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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    A thousand fauours from a maund she drew,
    Of amber christall and of bedded Iet,
    Which one by one she in a riuer threw,
    Vpon whose weeping margent she was set,
    40Like vsery applying wet to wet,
    Or Monarches hands that lets not bounty fall,
    Where want cries some; but where excesse begs all.
    Of folded schedulls had she many a one,
    Which she perusd, sighd, tore and gaue the flud,
    45Crackt many a ring of Posied gold and bone,
    Bidding them find their Sepulchers in mud,
    Found yet mo letters sadly pend in blood,
    With sleided silke, feate and affectedly
    Enswath'd and seald to curious secrecy.
    50These often bath'd she in her fluxiue eies,
    And often kist, and often gaue to teare,
    Cried O false blood thou register of lies,
    What vnapproued witnes doost thou beare!
    Inke would haue seem'd more blacke and damned heare!
    55This said in top of rage the lines she rents,
    Big discontent, so breaking their contents.
    A reuerend man that graz'd his cattell ny,
    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.