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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    And credent soule, to that strong bonded oth,
    That shall preferre and vndertake my troth.

    This said, his watrie eies he did dismount,
    280Whose sightes till then were leaueld on my face,
    Each cheeke a riuer running from a fount,
    With brynish currant downe-ward flowed a pace:
    Oh how the channell to the streame gaue grace!
    Who glaz'd with Christall gate the glowing Roses,
    285That flame through water which their hew incloses,

    Oh father, what a hell of witch-craft lies,
    In the small orb of one perticular teare?
    But with the invndation of the eies:
    What rocky heart to water will not weare?
    290What brest so cold that is not warmed heare,
    Or cleft effect, cold modesty hot wrath:
    Both fire from hence, and chill extincture hath.

    For loe his passion but an art of craft,
    Euen there resolu'd my reason into teares,
    295There my white stole of chastity I daft,
    Shooke off my sober gardes, and ciuill feares,
    Appeare to him as he to me appeares:
    All melting, though our drops this diffrence bore,
    His poison'd me, and mine did him restore.

    300In him a plenitude of subtle matter,
    Applied to Cautills, all straing formes receiues,
    Of burning blushes, or of weeping water,
    Or sounding palenesse: and he takes and leaues,
    In eithers aptnesse as it best deceiues:
    305To blush at speeches ranck, to weepe at woes
    Or to turne white and sound at tragick showes.

    That not a heart which in his leuell came,

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