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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 supprest.
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;

7 When my love swears, &c.] This Sonnet is also found (with some variations) in The Passionate Pilgrim, a collection of verses printed as Shakspeare's in 1599. It there stands thus:

"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,
Unskilfull in the world's false forgeries.


"Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although I know my years be past the best,


"I smiling credit her false-speaking tongue,

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Out-facing 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 I'll lie with love, and love with me,
"Since that our faults in love thus smother'd be."


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

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 out-right with looks, and rid my pain.


Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press
My tongue-ty'd 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 so9;
(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.

8 WOUND me not with thine EYE,] Thus, in Romeo and Juliet:

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"—he's already dead; stabb'd with a white wench's black eye." MALONE.

"Wound me not with thine eye, but with thy tongue." So, in King Henry VI. Part III. :


Ah, kill me with thy weapons, not thy words."



-to tell me so;] To tell me, thou dost love me.


That I may not be so, nor thou bely'd,

Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go wide 1.


In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes,
For they in thee a thousand errors note;
But 'tis 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 2 one foolish heart from serving thee,
Who lives 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;

Bear thine eyes straight, THOUGH THY PROUD HEART GO
WIDE.] That is (as it is expressed in a former Sonnet) :
Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place.'

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2 But my five wITS, NOR my five senses can


Dissuade That is, but neither my wits nor senses can, &c. So, in Measure for Measure:

"More nor less to others paying-."

"The wits," Dr. Johnson observes, "seem to have been reckoned five, by analogy to the five senses, or the five inlets of ideas. Wit in our author's time was the general term for the intellectual power." From Stephen Hawes's poem called Graunde Amour and La Bell Pucel, 1554, ch. 24, it appears that the five wits were common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, and memory."




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 may'st thou be deny'd!


Lo, as a careful house-wife 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 chace,
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent

3 That have profan'd THEIR SCARLET ORNAMENTS,] The same expression is found in King Edward III. a tragedy, 1596: when she grew pale,


"His cheeks put on their scarlet ornaments." MALONE. 4 And SEAL'D false BONDS OF LOVE as oft as mine ;] So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :

"Pure lips, sweet seals in my soft lips imprinted,
"What bargains may I make, still to be sealing."

Again, in Measure for Measure:

"Take, O take those lips away,
"That so sweetly were forsworn,—
"But my kisses bring again,

"Seals of love, but seal'd in vain."

Again, more appositely, in The Merchant of Venice:


'O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly,

"To seal love's bonds new made, than they are wont

"To keep obliged faith unforfeited."

In Hamlet we again meet with the bonds of love: "Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds, "The better to beguile." MALONE.

5 Robb'd others' beds REVENUES of their rents.] So, in Othello:

"And pour our treasures into foreign laps." STEEVENS.

To follow that which flies before her face,
Not prizing her poor infant's discontent';
So run'st thou after that which flies from thee,
Whilst I thy babe chace 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 may'st have thy Will,
If thou turn back, and my loud crying still 7.



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 1,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her foul pride 2.
And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend,
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell;



But being both from me3, both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another's hell:

6 Not PRIZING her poor infant's discontent ;] Not regarding, nor making any account of, her child's uneasiness. MALONE. 7 that thou may'st have thy WILL,

If thou turn back, and MY LOUD CRYING STILL.] The mage with which this Sonnet begins, is at once pleasing and natural; but the conclusion of it is lame and impotent indeed. We attend to the cries of the infant, but laugh at the loud blubberings of the great boy Will. STEEVENS.

8 Two loves I have, &c.] This Sonnet was printed in The Passionate Pilgrim, 1599, with some slight variations. MALONE. 9 do SUGGEST me still;] i. e. do tempt me still. See p. 103, n. 2. MALONE.

I Tempteth my better angel from my SIDE,] So, in Othello: "Yea, curse his better angel from his side." STEevens. The quarto has-from my sight. The true reading is found in The Passionate Pilgrim. MALone.


with her FOUL pride.] The copy in The Passionate Pilgrim has with her fair pride. MALONE.

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