THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM
THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM
THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM
by William Shakespeare
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
Unskilful 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
Outfacing 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.
Two loves I have of comfort and despair
That like two spirits do suggest me still;
My better angel is a man right fair
My worser spirit a woman colour'd ill.
To win me soon to hell my female evil
Tempteth my better angel from my side
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil
Wooing his purity with her fair pride.
And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend
Suspect I may yet not directly tell:
For being both to me both to each friend
I guess one angel in another's hell:
The truth I shall not know but live in doubt
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.
Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye
'Gainst whom the world could not hold argument.
Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
A woman I forswore; but I will prove
Thou being a goddess I forswore not thee:
My vow was earthly thou a heavenly love:
Thy grace being gain'd cures all disgrace in me.
My vow was breath and breath a vapour is;
Then thou fair sun that on this earth doth shine
Exhale this vapour vow; in thee it is:
If broken then it is no fault of mine.
If by me broke what fool is not so wise
To break an oath to win a paradise?
Sweet Cytherea sitting by a brook
With young Adonis lovely fresh and green
Did court the lad with many a lovely look
Such looks as none could look but beauty's queen
She told him stories to delight his ear;
She show'd him favours to allure his eye;
To win his heart she touch'd him here and there --
Touches so soft still conquer chastity.
But whether unripe years did want conceit
Or he refused to take her figured proffer
The tender nibbler would not touch the bait
But smile and jest at every gentle offer:
Then fell she on her back fair queen and toward:
He rose and ran away; ah fool too froward!
If love make me forsworn how shall I swear to love?
O never faith could hold if not to beauty vow'd:
Though to myself forsworn to thee I'll constant prove;
Those thoughts to me like oaks to thee like osiers bow'd.
Study his bias leaves and make his book thine eyes
Where all those pleasures live that art can comprehend.
If knowledge be the mark to know thee shall suffice;
Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend;
All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
Which is to me some praise that I thy parts admire:
Thy eye Jove's lightning seems thy voice his dreadful thunder
Which not to anger bent is music and sweet fire.
Celestial as thou art O do not love that wrong
To sing heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue.
Scarce had the sun dried up the dewy morn
And scarce the herd gone to the hedge for shade
When Cytherea all in love forlorn
A longing tarriance for Adonis made
Under an osier growing by a brook
A brook where Adon used to cool his spleen:
Hot was the day; she hotter that did look
For his approach that often there had been.
Anon he comes and throws his mantle by
And stood stark naked on the brook's green brim:
The sun look'd on the world with glorious eye
Yet not so wistly as this queen on him.
He spying her bounced in whereas he stood:
'O Jove' quoth she 'why was not I a flood!'
Fair is my love but not so fair as fickle;
Mild as a dove but neither true nor trusty;
Brighter than glass and yet as glass is brittle;
Softer than wax and yet as iron rusty:
A lily pale with damask dye to grace her
None fairer nor none falser to deface her.
Her lips to mine how often hath she joined
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing!
How many tales to please me bath she coined
Dreading my love the loss thereof still fearing!
Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings
Her faith her oaths her tears and all were jestings.
She burn'd with love as straw with fire flameth;
She burn'd out love as soon as straw outburneth;
She framed the love and yet she foil'd the framing;
She bade love last and yet she fell a-turning.
Was this a lover or a lecher whether?
Bad in the best though excellent in neither.
If music and sweet poetry agree
As they must needs the sister and the brother
Then must the love be great 'twixt thee and me
Because thou lovest the one and I the other.
Dowland to thee is dear whose heavenly touch
Upon the lute doth ravish human sense;
Spenser to me whose deep conceit is such
As passing all conceit needs no defence.
Thou lovest to bear the sweet melodious sound
That Phoebus' lute the queen of music makes;
And I in deep delight am chiefly drown'd
Whenas himself to singing he betakes.
One god is god of both as poets feign;
One knight loves both and both in thee remain.
Fair was the morn when the fair queen of love
* * * * * *
Paler for sorrow than her milk-white dove
For Adon's sake a youngster proud and wild;
Her stand she takes upon a steep-up hill:
Anon Adonis comes with horn and hounds;
She silly queen with more than love's good will
Forbade the boy he should not pass those grounds:
'Once' quoth she 'did I see a fair sweet youth
Here in these brakes deep-wounded with a boar
Deep in the thigh a spectacle of ruth!
See in my thigh' quoth she 'here was the sore.
She showed hers: he saw more wounds than one
And blushing fled and left her all alone.
Sweet rose fair flower untimely pluck'd soon vaded
Pluck'd in the bud and vaded in the spring!
Bright orient pearl alack too timely shaded!
Fair creature kill'd too soon by death's sharp sting!
Like a green plum that hangs upon a tree
And falls through wind before the fall should he.
I weep for thee and yet no cause I have;
For why thou left'st me nothing in thy will:
And yet thou left'st me more than I did crave;
For why I craved nothing of thee still:
O yes dear friend I pardon crave of thee
Thy discontent thou didst bequeath to me.
Venus with young Adonis sitting by her
Under a myrtle shade began to woo him:
She told the youngling how god Mars did try her
And as he fell to her so fell she to him.
'Even thus' quoth she 'the warlike god embraced me'
And then she clipp'd Adonis in her arms;
'Even thus' quoth she 'the warlike god unlaced me'
As if the boy should use like loving charms;
'Even thus' quoth she 'he seized on my lips
And with her lips on his did act the seizure
And as she fetched breath away he skips
And would not take her meaning nor her pleasure.
Ah that I had my lady at this bay