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Shakespeare's Sonnets

Poems (absent from the D & E manuscripts.)

1

To whom should I sue to ease my pain? To my mistress? Nay, nay, certain, For fear she should me then disdain. I dare not sue, I dare not sue! 4 When I should speak to my mistress, In hope for to get redress, * * * * * * * * * * * * When I should speak, when I should speak. 8 What hap had I that suffereth pain, And if I might her grace attain, Or else she would hear me complain, What hap had I, what hap had I. 12 I fly, for fear to be espied Or of evil will to be destroyed, The place where I would fainest abide, I fly for fear, I fly for fear. 16 Though I were bold, who should me blame, Love caused me to do the same. With honesty it were no shame, Though I were bold, though I were bold. 20 And here an end, with full glad will In purpose for to serve her still, And for to part think none ill, And here an end, and here an end. 24
To whom should I sue to ease my payne ? To my mystres ? Nay, nay, certayne, For feare she should me then disdayne. I dare not sue, I dare not sue ! When I should speake to my mystres, In hope for to get redres, * * * * * * * * * * * * When I should speake, when I should speake. What hap had I that suffereth payne, And if I myght her grace attayne : Or els she would here me complayne, What hap had I what hap had I. I fly, for feare to be espyed Or of evil wil to be destroyed, The place wher I would faynest abyde, I fly for feare, I fly for feare. Though I were bold, who should me blame Love caused me to do the same. With honesty it were no shame, Though I were bold, though I were bold. And here an end, wyth ful glad wyl In purpose for to serve her styl, And for to part thinke none yl, And here an end, and here an end.

NOTES

1. sue = ask, implore. 7. A missing line, which probably states that he is struck dumb. 9. What hap had I etc. = (?) What good fortune would be mine if etc. 14. of evil will = by the malice (of my beloved). 17. Though I were bold = If I should choose to be bold. 23. And for to part = (?) though we must part I think no ill of her.

2

Disdain me not without desert Nor leave me not so suddenly, Since well ye wot that in my heart I mean nothing but honesty, 4 Disdain me not. Refuse me not without cause why Nor think me not to be unjust, Since that by lot of fantasy The careful knot needs knit I must, 9 Refuse me not. Mistrust me not, though some there be That fain would spot my steadfastness, Believe them not, seeing that ye see The proof is not as they express. 14 Mistrust me not. Forsake me not till I deserve * * * * * * * * * * * * Nor hate me not till [that] I swerve, For sith you knew what I intend 19 Forsake me not. Disdain me not being your own; Refuse me not that I am so true, Mistrust me not till all be known; Forsake me never for no new. 24 Disdaine me not.
Dysdaine me not without desert Nor leave me not so sodeynly, Sence wel ye wot that in my hart I meane nothing but honesty, Dysdayne me not. Refuse me not without cause why Nor thynke me not to be uniust, Since that by lot of fantasye The careful knott nedes knyt I must, Refuse me not. Mystrust me not, though some therbe That fayne would spot my stedfastnesse, Beleve them not seyng that ye se The profe is not as they expresse : Mystrust me not. Forsake me not til I deserve * * * * * * * * * * * * Nor hate me not til I swerve, For syth you knew what I intend Forsake me not. Dysdayne me not being your owne : Refuse me not that I am so true : Mystrust me not til al be knowen : Forsake me never for no new. Disdayne me not.

NOTES

3. well ye wot = you know full well. 8. fantasy = fancy, love, sexual desire. 9. careful knot = knot of love, which is full of cares. 12. spot = stain, cast aspersions on. 14. proof = actuality. 24. for no new = for no new lover.

3

Like as the wind with raging blast Doth cause each tree to bow and bend, Even so do I spend my time in waste My life consuming into an end. 4 For as the flame by force doth quench the fire, And running streams consume the rain, Even so do I myself desire, To augment my grief and deadly pain. 8 Whereas I find that hot is hot, And cold is cold, by course of kind, So shall I knit an endless knot. Such fruit in love alas I find. 12 When I foresaw those crystal streams Whose beauty doth cause my mortal wound, I little thought within those beams So sweet a venom for to have found. 16 I feel and see my own decay, As one that beareth flame in his breast, Forgetful thought to put away, The thing that breedeth my unrest. 20 Like as the fly doth seek the flame, And afterward playeth in the fire, Who findeth her woe, and seeketh her game, Whose grief doth grow of her own desire. 24 Like as the spider doth draw her line As labour lost so is my suit The gain is hers the loss is mine, Of evil sown seed such is the fruit. 28
T. WYAT. OF LOVE Lyke as the wynde with raging blaste Dothe cawse eche tree to bowe and bende, Even so do I spende my tyme in wast My lyff consumyng into an ende. For as the flame by force doeth quenche the fyer, And runninge streames consume the rayne, Even so do I myself desyer, To augment my greffe and deadly payne. Where as I fynde that whot is whot, And colde is colde, by course of kynde, So shall I knet an endles knot. Such fruite in love alas I fynde. When I foresaw those christall streames Whose bewtie dothe cause my mortall wounde, I lyttyll thought within those beames So swete a venim for to have founde. I fele and see my owne decaye, As one that bearethe flame in his brest, Forgetfull thought to put away, The thynge that breadeth my unrest, Lyke as the flye dothe seke the flame, And afterwarde playeth in the fyer, Who fyndeth her woo, and sekethe her game, Whose greffe dothe growe of her owne desyer. Lyke as the spider dothe drawe her lyne, As labor lost so is my sute The gayne is hers the losse is myne, Of evell sowne seade suche is the frute.

NOTES

4. into an end = to its end. 10 by course of kind = due to their nature. 13. those crystal streams = the beams of light from her eyes. 19. Forgetful thought etc. = forgetting to put aside the thought that etc. 23. her woe ... her game - i.e. the fly's woe and pastime. 25. Like as the spider etc. - The thought seems to require that the spider spins its web, which is then destroyed for some reason.

4

EPITAPH OF SIR THOMAS GRAVENER KNIGHT Under this stone there lieth at rest A friendly man, a worthy knight, Whose heart and mind was ever pressed To favour truth, to further right. 4 The poors' defence, his neighbours' aid, Most kind always unto his kin, That stint all service that might be stayed, Whose gentle grace great love did win. 8 A man that was full earnest set To serve his prince at all assays; No sickness could him from that let, Which was the shortening of his days. 12 His life was good, he died full well, The body here, the soul in bliss. With length of words why should I tell, Or farther show that well known is? 16 Since that the tears of more and less Right well declare his worthiness.
EPITAPH OF SIR THOMAS GRAVENER KNIGHT Under this stone ther lyeth at rest A frendly man, a worthie knight Whose hert and mynde was ever prest To favor truthe to farther ryght. The poores defence, his neigbors ayde, Most kynde alwayes unto his kyne That stint all servys that myght be stayed, Whose gentell grace great love dyd wyne. A man that was full ernest sett To serve his prince at all assayes : No sycknes could hym from that lett Which was the shortnynge of his dayes. His lyf was good, he dyed full well ; The body here, the soule in blys. With lenght of wordes whie shoulde I tell Or farther shewe that well knowne is ? Sins that the tears of more and lesse Rightwell declare his worthynes.

NOTES

3. ever pressed = always strived (was always pressed into service to help etc.) 7. that stint = who stopped. 10. at all assays = in all manner of trials. 11. from that let = prevent (him) from doing it. 16. that = that which. 17. more and less = high and low, rich and poor.

5

Like as the bird in the cage enclosed The door unsparred and the hawk without Twixt death and prison piteously oppressed Whether for to choose standeth in doubt. 4 Certes so do I, which do seek to bring about Which should be best by determination, By loss of life, liberty, or life, by prison. 7 Oh, mischief by mischief to be redressed, Where pain is the best there lieth little pleasure, By short death out of danger yet to be delivered Rather than with painful life, thraldom, and dolour. 11 For small pleasure much pain to suffer; Sooner therefore to choose me thinketh it wisdom, By loss of life liberty than life by prison. 14 By length of life yet should I suffer Awaiting time and fortune's chance. Many things happen within an hour; That which me oppressed may me advance. 18 In time is trust, which by death's grievance Is utterly lost - then were it not reason By death to choose liberty, and not life by prison. 21 But death were deliverance, in life length of pain. Of two ills, let see, now choose the best, This bird to deliver, you that hear her plain, Your advice you lovers! which shall be best? 25 In cage in thraldom, or by hawk to be oppressed? And which for to choose make plain conclusion By loss of life liberty, or life, by prison? 28
Like as the byrde in the cage enclosed The dore unsparred and the hawke withowte Twixte deth and prison piteously oppressed Whether for to chuse standeth in dowte : Certes so do I which do seke to bring aboute Which should be best by determination By losse of lyff, lybertye, or lyff by prison. Oh, myscheffe by myscheffe to be redressed Wher payne is the best ther lyeth little pleasure, By short deth oute of daunger yet to be delyvered Rather than with paynfull lyff, thraldom, and doloure, For small pleasure moche payne to suffer ; Soner therfore to chuse me thincketh it wysdome By losse of lyff lybertye then lyff by prison. By lengthe of lyff yet shulde I suffer Adwayting time and fortunes chaunce : Manye thinges happen within an howre : That which me oppressed may me advance : In time is trust, which by dethes grevaunce Is utterlye lost : then were it not reason By deth to chuse libertye, and not lyff by prison. But deth were deliveraunce, in lyff lengthe of payne ; Of two ylles, let see nowe chuse the best, This birde to deliver, you that here her playne, Your advise you lovers ! which shalbe best ? In cage in thraldome, or by hawke to be opprest ? And which for to chuse make playne conclusion By losse of lyff lybertye, or lyff by prison ?

NOTES

2. unsparred = unbarred. 4. whether for to choose = which option to choose. 5. Certes = for certain, assuredly.

6

Stand who so list upon the slipper top Of court's estates, and let me here rejoice And use my quiet without let or stop, Unknown in Court that hath such brackish joys. 4 In hidden place so let my days forth pass, That when my years be done, withouten noise, I may die aged after the common trace. 7 For him death grippeth right hard by the crop That is much known of other; and of himself, alas, Doth die unknown, dazed, with dreadful face. 10
Stond who so list upon the slipper toppe Of courtes estates, and let me here rejoyce ; And use my quyet without lett or stoppe, Unknownen in Courte that hath such brackishe joyes ; In hidden place so lett my dayes forthe passe, That when my yeres be done, withouten noyse, I may dye aged after the common trace. For hym death greep' the right hard by the croppe That is moche knowen of other ; and of himself, alas, Doth dye unknowen, dased with dreadfull face.

NOTES

1. slipper = slippery. 2. court's estates = life at court. 3. let or stop = hindrance or inteference. 7. after the common trace = according to the common law of nature. 8. crop = neck. 10. dreadful face = face full of fear.