Author: Saras (---.219.95.61.touchtelindia.net)
Date: 04-23-05 13:45
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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;
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed
Beated and chopp\'d with tanned antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
\'Tis thee,--myself,--that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.
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 \'tis 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 not my love be call\'d idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idol show,
Since all alike my songs and praises be
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence;
Therefore my verse to constancy confin\'d,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
\'Fair, kind, and true,\' is all my argument,
\'Fair, kind, and true,\' varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent,
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.
Fair, kind, and true, have often liv\'d alone,
Which three till now, never kept seat in one.
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o\'ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O! how shall summer\'s honey breath hold out,
Against the 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 bright.