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  • Title: Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)
  • Editor: Timothy Billings

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    Not Peer Reviewed

    Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)

    A pleasant conceited Comedie:

    1370But do not loue thy selfe, then thou will keepe
    My teares for glasses, and still make me weepe.
    O Queene of queenes, how farre doost thou excell,
    No thought can thinke, nor tongue of mortall tell.
    How shall she know my griefes? Ile drop the paper.
    1375Sweete leaues shade follie. Who is he comes heere?
    Enter Longauill. The King steps a side.
    What Longauill, and reading: listen eare.
    Berow. Now in thy likenesse, one more foole appeare.
    Long. Ay mee! I am forsworne.
    1380Berow. Why he comes in like a periure, wearing papers.
    Long. In loue I hope, sweete fellowship in shame.
    Ber. One drunkard loues an other of the name.
    Long. Am I the first that haue been periurd so?
    Ber. I could put thee in comfort, not by two that I know,
    1385Thou makest the triumpherie, the corner cap of societie,
    The shape of Loues Tiburne, that hanges vp Simplicitie.
    Long. I feare these stubborne lines lacke power to moue.
    O sweete Maria, Empresse of my Loue,
    These numbers will I teare, and write in prose.
    1390Ber. O Rimes are gardes on wanton Cupids hose,
    Disfigure not his Shop.
    Long. This same shall go. He reades the Sonnet.
    Did not the heanenly Rethorique of thine eye,
    Gainst whom the world cannot holde argument,
    1395Perswade my hart to this false periurie?
    Vowes for thee broke deserue not punishment.
    A Woman I forswore, but I will proue,
    Thou being a Goddesse, I forswore not thee.
    My Vow was earthly, thou a heauenly Loue.
    1400Thy grace being gainde, cures all disgrace in mee.
    Vowes are but breath, and breath a vapoure is.
    Then thou faire Sunne, which on my earth doost shine,
    Exhalst this vapour-vow in thee it is:
    If broken then, it is no fault of mine:
    1405If by mee broke, What foole is not so wise,
    To loose an oth, to winn a Parradise?
    Bero. This is the lyuer veine, which makes flesh a deitie.
    A greene