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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    called Loues Labor's lost.

    The Sea will ebb and flow, heauen shew his face:
    1565Young blood doth not obay an olde decree.
    We can not crosse the cause why we were borne:
    Therefore of all handes must we be forsworne.
    King. What, did these rent lines shew some loue of thine?
    1570Ber. Did they quoth you? Who sees the heauenly Rosaline,
    That (like a rude and sauadge man of Inde.)
    At the first opning of the gorgious East,
    Bowes not his vassall head, and strooken blind.
    Kisses the base ground with obedient breast.
    1575What peromptorie Eagle-sighted eye
    Dares looke vpon the heauen of her brow,
    That is not blinded by her maiestie?
    King. What zeale, what furie, hath inspirde thee now?
    My Loue (her Mistres) is a gracious Moone,
    1580Shee (an attending Starre) scarce seene a light.
    Ber. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Berowne.
    O, but for my Loue, day would turne to night,
    Of all complexions the culd soueraigntie,
    Do meete as at a faire in her faire cheeke,
    1585Where seuerall worthies make one dignitie,
    Where nothing wantes, that want it selfe doth seeke.
    Lend me the florish of all gentle tongues,
    Fie paynted Rethoricke, O shee needes it not,
    To thinges of sale, a sellers prayse belonges:
    1590She passes prayse, then prayse too short doth blot.
    A witherd Hermight fiuescore winters worne,
    Might shake off fiftie, looking in her eye:
    Beautie doth varnish Age, as if new borne,
    And giues the Crutch the Cradles infancie.
    1595O tis the Sunne that maketh all thinges shine.
    King. By heauen, thy Loue is blacke as Ebonie.
    Berow. Is Ebonie like her? O word deuine!
    A wife of such wood were felicitie.
    O who can giue an oth? Where is a booke?
    1600That I may sweare Beautie doth beautie lacke,
    If that she learne not of her eye to looke:
    No face is fayre that is not full so blacke.