That god forbid, that made me first your slave,
I should in thought control your times of pleasure,
Or at your hand the account of hours to crave,
Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure!
O! let me suffer, being at your beck,
The imprison'd absence of your liberty;
And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check,
Without accusing you of injury.
Be where you list, your charter is so strong
That you yourself may privilege your time
To what you will; to you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime.
I am to wait, though waiting so be hell,
Not blame your pleasure be it ill or well.
A continuation of the argument of the previous sonnet. The poet accepts the right of the young man to be free and fulfill his own pleasure, and submits with all the humility of a vassal before his liege lord. But here again we are forced to read the words in their opposite sense, and to come round to the view that the youth does not have the rights and privileges that the poet bestows on him. As with all love there is giving and receiving, and the standard of love that the speaker sets himself is so high that it involves total self-abnegation. At the end of the poem the struggle is almost abandoned, and the frank confession is made that he will abide the return of the loved one, though it be an absolute hell of waiting, and he will do his best to avoid blame and censure of the youth, (but probably will not succeed).
The 1609 Quarto Version
THat God forbid, that made me firſt your ſlaue,
I ſhould in thought controule your times of pleaſure,
Or at your hand th' account of houres to craue,
Being your vaſſail, bound to ſtaie your leiſure.
Oh let me ſuffer( being at your beck)
Th' impriſon'd abſence of your libertie,
And patience tame,to ſufferance bide each check,
Without accuſing you of iniury.
Be where you liſt,your charter is ſo ſtrong,
That you your ſelfe may priuiledge your time
To what you will,to you it doth belong,
Your ſelfe to pardon of ſelfe-doing crime.
I am to waite,though waiting ſo be hell,
Not blame your pleaſure be it ill or well.