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Live, primrose, then, and thrive

With thy true number five ; And, woman, whom this flower doth

represent, With this mysterious number be content ; Ten is the farthest number; if half ten

Belong unto each woman, then

Each woman may take half us men; Or— if this will not serve their turn — since all Numbers are odd or even, and they fall First into five, women may take us all.


LITTLE think'st thou, poor flower,

Whom I've watch'd six or seven days,
And seen thy birth, and seen what every hour
Gave to thy growth, thee to this height to raise,
And now dost laugh and triumph on this bough,

Little think'st thou,
That it will freeze anon, and that I shall
To-morrow find thee fallen, or not at all.

Little think'st thou, poor heart,

That labourest yet to nestle thee, And think'st by hovering here to get a part In a forbidden or forbidding tree, And hopest her stiffness by long siege to bow,

Little think'st thou, That thou to-morrow, ere that sun doth wake, Must with this sun and me a journey take.

But thou which lovest to be

Subtle to plague thyself, wilt say, “Alas ! if you must go, what's that to me?

Here lies my business, and here I will stay ;


You go to friends, whose love and means present

Various content
To your eyes, ears, and taste,


every part ; If then your body go, what need your heart?”

Well then, stay here ; but know,

When thou hast stay'd and done thy most, A naked thinking heart, that makes no show, Is to a woman but a kind of ghost. How shall she know my heart? or, having none,

Know thee for one? Practice


make her know some other part ; But take my word, she doth not know a heart.

Meet me at London, then,

Twenty days hence, and thou shalt see
Me fresher, and more fat, by being with men,
Than if I had stay'd still with her and thee.
For God's sake, if you can, be you so too ;

I will give you
There to another friend, whom we shall find
As glad to have my body as my



Take heed of loving me ; At least remember, I forbade it thee ; Not that I shall repair my unthrifty waste Of breath and blood upon thy sighs and tears, By being to thee then what to me thou wast; But so great joy our life at once outwears. Then, lest thy love by my death frustrate be, If thou love me, take heed of loving me.

Take heed of hating me,
Or too much triumph in the victory ;
Not that I shall be mine own officer,
And hate with hate again retaliate ;
But thou wilt lose the style of conqueror,
If I, thy conquest, perish by thy hate.
Then, lest my being nothing lessen thee,
If thou hate me, take heed of hating me.

Yet love and hate me too;

So these extremes shall ne'er their office do.

Love me, that I may die the gentler way ;

because thy love's too great for me ;

Or let these two, themselves, not me, decay;
So shall I live thy stage, not triumph be.
Lest thou thy love and hate and me undo,
O let me live, yet love and hate me too.

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