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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    Of proofs new bleeding which remaind the foile
    Of this false Iewell, and his amorous spoile.

    155But ah who euer shun'd by precedent,
    The destin'd ill she must her selfe assay,
    Or forc'd examples gainst her owne content
    To put the by-past perrils in her way?
    Counsaile may stop a while what will not stay:
    160For when we rage, aduise is often seene
    By blunting vs to make our wits more keene.

    Nor giues it satisfaction to our blood,
    That wee must curbe it vppon others proofe,
    To be forbod the sweets that seemes so good,
    165For feare of harmes that preach in our behoofe;
    O appetite from iudgement stand aloofe!
    The one a pallate hath that needs will taste,
    Though reason weepe and cry it is thy last.

    For further I could say this mans vntrue,
    170And knew the patternes of his foule beguiling,
    Heard where his plants in others Orchards grew,
    Saw how deceits were guilded in his smiling,
    Knew vowes, were euer brokers to defiling,
    Thought Characters and words meerly but art,
    175And bastards of his foule adulterat heart.

    And long vpon these termes I held my Citty,
    Till thus hee gan besiege me :Gentle maid
    Haue of my suffering youth some feeling pitty
    And be not of my holy vowes affraid,
    180Thats to ye sworne to none was euer said,
    For feasts of loue I haue bene call'd vnto
    Till now did nere inuite nor neuer vow.

    All my offences that abroad you see

    K 4