart longs not to groan," etc. 

14. This slander. That her face has not the power to make love 

CXXXII. "Connected with 131 : there S. complains of the cruelty 
and tyranny of his lady; here the same subject is continued and a plea 
made for her pity" (Dowden). 

2. Knowing thy heart 'torments. The quarto has "torment" for tor- 
uients, and Malone reads " Knowing thy heart, torment," etc. The text 
is that of the ed. of 1640. 

4. Ruth. Pity. See Rich. II. p. 199. 

9. Mourning. The quarto has " morning," and probably, as Dowden 
suggests, a play was intended on morning sun and mourning face. 

12. Suit thy pity like. That is, clothe it similarly, let it appear the same. 

CXXXIII. "Here Shakspere's heart 'groans '(see 131) for the suf- 
fering of his friend as well as his own " (Uowden). 

I. Beshrew. On this mild imprecation, see Rich. II. p. 192. 

II. Keeps. That is, guards. 

CXXXIV. "In close connection with 133" (Dowden). 

5. Wilt not. That is, wilt not restore him. 

9. Statute. "Statute has here its legal signification, that of a security 
or obligation for money" (Malone). 

10. Use. Interest ; as in 6. 5 above. 

11. Came. That is, who became. For the ellipsis, see Gr. 244. 

CXXXV. "Perhaps suggested by the second line of the last sonnet, 
* I myself am mortgag'd to thy will"* " (Dowden). 

I. Will. "In this sonnet, in the next, and in 143 the quarto marks 
by italics and capital W \\\z play on words, Will= William [Shaksnere], 
ff7//= William, the Christian name of Shakspere's friend [7 Mr. W. H.], 
and f7//= desire, volition. Here 'Will in overplus' means Will Shak- 
spere, as the next line shows, * more than enough am I.' The first ' Will ' 
means desire (but as we know that his lady had a husband, it is possible 
that he also may have been a * Will,' and that the first ' Will ' here may 
refer to him besides meaning ' desire ') ; the second * Will ' is Shakspere's 
friend" (Dowden). 

Halliwell remarks that in the time of S. quibbles of this kind were 
common, and he cites as an example the riddle on the name William^ 
quoted from the Book of Riddles in our ed. of M. W. p. 135. 

5. Spacious. A trisyllable, V^SA gracious below. Gr. 479. 

9. The sea, etc. Cf. T. N. ii. 4. 103 : 

" But mine is all as hungry as the sea, 
And can digest as much;" 


and Id. i. I. II : 

"O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou, 
That, notwithstanding thy capacity 
Receiveth as the sea," etc. 

13. Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill. A puzzling line, as it stands. 
Schmidt is doubtful whether unkind is a substantive, and, if so, whether 
it means " unnaturalness," or " aversion to the works of love." Palgrave 
paraphrases thus : " Let no unkindness, no fair-spoken rivals destroy 
me." Dowden says that if unkind is a substantive it must mean " unkind 
one (that is, his lady)," as in Daniel's Delia, 2cl Sonnet : " And tell th' Un- 
kind how dearly I have lov'd her." He adds that possibly no fair may 
mean " no fair one ;" but suggests that perhaps we should print the line 
thus : " Let no unkind ' No ' fair beseechers kill ;" that is, " let no unkind 
refusal kill fair beseechers." This strikes us as a very happy solution of 
the enigma, and we have been strongly tempted to adopt it in our text. 

CXXXVI. " Continues the play on words of 135 " (Dowden). 

6. Ay, fill. The quarto has "I fill ;" but ay was usually printed "I." 
Dowden suggests that possibly there may be a play on ay and /. 

8. One is reckon "d none. See on 8. 14 above. 

10. Store's. The quarto has "stores ;" the Camb. editors follow Ma- 
lone in reading " stores'." Schmidt says of Store : " used only in the sing. ; 
therefore in Sonn. 136. 10, storeys not stores'." -"Lines 9, 10 mean * You 
need not count me when merely counting the number of those who hold 
you dear, but when estimating the worth of your possessions, you must 
have regard to me.' * To set store by a thing or person ' is a phrase con- 
nected with the meaning of 'store' in this passage" (Dowden). 

12. Something sweet. Walker proposed and Dyce reads "something, 

13, 14. " Love only my name (something less than loving myself), and 
then thou lovest me, for my name is Will, and I myself am all will, that 
is, all desire " (Dowden). 

CXXXVIL "In 136 he has prayed his lady to receive him in the 
blindness of love ; he now shows how Love has dealt with his own eyes " 

6. Anchored. Malone compares A. and C. i. 5- 33 : , 

"and great Pornpey 

Would stand and make his eyes grow in my brow ; 
There would he anchor his aspect ;" 

and Steevens adds M.for M. ii. 4. 4 : 

" Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue, 

Anchors on Isabel/' 

o. Several plot. Halliwell says : " Fields that were enclosed were called 
severals in opposition to commons, the former belonging to individuals, 
the others to the inhabitants generally. When commons were enclosed, 
portions allotted to owners of freeholds, copyholds, and cottages, were 

I7 8 NOTES. 

fenced in, and termed several* " Cf. /.. L. L. ii. I. 233 : " My lips are no 
common though several they be ;" and see our ed. p. 137. 

CXXXVIII. "Connected with 137. The frauds practised by blind 
love, and the blinded lovers, Shakspere and his lady, who yet must strive 
to blind themselves " (Dowden). This sonnet appeared as the first poem 
of The Passionate Pilgrim (published in 1599, when S. was in his 35th 
year) in the following form : 

" 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 untutor'd youth, 
Unskilful in the world's false forgeries. 
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young, 
Although / know my years be past the best, 
I smiling credit her false-speaking tongue, 
Outfacing faults in love with love's ill rest. 
But wherefore says my love that she is young ? 
And wherefore say not I that I am old? 
O, love's best habit is a soothing tongue, 
And age. in love, loves not to have years told, 
Therefore / 'II lie with love, and love with me, 
Since that our faults in love thus smothered be." 

II. Habit. Bearing, deportment. 

CXXXIX. "Probably connected with 138; goes on to speak of the 
lady's untruthfulness ; he may try to believe her professions of truth, but 
do not ask him to justify the wrong she lays upon his heart" (Dowden). 

3. Wound me not with thine eye. Mai one quotes R. and J. ii. 4. 14 : 
"stabbed with a white wench's black eye;" and Steevens adds 3 Hen. 
VI. v. 6. 26 : " Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words !" 

CXL. " In connection with 139; his lady's 'glancing aside' of that 
sonnet reappears here, 'Bear thine eyes straight.' He complains of her 
excess of cruelty" (Dowden). 

6. To tell me so. " To tell me thou dost love me " (Malone). 

14. Bear thine eyes straight, etc. " That is, as it is expressed in 93. 4, 
' Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place ' " (Malone). 

CXLI. " In connection with 140 ; the proud heart of line 14 reappears 
here in line 12. His foolish heart loves her, and her proud heart pun- 
ishes his folly by cruelty and tyranny. Compare with this sonnet Dray- 
ton, Idea, 29 " (Dowden). 

8. Sensual feast. Gratification of the senses. 

9. Five wits. See Much Ado, p. 120. 

ii. Who leaves unswayed, etc. " My heart ceases to govern me, and so 
leaves me no better than the likeness of a man a man without a heart 
in order that it may become slave to thy proud heart" (Dowden). 

14. Pain. "In its old etymological sense of punishment " (Walker). 

CXLII. " In connection with 141 ; the first line takes up the word ' sin ' 


from the last line of that sonnet. ' Those whom thine eyes woo 7 carries 
on the complaint of 139. 6, and 140. 14" (Dowden). 

6. Their scarlet ornaments. Cf. Rdw. III. ii. i : "His cheeks put on 
their scarlet ornaments." The line occurs in the part of the play ascribed 
by some to S. See on 94. 14 above. 

7. Seal" 1 d false bonds of love. Cf. V. and A. 511 : 

" Pure lips, sweet seals in my soft lips imprinted, 
What bargains may I make, still to be sealing?" 

M.for M. iv. i. 5 : 

" But my kisses bring again, 
Seals of love, but seal'd in vain;" 

and M. of V. ii. 6.6: " To seal love's bonds new made," etc. 

13. If thon dost seek, etc. " If you seek for love, but will show none," 

CXLIII. "Perhaps the last two lines of 142 suggest this. In that 
sonnet Shakspere says 'If you show no kindness, you can expect none 
from those you love ;' here he says ' If you show kindness to me, I shall 
wish you success in your pursuit of him you seek' " (Dowden). 

4. Pursuit. Accented on the first syllable; the only instance in S. 
CL pursue in M. of V. iv. i. 298 : " We trifle time ; I pray thee, pursue 
sentence." Walker gives many examples of pursuit; as Heywood, 
Dntchess of Suffolk: "The eager pursuit of our enemies;" Spanish 
Tragedy : "Thy negligence in pursuit of their deaths ;" B. and F., Wit 
at Several Weapons, v. I : " In pursuit of the match, and will enforce 
her ;" Massinger, Fatal Dowry, ii. 2 : " Forsake the pursuit of this lady's 
honour," etc. 

8. Not prizing. " Not regarding, not making any account of" (Malone). 
13. Will. "'Possibly, as Steevens takes it, Will Shakspere ; but it 

seems as likely, or perhaps more likely, to be Shakspere's friend * Will ' 
[? W. H.]. The last two lines promise that Shakspere will pray for her 
success in the chase of the fugitive (Will ?), on condition that, if success- 
ful, she will turn back to him, Shakspere, her babe " (Dowden). 

CXLIV. "This sonnet appears as the second poem in The Passion- 
ate Pilgrim with the following variations : in 2, 'That like;' in 3, 'My 
better "angel ;' in 4, ' My worser spirit ;' in 6, 'from my side ;' in 8, '//> 
pride ;' in 1 1, ' For being both to me ;' in 13, ' The truth I shall not know.' 
Compare with this sonnet the 2Oth of Drayton's Idea: 

' An evil spirit, your beauty haunts me still, 

* * * * * 
Which ceaseth not to tempt me to each ill ; 

\' -.#.* 
Thus am I still provok'd to every evil 

By that good-wicked spirit, sweet angel-devil.' 

Compare also Astrophel and Stella, 5th Song : 

4 Yet witches may repent, thou art far worse than they, 
Alas, that I am forst such evill of thee to say, 
I say thou art a Divill though cloth' d in Angel's shining: 
For thy face tempts my soule to leave the heaven for thee, etc. (Dowden). 

i8o NOTES. 

2. Suggest. Tempt. Cf. Oth. ii. 3. 358 : 

"When devils will the blackest sins put on, 
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows.'' 

See also Rich. II. pp. 153, 198. 

6. From my side. The quarto has "sight ;" corrected from the P. P. 

ii. From me. Away from me. Gr. 158. 

14. Till my bad angel, etc. Dovvden compares 2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 365 : 

" Prince Henry. For the women? 
Falstaff. For one of them, she is in hell already, and burns poor souls." 

We prefer Hanmer's reading "burns, poor soul " (see our ed. p. 172), but 
the allusion in burns is the same in either case. 

CXLV. "The only sonnet written in eight -syllable verse. Some 
critics, partly on this ground, partly because the rhymes are ill-managed, 
reject it as not by Shakspere " (Dowden). 

13. I hate from hate, etc. "She removed the words I hate to a dis- 
tance from hatred ; she changed their natural import ... by subjoining 
not you" (Malone). He compares A*, of L. 1534-1537. Steevens would 
read "I hate away from hate she flew," etc.; that is, "having pro- 
nounced the words I hate, she left me with a declaration in my favour." 
Dowden is inclined to accept Malone's explanation, but thinks the mean- 
ing may possibly be, " from hatred to such words as / hate, she threw 
them away." 

CXLVI. 2. Pressed by these rebel powers, etc. The quarto has "My 
sinfull earth these rebbell," etc. The corruption was doubtless due, as 
Malone suggests, to the compositor's inadvertently repeating the closing 
words of the first verse at the beginning of the second, omitting two 
syllables that belong there. Many emendations have been proposed : 
" Fool'd by those" (Malone), " Starv'd by the" (Steevens), " Fool'd by 
these" (D.), " Foil'd by these" (Palgrave), " Hemm'd with these" (Fur- 
nivall), "Thrall to these" (anonymous), "Slave of these" (Cartwright), 
" Leagued with these " (Brae), etc. Pressed by is due to Dowden, and is 
on the whole as good a guess as any that has been made. 

Array is explained by some as = clothe. Massey thinks it also signi- 
fies "that in the flesh these rebel powers set their battle in array against 
the soul." Dr. Ingleby, in his pamphlet The Sonle Arayed, 1872 (reprint- 
ed in Shakespeare: the Man and the Book, Part I., 1877), takes the ground 
that array (or aray) is =abuse, afflict, ill-treat. He gives several exam- 
ples of this sense from writers of the time. It is not found elsewhere in 
S., but we have rayed in T. of S. iii. 2. 54 and iv. I. 3, where Schmidt ex- 
plains it as "defiled, dirtied." We prefer this explanation to that which 
makes array=c\othe which seems to us forced and unnatural here but 
we should prefer Massey's "set their battle in array against" to either, 
if any other example of this meaning could be found. Perhaps the turn 
thus given to the military sense is no more remarkable than the liberties 


S. takes with sundry other words ; and here the exigencies of the rhyme 
might justify it. For the rebel powers and the outward walls, cf. R. of L. 

"She says her subjects with foul insurrection 

Have batter'd down her consecrated wall, 

And by their mortal fault brought in subjection 

Her immortality, and made her thrall 

To living death and pain perpetual." 

10. Aggravate. Increase. 

11. Terms. Walker says: "In the legal and academic sense; long 
periods of time, opposed to hours." Cf. 2 Hen. IV. v. i. 90 : " the wear- 
ing out of six fashions, which is four terms, or two actions." 

CXLVII. " In connection with 146 : in that sonnet the writer exhorts 
the soul to feed and let the body pine, 'within be fed,' 'so shalt thou feed 
on Death ;' here he tells what the food of his soul actually is the un- 
wholesome food of a sickly appetite. Compare Drayton, Idea, 41, Love's 
Lunacie ' " (Dowden). 

5. My reason, the physician, etc. Malone compares M. W.-\\. I. 5: 
" though Love use Reason for his physician," etc. 

7. Approve. Find by experience (that). Cf. Oth. ii. 3. 317 : "I have 
well approved it," etc. 

8. Except. Object to, refuse. Palgrave explains thus : " I now dis- 
cover that desire which reason rejected is death ;" but Dowden, better, 
"desire which did object to physic." Physic did except repeats the idea 
in prescriptions not kept, not that in reason . . . hath left me, as Palgrave 
seems to suppose. 

9. Past cure, etc. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 28: "past cure is still past care." 
As Malone notes, it was a proverbial saying. See Holland's Leaguer, a 
pamphlet published in 1632: "She has got the adage in her mouth; 
Things past cure, past care." 

10. Evermore unrest. Walker compares Coleridge, Remorse, v. I : 

"hopelessly deform'd 
By sights of evermore deformity." 

Sidney (Arcadia, book v.) has " the time of my ever farewell approach- 

CXLVIIL " Suggested apparently by the last two lines of 147 : 'I 
have thought thee bright who art dark ;' ' what eyes, then, hath love put 
in my head ?' " (Dowden). 

^Censures. Judges. See Much Ado, p. 139 ; and for the noun (judg- 
ment), Macb. p. 251, or Ham. p. 190. 

8. Love's eye, etc. The quarto (followed by most of the editors) ends 
the line with " all mens : no." The reading in the text was suggested by 
Lettsom, and is adopted by D., the Camb. editors (" Globe " ed.), and H. t 
and is approved by St. It assumes a play upon eye and ay. Lettsom 
afterwards proposed "that" for love in the preceding line, and H. adopts 
that reading also. 

13. O cunning Love! " Here he is perhaps speaking of his mistress, 


!8 2 XOTES. 

but if so, he identifies her with ' Love,' views her as Love personified, 
and so the capital L is right " (Dowden). 

CXLIX. " Connected with 148, as appears from the closing lines of 
the two sonnets" (Dowden). 

2. Partake. Take part ; the only instance of the verb in this sense in 
S., but cf. the noun in I ffcn. VI. ii. 4. 100 : " your partaker Pole " (see 
our ed. p. 149). 

4. All tyrant. Vocative =-thou who art a complete tyrant. Malone 
conjectures " all truant." 

8. Present. Instant, immediate ; as very often. 

CL. " Perhaps connected with 149 ; worship thy defect ' in that son- 
net may have suggested 'with insufficiency my heart to sway' in this" 

2. Witk insufficiency, etc. " To rule my heart by defects " (Dowden). 

5. This becoming of things ill. Malone quotes A. and C. ii. 2. 243 : 

" for vilest things 
Become themselves in her,'' etc. 

7. Warrantise of skill. Surety or pledge of ability. 

CLT. Omitted by Palgrave. See on 20 above. Dowden remarks : 
'* Mr. Massey, with unhappy ingenuity, misinterprets thus : * The mean- 
ing of Sonnet 151, when really mastered, is that he is betrayed into sin 
with others by her image, and in straying elsewhere he is in pursuit of 
her ; it is on her account.' " 

3. Cheater. St. takes the word to be here escheator, as in M. W. \. 3. 
77 (see our ed. p. 138); but, as Dowden remarks, the more obvious mean- 
ing of rogue makes better sense. 

For amiss, see on 35. 7 above. 

10. Triumphant prize. "Triumphal prize, the prize of his triumph" 

12. To stand, etc. Cf. Mercutio's speech in R. and J. ii. i. 22-29. 

CLII. "Carries on the thought of the last sonnet ; she cannot justly 
complain of his faults since she herself is as guilty or even more guilty" 

9. Kindness. Affection, tenderness ; as in Much Ado, iii. i. 113 : 

" If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee 
To bind our loves up in a holy band." 

See also Much Ado, p. 118, note on 23. 

11. To enlighten thee, etc. " To see thee in the brightness of imagina- 

tion I gave away my eyes to blindness, made myself blind " (Dowden). 
13. Perjured I. The quarto has " eye " for /; corrected by Sewell. 

CLIII. Malone remarks: "This and the following sonnet are com- 
posed of the very same thoughts differently versified. They seem to 
have been early essays of the poet, who perhaps had not determined 


which he should prefer. He hardly could have intended to send them 
both into the world." 

Herr Krauss (quoted by Dowden) believes these sonnets to be harm- 
less trifles, written for the gay company at some bathing-place. 

Herr Hertzberg (Jahrbuch der Deutschen Shakespeare-Gesellschaft, 1878, 
pp. 158-162) has found a Greek source for these two sonnets. He writes : 
"Dann ging ich an die palatinische Anthologie und fand daselbst nach 
langem Suchen im ix. Buche ('ETrt^i/criKra) unter N. 637 die ersehnte 
Quelle. . . . Es lautet : 

Tu6] I/TTO ra9 TrXaTuvow uTraXaii TTpi//uet/o? virixa 

evdev "Epwc, vt;/x0cu9 Aa/UTra^a 7rap#F/uevoc. 
N^0at 6' uXX^Xr/o-i, ' TI /ueAXbjuei/ ; ai'0e 5e TOVTOJ 

<r/3tcro'a^uey,' eiirov, ' O/JLOV irvp upadir]? /uepoTreof.' 

Dowden adds : " The poem is by the Byzantine Marianus, a writer 
probably of the fifth century after Christ. .The germ of the poem is 
found in an Epigram by Zenodotus : 

T 7Xux//a? rov "Epwra Trapfi Kpjji/r/o-tv t'#r)Kei>; 
Oto/tiei/09 Trai/a-eii/ TOUTO TO irvp udart.t 

How Shakspere became acquainted with the poem of Marianus we can- 
not tell, but it had been translated into Latin : * Selecta Epigrammata, 
Basel, 1529,' and again several times before the close of the sixteenth 

" I add literal translations of the epigrams : ' Here 'neath the plane trees, 
weighed down by soft slumber, slept Love, having placed -his torch beside 
the Nymphs. Then said the Nymphs to one another, " Why do we de- 
lay? Would that together with this we had extinguished the fire of 
mortals' heart !" But as the torch made the waters also to blaze, hot is 
the water the amorous Nymphs (or the Nymphs of the region of Eros|) 
draw from thence for their bath.' 

" * Who was the man that carved [the statue of] Love, and set it by the 
fountains, thinking to quench this fire with water ?' 

"In Surrey's Complaint of the Lover Disdained (Aldine ed. p. 12), we 
read of a hot and a cold well of love. Shenstone (Works, ed. 1777, vol. i. 
p. 144) versifies anew the theme of this and the following sonnet in his 
'Anacreontic.' Hermann Isaac suggests that the valley-fountain may 
signify marriage, but this will hardly agree with 154. 12, 13." 

6. Dateless. Eternal. Cf. 30. 6 above. Lively = living; as in F. and 
A. 498, etc. 

7. Prove. Find by trying, find to be. Cf. 72. 4 above. 

II. Bath. The quarto has "bath," but Steevens suggests that we 
should print " Bath " (the name of the English city). 

j 4. Eyes. The quarto has " eye ;" corrected in the ed. of 1640. 

* Epigrammata (Jacob) ix. 65. 

t Epigrammata i. 57. 

% See Hertzberg, Sh. Jahrbuch, p. 161. 



CLIV. 7. The general of hot desire. In L. L. L. iii. 1. 187 he is called 

"great general 
Of trotting paritors. ' 

Cf. Two Noble Kinsmen, v. I. 163: "our general of ebbs and flows" 
(Diana, or Luna). 

12. Thrall. Bondman. Cf. Macb. iii. 6. 13 : "the slaves of drink and 
thralls of sleep," etc. 

13. 1'his by that, etc. That is, the statement in the next line. 


SPEARE. In the Introduction (see p. 12 above), we have expressed the 
opinion that Shakespeare had nothing to do with the publication of the 
Sonnets in 1609. It has since occurred to us that this is put beyond a 
doubt by the parentheses at the end of Sonnet 126 in that edition (see 
p. 174 above). Shakespeare could not have inserted these parentheses, 
and Thorpe would not have done it if either he or his editor had been in 
communication with Shakespeare. In that case, one or the other of them 
would have asked him for the couplet supposed to be missing ; and he 
would either have supplied it or have explained that the poem was com- 
plete as it stood. 

It is evident, moreover, that the person to whom this sonnet was 
addressed was not privy to its publication, and that the editor could not 
venture to ask him to fill it out. Is it probable, then, that the editor was 
assisted in arranging the Sonnets by this person to whom he dared not 
appeal for the reading of a couplet in one of them ? Is it not more likely 
that, as I have suggested (p. 12), he arranged them for the press as well 
as he could from what he happened to know of their history and from a 
study of the poems themselves ? 

[Dr. Furnivall, in a private note, says he has no doubt that the inser- 
tion of the marks of parenthesis " was the printer's doings ;" and Mr. 
Thomas Tyler, in his ed. of the Sonnets (London, 1890, p. 286) expresses 
the same opinion ; but it is extremely improbable that the printer would 
resort to this extraordinary typographical expedient (absolutely unprec- 
edented, so far as our observation goes) without consulting the publisher, 
and Thorpe would not have consented to it if he could have avoided it. 
It is clear that printer or publisher, or both, considered that something 
was evidently wanting which could not be supplied and must be ac- 
counted for. 

It is not impossible that Sonnet 96 (see p. 33, foot-note, above) 
may have been imperfect in the MS. used by Thorpe, and that he 
or his editor eked it out with the closing couplet of 36, which seemed 
to fit the place well enough. He would perhaps have filled out 126 
in a similar manner if he could have found a couplet suitable for the 

Dr. Furnivall says that our " editor" is " an imaginary being." He is 

ADDENDA. ,g 5 

in no wise essential to our theory. If anybody chooses to regard Thorpe 
as his own editor, be it so. Mr. Tyler may be right in his conjecture (p. 
137) that copies of the Sonnets were "made in MS. for distribution 
among the poet's ' private friends,' " and that " one of these copies fell 
into the hands of Thorpe, who also received information as to the patron 
and friend of the 'ever-living poet,' " though he thought it expedient to 
give only the initials of the person's name in his dedication. We cannot, 
however, admit (see the same page of Mr. Tyler's book) that " it is pos- 
sible that Shakespeare handed the MS. to Thorpe, and then, through 
absence from London or other cause, may have had nothing further to 
do with the publication of the book." The only two books, so far as we 
know, ever published by Shakespeare himself were the Venus and Adonis 
and the Lticrece. These have dedications of his own, and the care with 
which they are printed indicates that he supervised their passage through 
the press. If he had had anything directly to do with bringing out the 
Sonnets in 1609, we may be sure that these poems in which he had so 
peculiarly personal an interest would have been dedicated by himself- 
if dedicated at all to the person who was their "begetter," and that the 
printing would have been done under his own eye. He would not have 
allowed it to be done while he was absent from London, but would have 
had it delayed until his return. After waiting for so many years before 
publishing the poems, he would hardly have been in such haste to place 
them before the public as Mr. Tyler's conjecture assumes. Some critics 
have said that "the correction of the press by the author was unknown 
in Elizabethan times ;" but, as Mr. Tyler himself tells us (p. 136, foot- 
note), this is a mistake. At the end of Beeton's Will of Wit (1599) we* 
find this note : " What faults are escaped in the printing, finde by dis- 
cretion, and excuse the author, by other worke that let [hindered] him 
from attendance to the presse." The 1609 ed. of the Sonnets is by no 
means so well printed as the first eds. of Venus and Adonis and Lucrtce. 
The many bad errors in it (like that in the 2d line of 146, for instance) 
and the parentheses in 126 are indisputable evidence that there was no 
" attendance to the presse " on the part of the author.] 

"SiR WILLIAM HERBERT" (p. 11). Dr. Ingleby, in a letter dated 
Aug. 10, 1883, commenting upon Mr. Fleay's reference to " Sir William 
Herbert," remarks : " Herbert was either Mr. or Lord. * Lord Herbert * 
(or Harbert ') was his common designation ; and he had no title giving 
him the designation of ' Sir.' " 

SONNET LXX. (p. 82). If this sonnet is addressed to the same per- 
son as 33-35 (to say nothing of 40-42), it is unquestionably out of place. 
Here his friend is said to present "a pure unstained prime/' having 
passed through the temptations of youth either "not assailed "by them 
or "victor being charged;" but in 33-35 we learn that he has been as- 
sailed and has not come off victorious. There the " stain " and " disgrace 
of his "sensual fault "are clearly set forth, though they are excused and 
forgiven. Here the young man is the victim of slander, but has in no 
wise deserved it. If he is the same young man who is so plainly, though 
sadly and tenderly, reproved in 33-35, this sonnet must have been writ- 


ten before those. One broken link spoils the chain ; if the order of the 
poem is wrong here, it may be elsewhere. 

[Mr. Tyler's attempt (p. 229) to show that this sonnet is not out cf 
place is a good illustration of the "tricks of desperation" to which a 
critic may be driven in defence of his theory: "Slander ever fastens on 
the purest characters. His friend's prime was unstained, such an affair 
as that with the poet's mistress not being regarded, apparently, as involv- 
ing serious moral blemish. Moreover, there had been forgiveness ; and 
the special reference here may be to some charge of which Mr. W. H. 
was innocent." Whatever this charge may be, the "pure unstained 
prime" covers the period referred to in Sonnets 33-35 and 40-42 ; and 
the young man's conduct then appeared a "trespass" and a "sin," a 
"shame" and a "disgrace," to the friend who now, according to Mr. 
Tyler, sees no "serious moral blemish" in it. Let the reader compare 
the poems for himself, and draw his own conclusions. Mr. Tyler has the 
grace to add to what we have quoted above : " But (as in 79) Shake- 
speare can scarcely escape the charge of adulation." Rather than be- 
lieve William Shakespeare guilty of " adulation " so ineffably base and 
sycophantic, we could suppose, as some do, that Bacon wrote the 

"MR. W. H." AND THE "DARK LADY." If Mr. Tyler is not always 
happy in his exegesis of particular sonnets, we must give him credit for 
settling two questions that we had^iven up as beyond all hope of settle- 
ment namely, the identity of" Mr. W. H. " and of the " dark lady " with 
whom both he and Shakespeare were entangled. 

The reasons heretofore given for assuming that "Mr. W. H." was 
William Herbert, afterwards Earl of Pembroke, are well summarized by 
Dowden on p. 23 above. He also refers to the objections to this theory ; 
but the one that seems to us the most serious is apparently considered to 
have been met by the preceding reference to the attempts made in 1599 
to find a wife for Herbert. That date, however, is not early enough to 
answer the purpose. If the Sonnets are in the proper order, the story of 
the rival lovers and the " dark lady " must have ended before 1599, when 
Sonnet 144, summing up that story, was printed in \\\z. Passionate Pil- 
grim ; but the first seventeen sonnets, urging "Mr. W r . H." to marry, 
must have been written even earlier in 1597 or 1598. Herbert was born 
in 1580, and it is improbable on the face of it that Shakespeare would 
write seventeen sonnets to urge a youth of seventeen or eighteen to mar- 
ry. But, as Mr. Tyler informs us (p. 45), it appears from letters preserved 
in the Record Office that "in 1597 the parents of William Herbert were 
engaged in negotiations for his marriage to Bridget Vere, daughter of the 
Earl of Oxford, and granddaughter of the great Lord Burleigh." The 
course of the parental match-making ran smooth for a while, but was 
soon checked by obstacles not clearly explained in the correspondence. 
Shakespeare may have written the seventeen sonnets at the request of 
Herbert's mother, the Countess of Pembroke.* 

* Mr. Tyler reminds us that Grant White, in his first ed. of Shakespeare (1865) said 
of Sonnets 1-17 : "There seems to be no imaginable reason for seventeen such poetical 

ADDENDA. ,g 7 

Dowden and others have assumed that the father of " Mr. W. H." 
must have been dead at the time when the poet wrote in Sonnet 13 : 

" Dear my love, you know 
You had a father ; let your son say so." 

But Herbert's father lived until 1601. The reference in the sonnet, how- 
ever, is simply to the fact that the young man owed his existence to his 
father ; and this explains the use of the past tense : " Your father begot 
you ; beget a son in your turn." 

The only other objection to identifying " Mr. W. H." with Herbert 
which Dowden mentions the improbability that a youth of eighteen or 
nineteen could be the "better angel" of Sonnet 144 disappears when 
we learn who the "dark lady" was, and what were her relations with 

Mr. Tyler shows that this " woman coloured ill " (cf. Dowden's descrip- 
tion of her, p. 17 above) was almost certainly Mary Fitton, maid of honour 
to Queen Elizabeth, and mistress of Herbert, by whom she had a child in 
1601. The queen could not overlook the offence, and sent the father to 
the Fleet Prison. He was soon released, but appears never to have re- 
gained the royal favour. 

There is no direct evidence to connect Shakespeare with Mistress 
Fitton ; but we find that she was on somewhat intimate terms with a 
member of his theatrical company, that is, the Lord Chamberlain's 
Company, and was probably acquainted with other members of it. In 
1600 William Kemp, the clown in the company, dedicated his Nine dates 
wonder to "Mistris Anne Fitton, Mayde of Honour to most sacred 
Mayde, Royal Queene Elizabeth." As Elizabeth certainly had no maid 
of honour named Anne Fitton in 1600,* while Man' Fitton held such 
office from 1595 to 1601, either Kemp or his printer probably made a 
mistake in the lady's Christian name in the dedication. As Mr. Tyler 
suggests, the form " Marie " might be so written as to be easily mistaken 
for " Anne." 

There is much other circumstantial evidence that Mistress Mary was 
the " dark lady ;" and it is strongly confirmed by the fact that her 
personal appearance was in keeping with the poet's descriptions. A 
statue of her still exists as a part of the family monument of the Fittons 
in Gawsworth church, Cheshire ; and the remnants of colour upon it show 
that she had "the dark complexion, together with the black hair and 
eyes, so graphically depicted in the second series of Sonnets." The face 
also accords with Shakespeare's repeated assertion that the lady was 
not beautiful ; " and that the lips and the eyes were features expressing 
the predominance of sensual passion " is plain enough. A portrait from 
a photograph of this statue is given on p. 6 above. 

petitions. But that a mother should be thus solicitous is not strange, or that she should 
long to see the beautiful children of her own beautiful offspring. The desire for grand- 
children, and the love of them, seem sometimes even stronger than parental yearning. 
But I hazard this conjecture with little confidence." 

* Mary had a sister Anne, but the parish register of St. Dunstan's, Stepney, proves 
that the latter was married to John Newdigate on the 3Oth of April, 1587. She could 
not, therefore, have been maid of honour in 1600. 


acceptable (accent), 130. 
action (legal), 152. 
adder's sense, 167. 
admire (wonder at), 172. 
adulterate, 171. 
advance (=raise), 156. 
advised respects, 146. 
aggravate, 181. 
air and fire (elements), 145. 
alchemy (metaphor), 141. 
all tyrant (vocative), 182. 
allow (approve), 167. 
amiss (noun 1 , 14", 182. 
anchored (metaphor), 177. 
antique (accent), 135, 150. 
applying fears to hopes, 17^ 
approve ( =find by experi 

ence), 181. 
aray, 180. 

argument (theme), 1 57,^64 
array, 180. 

art (letters), 152, 156. 
as (that 1 , 156. 
aspect (accent), 138. 
astonished, 159. 
attaint ( blame), 157. 
attainted, 159. 
authorizing (accent), 141. 
ay (play upon?), 177. 
ay me! 144. 

bankrupt (spelling), 153. 

bated, 151. 

bath (=Bath?), 183. 

becoming of, 175, 182. 

begetter, 127. 

bereft (= taken away), 130. 

beshrew, 176. 

besides (preposition), 137. 

bestow (=stow), 138. 

bevel, 171. 

bide each check, 150. 

black not counted fair, 174. 

blenches (noun), 166. 

blunt (clumsy), 164. 

bore the canopy, 172. 

both twain, 144. 

bower, 175. 

brave (=beautiful\ 132. 
breathers of this world, 157. 

days outworn, 153. 
dead seeing, 153. 

builded, 172. 

dear religious love, 140. 

, 172. 

dearest (most intense', 143. 

came (^became), 176. 

debate (=contend>, 132. 

candles (=stars), 136. 

debate (^contest), i6~>. 

canker (=worm), 141, 154, 

dedicated words, 157. 

161, 163. 

defeat (destroy), 151. 

) T 4S- 

canker-blooms, 148. 

defeated (defrauded), 135. 


captain (adjective), 147. 

delves the parallels, 151. 


carcanet, 147. 

depart (transitive), 131. 

censures (^judges), 181. 

deserts (rhyme), 134, 146, 

ceremony (metre), 137. 



cheater, 182. 

determinate, 159. 


check (^rebuff), 150. 

determination ( end), 132. 

s, 17^. 

cherubins, 168. 



chest (metaphor), 152. 

discloses (^uncloses), 148- 

chide with, 167. 

dispense with, 167. 

chopped, 151. 

distillation (perfume), 130. 


chronicle, 164. 

doubting (=fearing), 155. 

clean (adverb), 155. 

dressings, 172. 


closure of my breast, 146. 

dullness (drowsiness), 149. 

compare (noun), 136, 141. 

compile (=compose), 156, 

eager (=tart), 170. 


earth and water (elements), 

compounded with clay, 154. 
conceit ( = conception), 132. 

edge of doom, 169. 


condemned for thy hand, 162. 
confined (accent), 165. 

eisel, 167. 
enlarged (=set free), 154. 

confound ( =destroy ), 130, 

entitled in thy parts, 143. 

151, 153. 

envy (accent), 175. 


consecrate, 155. 

ever-fixed mark, 169. 

converted (^changed), 146. 

evermore (adjective 1 , 181. 

converted (= turned away), 

except (refuse), 181. 

i jo, 131. 

exchange, 166. 

convertest (rhyme), 131, 133. 

expense(=expenditure\ 161, 


count (account), 129. 


J 37- 

counterfeit (rhyme), 148. 
couplement, 136. 

expense (loss), 140. 
expiate (^faring to an end), 

courses (years), 150. 


coward conquest of wretch's 
knife, 155. 

extern, 173. 
eye of heaven, 135. 

, 174. 

critic (=carper), 167. 

crooked (malignant), 150. 

fair(=beauty), 134. '35. '53i 

curious (fastidious), 143. 

false in rolling (eyes), 135. 

damasked, 175- 
dateless (^endless), 140, 183. 

fame (verb), 158- 
famished for a look, 145. 



favour (^countenance), 168, 

instinct (accent), 147. 

no such matter, 159. 


insults o'er, 166. 

noted weed, 155. 

fell arrest, 155. 

intend, 139. 

fester (=rot), 161. 

invention ( imagination ), 

obsequious (=devoted), 173. 

fickle hour, 174. 

M3> tSS- 

obsequious ( funereal), 14;. 

filed, 158. 

o er-green (verb), 167. 

filled up his line, 159. 

jacks, 175. 

one reckoned none, 177. 

fitted, 170. 

owe (^possess), 135, 154. 

five wits. 178. 

keeps (=guards), 176. 

fleets (fleetest), 135. 

key (pronunciation), 147. 

pain (^punishment), 178. 

flourish (noun), 151. 

kindness (=:affection), 182. 

part his function, 168- 

foison, 148. 

partake (take part), 182. 

fond ( foolish), 129. 

lace (^embellish), 153. 

parts of me, 140. 

fond on, 158. 

lame (figurative?), 142, 159. 

past cure, past care, 181. 

fools of time, 172. 

latch (=catch), 168. 

patent, 159. 

for (= because), 143, 148, 165. 

lay (=lay on), 163. 

peace of you, 155. 

for (=for fear of), 147. 

learned's wing, 156. 

perfect'st, 147. 

for fear of trust, 137. 

leese, 130. 

perspective, 137. 

fore, 130. 

level (=aim), 169. 

phoenix, 135. 

forlorn (accent), 141. 

like as, 150, 170. 

pointing ( appointing), 133. 

fortify (intransitive), 151. 

like of hearsay, 136. 

policy, that heretic, 172. 

free (=liberal), 129. 

limbecks, 170. 

poverty (concrete), 144. 

frequent (=intimate), 169. 
from (=away from), i8:>. 

lines of life, 134. 
live (^subsist), 129. 

present (-instant), 182. 
pressed by these rebel pow- 

fury (inspiration), 163. 

lively (=living), 183. 

ers, etc., 1 80. 

lovely argument, 157. 

pretty, 144. 

gaudy (=gay), 128. 

lover (masculine), 140. 

prevent (^anticipate), 163. 

gaze (^object of gaze), 130. 

love's fresh case, 166. 

pricked (marked), 136. 

general of hot desire, 183. 

prime (^spring), 162. 

go (=walk), 147. 

maiden gardens, 134. 

prizing (^regarding), 179. 

gored mine own thoughts, 

main of light, 150. 

proud-pied April, 162. 

1 66. 

make faults, 141. 

prove (find;, 1-54, 183. 

gracious ( =full of grace ), 

makeless, 131. 

purge, 170. 


makest waste in niggarding, 

pursuit (accent^ 179. 

gracious (trisyllable), 176. 


greeing, 168. 

many's looks. 160. 

qualify ( temper), 166. 

grind (=whet), 167. 

map of days outworn, 153. 

quest (=inquest), 145. 

gust (=taste), 1 68. 

marigold, 138. 

question make, 132. 

marjoram, 162. 

quietus, 174. 

habif(=bearing), 178. 

Mars his sword, 149. 

happies, 130. 

master (=possess), 164. 

rack (=rclouds), 141. 

heavy Saturn, 162. 

master-mistress of my pas- 

ragged (rugged), 130. 

hell of time, 170. 

sion, 135. 

rank (=sick), 170. 

his (=its), 131, 133, iS5 158, 

meetness, 170. 

rearward, '160. 


melancholy (metre), 145. 

record (accent), 150, 172. 

hope of orphans, 162. 

minion (=darling), 174. 

recured, 145. 

horse (plural), 160. 
hours (dissyllable), 130. 

misprision, 159. 
mixed with seconds, 173. 

region (=air), 141. 
remembered ( - reminded ), 

hues ( Hughes?), 135. 
hugely politic, 172. 

moan the expense, 140. 
mock their own presage, 

render (noun), 173. 

hungry ocean, 152. 

165. render (=surrender), 174. 

husbandry, 132. 

modern (ordinary), 158. reserve (=preserve), 140- 

moiety, 145. 

reserve their character, 158- 

I hate from hate away she 
threw, i8j. 

more and less, 161. 
motley (=jester), 166. 

respect (=affection), 142. 
respect ( ^consideration ), 

idle rank, 171. 

mourning (play upon), 176. 

139, 146. 

imaginary ( imaginative ), 

mouthed graves, 156. 

re sty, 163. 


music (personal), 175. 

retention, 171. 

imprisoned absence of your 

music to hear, 130. 

revolt (^faithlessness), 162. 

liberty, 150. 

mutual render, 173. 

rondure, 137. 

in their wills, 171. 

ruinate, 131. 

incertairrties. 165. 

nativity (=child), 150. 

ruined choirs, 154. 

indigest, 168. 

new-fangled, 160. 

ruth (pity), 176. 


satire (=satirist), 163. 

successive, 175. 

took (taken), 155. 

scarlet ornaments, 179. 

sufferance (suffering), 150. 

tottered ( =tattered ), 128, 

sealed false bonds of love, 179. 

suggest (tempt), i8->. 


seat, 144. 

suit thy pity like, 176. 

translate (=transform), 161. 

seconds (flour), 173. 
self-substantial fuel, 128. 

suited (=clad, 175. 
sum my count, 129. 

travail (spelling), 157. 
triumphant prize, 182. 

sense (plural), 162, 167. 

summer's front, 164. 

twire, 139. 

sense (=reason). 141. 

summer's story, 162. 

sensual feast, 178. 

supposed as forfeit, 165. 

uneared, 129. 

separable spite, 142. 

surly, sullen bell, 154. 

unfair (verb), 130. 

sessions of thought, 140. 

suspect (noun), 153. 

unkind (noun?), 177. 

set a form upon, 159. 

swart-complexioned, 139. 

unknown minds, 169. 

set me light, 1 59. 

sweet thief, 142. 

unperfect. 137. 

several plot. 177. 

swift extremity, 147. 

unrespected, 144, 148. 

shady stealth, 156. 

sympathized, 157. 

unthnft, 131, 132. 

she (=woman), 175. 

use (--interest), 130, 176. 

simplicity (folly), 152. 
slandering creation, 175. 

table (^tablet), 137. 
tables (note-book), 171. 

user (= possessor), 131. 

soil (=solution), 153. 

tallies (noun), 171. 

vade, 148. 

spacious (trisyllable), 176. 

tame to sufferance, 150. 

violet past prime, 132. 

special (adverb), 147. 

tasters, 168. 

spirit (monosyllable', 157. 

tell (count), 140. 

warrantise of skill, 182. 

stain (intransitive), 141. 

that (==so that), 155, 172. 

whenas, 146. 

state (noun), 161, 172. 

thorns, standing on, 163. 

where (=to where), 145. 

statute, 176. 
steal from his figure, 164. 

thought ( melancholy), 142, 

where-through, 138. 
whether (monosyllable), 1 50. 

steepy night, 151. 

thrall (bondman), 184. 

Will (play upon), 149, 176, 

stelled, 137. 

thriftless ( unprofitable ), 


strained ( =overwrought ), 


wink (shut the eyes), 144, 


tie up envy, 154. 


strains of woe, 160. 

time (=the world)," 169. 

without all, 153. 

strange (stranger), 148. 

time removed, 161. 

wooed of time, 153. 

strangely, 166. 

Time's chest, 152. 

world-without-end, 149. 

strangle (acquaintance), 159. 

Time's fool, 169. 

worth ( ^stellar influence ), 

store, 132, 133, i53> 177- 

time's pencil. 134. 


stretched metre, 134. 

times (generations), 132. 

wrack (rhyme), 174. 

suborned informer, 174. 

times in hope, 151. 

wracked, 157. 

subscribe (-yield), 165. 

tires (head-dresses), 148. 

wrackful, 152. 



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As You Like it. 

Henry the Fifth. 


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Henry IT. Part I. 

Henry IV. Part II. 

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The Taming of the Shrew. 

All >s Well That Ends Well. 


Comedy of Errors. 


Merry Wives of Windsor. 

Measure for Measure. 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. 

Love's Labour 's Lost. 

Timon of Athens. 

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In the preparation of this edition of the English Classics it has been 
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same way as Greek and Latin Classics are edited for educational pur- 
poses. The chief requisites are a pure text (expurgated, if necessary), 
and the notes needed for its thorough explanation and illustration. 

Each of Shakespeare's plays is complete in one volume, and is pre- 
ceded by an Introduction containing the '* History of the Play," the 
" Sources of the Plot," and " Critical Comments on the Play." 

From HORACE HOWARD FURNESS, Ph.D., LL.D., Editor of the " New 

Variorum Shakespeare" 

No one can examine these volumes and fail to be impressed with the 
conscientious accuracy and scholarly completeness with which they are 
edited. The educational purposes for which the notes are written Mr. 
Rolfe never loses sight of, but like "a well-experienced archer hits the 
mark his eve doth level at." 

Rolfe's Shakespeare. 

From F. J. FURNIVALL, Director of the New Shakspere Society, London. 
The merit I see in Mr. Rolfe's school editions of Shakspere's Plays 
over those most widely used in England is that Mr. Rolfe edits the plays 
as works of a poet, and not only as productions in Tudor English. Some 
editors think that all they have to do with a play is to state its source 
and explain its hard words and allusions ; they treat it as they would a 
charter or a catalogue of household furniture, and then rest satisfied. 
But Mr. Rolfe, while clearing up all verbal difficulties as carefully as any 
Dryasdust, always adds the choicest extracts he can find, on the spirit 
and special "note" of each play, and on the leading characteristics of its 
chief personages. He does not leave the student without help in getting 
at Shakspere's chief attributes, his characterization and poetic power. 
And every practical teacher knows that while every boy can look out 
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catch points of and realize character, and feel and express the distinctive 
individuality of each play as a poetic creation. 

From Prof. EDWARD DOWDEN, LL.D., of the University of Dublin, Au- 
thor of " Shakspere : His Mind and Art" 

I incline to think that no edition is likely to be so useful for school and 
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a book " pleasant to the eye " (as well as " to be desired to make one 
wise ") no small matter, I think, with young readers and with old. 

From EDWIN A. ABBOTT, M.A., Author of " Shakespearian Grammar" 
I have not seen any edition that compresses so much necessary infor- 
mation into so small a space, nor any that so completely avoids the com- 
mon faults of commentaries on Shakespeare needless repetition, super- 
fluous explanation, and unscholar-like ignoring of difficulties. 

From HIRAM CORSON, M.A., Professor of Anglo-Saxon and English 
Literature, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. 

In the way of annotated editions of separate plays of Shakespeare, for 
educational purposes, I know of none quite up to Rolfe's. 

Rolfe's Shakespeare. 

From Prof. F. J. CHILD, of Harvard University. 

I read your " Merchant of Venice " with my class, and found it in every 
respect an excellent edition. I do not agree with my friend White in the 
opinion that Shakespeare requires but few notes that is, if he is to be 
thoroughly understood. Doubtless he may be enjoyed, and many a hard 
place slid over. Your notes give all the help a young student requires, 
and yet the reader for pleasure will easily get at just what he wants. 
You have indeed been conscientiously concise. 

Under date of July 25, 1879, Prof. CHILD adds: Mr. Rolfe's editions 
of plays of Shakespeare are very valuable and convenient books, whether 
for a college class or for private study. I have used them with my 
students, and I welcome every addition that is made to the series. They 
show care, research, and good judgment, and are fully up to the time in 
scholarship. I fully agree with the opinion that experienced teachers 
have expressed of the excellence of these books. 

From Rev. A. P. PEABODY, D.D., Professor in Harvard University. 

I regard your own work as of the highest merit, while you have turned 
the labors of others to the best possible account. I want to have the 
higher classes of our schools introduced to Shakespeare chief of all, and 
then to other standard English authors ; but this cannot be done to ad- 
vantage unless under a teacher of equally rare gifts and abundant leisure, 
or through editions specially prepared for such use. I trust that you 
will have the requisite encouragement to proceed with a work so hap- 
pily begun. 

From the Examiner and Chronicle, N. Y, 

We repeat what we have often said, that there is no edition of Shake- 
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of the printer's and binder's art they are unexcelled, and their other 
merits are equally high. Mr. Rolfe, having learned by the practical ex- 
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into his notes, and no more. Having said what needs to be said, he stops 
there. It is a rare virtue in the editor of a classic, and we are propor- 
tionately grateful for it. 

Rolfe's Shakespeare. 

From the N. Y. Times. 

This work has been done so well that it could hardly have been done 
better. It shows throughout knowledge, taste, discriminating judgment, 
and, what is rarer and of yet higher value, a sympathetic appreciation of 
the poet's moods and purposes. 

From the Pacific School Journal, San Francisco. 

This edition of Shakespeare's plays bids fair to be the most valuable 
aid to the study of English literature yet published. For educational 
purposes it is beyond praise. Each of the plays is printed in large clear 
type and on excellent paper. Every difficulty of the text is clearly ex- 
plained by copious notes. It is remarkable how many new beauties one 
may discern in Shakespeare with the aid of the glossaries attached to 
these books. . . . Teachers can do no higher, better work than to incul- 
cate a love for the best literature, and such books as these will best aid 
them in cultivating a pure and refined taste. 

From the Christian Union, N. K 

Mr. W. J. Rolfe's capital edition of Shakespeare ... by far the best edi- 
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in a village Shakespeare Club. The notes are brief but useful ; and the 
necessary expurgations are managed with discriminating skill. 

From the Academy, London. 

Mr. Rolfe's excellent series of school editions of the Plays of Shake- 
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plays as something more than word - puzzles. They give the student 
helps and hints on the characters and meanings of the plays, while the 
word-notes are also full and posted up to the latest date. . . . Mr. Rolfe 
also adds to each of his books a most useful " Index of Words and 
Phrases Explained." 


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2-month loans may be renewed by calling 

1-year loans may be recharged by bringing books 

to NRLF 
Renewals and recharges may be made 4 days 

prior to due date 


DUE NRLF APR 4 1986