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When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste;
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long-since-cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before :-
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored, and sorrows end.
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped 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 seemed it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.
Oh 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 unwooed, 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, by verse distils your truth.
William Shakespeare. XXXI
A good that never satisfies the mind,
A beauty fading like the April flowers,
A sweet with floods of gall that runs combined,
A pleasure passing ere in thought made ours,
A honour that more fickle is than wind,
A glory at opinion's frown that lowers,
A treasury which bankrupt time devours,
A knowledge than grave ignorance more blind,
A vain delight our equals to command,
A style of greatness, in effect a dream,
A swelling thought of holding sea and land,
A servile lot, decked with a pompous name ;
Are the strange ends we toil for here below,
Till wisest death make us our errors know.
Look how the flower which lingeringly doth fade,
The morning's darling late, the summer's queen,
Spoiled of that juice which kept it fresh and green,
As high as it did raise, bows low the head:
Right so my life, contentments being dead,
Or in their contraries but only seen,
With swifter speed declines than erst it spread,
And, blasted, scarce now shows what it hath been.
As doth the pilgrim therefore, whom the night
Hastes darkly to imprison on his way,
Think on thy home, my soul, and think aright
Of what yet rests thee of life's wasting day;
Thy sun posts westward, passèd is thy morn,
And twice it is not given thee to be born.
Alexis, here she stayed ; among these pines,
Sweet hermitress, she did alone repair;
Here did she spread the treasure of her hair,
More rich than that brought from the Colchian mines.
She sat her by these muskèd eglantines,
The happy place the print seems yet to bear ;
Her voice did sweeten here thy sugаred lines,
To which winds, trees, beasts, birds did lend an ear.
Me here she first perceived, and here a morn
Of bright carnations did o'erspread her face :
Here did she sigh, here first my hopes were born,
Here first I got a pledge of promised grace:
But ah! what served it to be happy so?
Sith passèd pleasures double but new woe ?
Sweet spring, thou turn’st with all thy goodly train,
Thy head with flames, thy mantle bright with flowers ;
The zephyrs curl the green locks of the plain,
The clouds for joy in pearls weep down their showers,
Thou turn'st, sweet youth ; but ah! my pleasant hours 5
And happy days with thee come not again ;
The sad memorials only of my pain
Do with thee come, which turn my sweets to sours.
Thou art the same which still thou wast before,
Delicious, lusty, amiable, fair;
But she, whose breath embalmed thy wholesome air,
Is gone; nor gold nor gems her can restore.
Neglected Virtue ! seasons go and come,
When thine, forgot, lie closed in a tomb.
Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part-
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free;
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
Now at the last gasp of love's latest breath,
When, his pulse failing, passion speechless lies,
When faith is kneeling by his bed' of death,
And innocence is closing up his eyes,
Now if thou would'st, when all have given him over,
From death to life thou might'st him yet recover !
Weep no more, nor sigh, nor groan,
Sorrow calls no time that's gone:
Violets plucked, the sweetest rain
Makes not fresh nor grow again;
Trim thy locks, look cheerfully;
Fate's hidden ends eyes cannot see:
Joys as wingèd dreams fly fast,
Why should sadness longer last?
Grief is but a wound to woe;
Gentlest fair, mourn, mourn no mo.
Beaumont and Fletcher.
Come, Sleep, and with thy sweet deceiving
Lock me in delight awhile;
Let some pleasing dreams beguile
All my fancies; that from thence
I may feel an influence,
All my powers of care bereaving !
Though but a shadow, but a sliding,
Let me know some little joy!
We that suffer long annoy
Are contented with a thought,
Through an idle fancy wrought:
Oh, let my joys have some abiding !
Beaumont and Fletcher.