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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    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:
    90For on his visage was in little drawne,
    What largenesse thinkes in parradise was sawne.
    Smal shew of man was yet vpon his chinne,
    His phenix downe began but to appeare
    Like vnshorne veluet, on that termlesse skin
    95Whose bare out-brag'd the web it seem'd to were.
    Yet shewed his visage by that cost more deare,
    And nice affections wauering stood in doubt
    If best were as it was, or best without.
    His qualities were beautious as his forme,
    100For maiden tongu'd he was and thereof free;
    Yet if men mou'd him, was he such a storme
    As oft twixt May and Aprill is to see,
    When windes breath sweet, vnruly though they bee.
    His rudenesse so with his authoriz'd youth,
    105Did liuery falsenesse in a pride of truth.