Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: A Lover's Complaint (Quarto, 1609)
  • Editor: Hardy M. Cook
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-411-0

    Copyright Hardy M. Cook. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Hardy M. Cook
    Not Peer Reviewed

    A Lover's Complaint (Quarto, 1609)


    Sometime a blusterer that the ruffle knew
    Of Court of Cittie, and had let go by
    60The swiftest houres obserued as they flew,
    Towards this afflicted fancy fastly drew:
    And priuiledg'd by age desires to know
    In breefe the grounds and motiues of her wo.

    So slides he downe vppon his greyned bat;
    65And comely distant sits he by her side,
    When hee againe desires her, being satte,
    Her greeuance with his hearing to deuide:
    If that from him there may be ought applied
    Which may her suffering extasie asswage
    70Tis promist in the charitie of age.

    Father she saies, though in mee you behold
    The iniury of many a blasting houre;
    Let it not tell your Iudgement I am old,
    Not age, but sorrow, ouer me hath power;
    75I might as yet haue bene a spreading flower
    Fresh to my selfe, if I had selfe applyed
    Loue to my selfe, and to no Loue beside.

    But wo is mee, too early I atttended
    A youthfull suit it was to gaine my grace;
    80O one by natures outwards so commended,
    That maidens eyes stucke ouer all his face,
    Loue lackt a dwelling and made him her place.
    And when in his faire parts shee didde abide,
    Shee was new lodg'd and newly Deified.

    85His browny locks did hang in crooked curles,
    And euery light occasion of the wind
    Vpon his lippes their silken parcels hurles,
    Whats sweet to do, to do wil aptly find,
    Each eye that saw him did inchaunt the minde: