O! from what power has 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 to abhor,
with others thou shouldst not abhor my state:
.....If they unworthiness raised love in me,
.....More worthy I to be belov'd of thee.
Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,
As those whose beauty proudly make them cruel;
For well though 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 judgement's place.
.....In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds,
.....And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds.
O me! what eyes hath Love put in my head,
Which have no correspondence with true sight;
Or, if they have, where is my judgement fled,
that measures 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 eyes be true,
That is so vexed 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 my blind,
.....Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.
My love is a fever, longing still
For that with 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 psychic did expect.
Past cure I am, now Reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as madman'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.
When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rime,
In praise of ladies dead 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 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.
My tongue-tied Muse in manners hold her still,
Whilst comments of your praise, richly compiled,
Deserve their character with golden quill,
And precious phrase by all the Muses filed.
I think good thoughts, while others 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, ' 'Tis so, 'tis 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.
Gawd, I love Shakespeare. His words are like music; they flow so perfectly. I could read sonnets all day and never tire, or Romeo and Juliet again and again and never read anything else. If anyone can express love, real love, then he can.
I memorized the first one :)