Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many, But that thou none lovest is most evident; For thou art so possess'd with murderous hate That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to conspire. Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind, Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove: Make thee another self, for love of me, That beauty still may live in thine or thee.
Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb Which hides your life and shows not half your parts.
If I could write the beauty of your eyes And in fresh numbers number all your graces, The age to come would say 'This poet lies: Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.' So should my papers yellow'd with their age Be scorn'd like old men of less truth than tongue, And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage And stretched metre of an antique song: But were some child of yours alive that time, You should live twice; in it and in my rhyme. Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
Nature's bequest gives nothing but doth lend, And being frank she lends to those are free.
Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse The bounteous largess given thee to give?
Herein lives wisdom, beauty and increase: Without this, folly, age and cold decay: If all were minded so, the times should cease And threescore year would make the world away.
Let those whom Nature hath not made for store, Harsh featureless and rude, barrenly perish: Look, whom she best endow'd she gave the more; Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish: She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay, Which husbandry in honour might uphold Against the stormy gusts of winter's day And barren rage of death's eternal cold? Dear my love, you know You had a father: let your son say so.
Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck; And yet methinks I have astronomy, But not to tell of good or evil luck, Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons' quality; Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell, Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind, Or say with princes if it shall go well, By oft predict that I in heaven find: But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive, And, constant stars, in them I read such art As truth and beauty shall together thrive, If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert; Or else of thee this I prognosticate: Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be, To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.