Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Timothy Billings
Not Peer Reviewed

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

A pleasant conceited Comedie:

Sweare me to this, and I will nere say no.
75Ferd. These be the stopps that hinder studie quit,
And traine our intelects to vaine delight.
Bero. Why? all delightes are vaine, but that most vaine
Which with payne purchas'd, doth inherite payne,
As paynefully to poare vpon a Booke,
80To seeke the lyght of trueth, while trueth the whyle
Doth falsely blinde the eye-sight of his looke:
Light seeking light, doth light of light beguyle:
So ere you finde where light in darknes lyes,
Your light growes darke by loosing of your eyes.
85Studie me how to please the eye in deede,
By fixing it vppon a fayrer eye,
Who dazling so, that eye shalbe his heed,
And giue him light that it was blinded by.
Studie is lyke the heauens glorious Sunne,
90That will not be deepe searcht with sawcie lookes:
Small haue continuall plodders euer wonne,
Saue base aucthoritie from others Bookes.
These earthly Godfathers of heauens lights,
That giue a name to euery fixed Starre,
95Haue no more profite of their shyning nights,
Then those that walke and wot not what they are.
Too much to know, is to know nought but fame:
And euery Godfather can giue a name.
Ferd. How well hees read to reason against reading.
100Dum. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding.
Lon. He weedes the corne, & still lets grow the weeding.
Ber. The Spring is neare when greene geese are a bree-(ding.
105Duma. How followes that?
Ber. Fit in his place and tyme.
Duma. In reason nothing.
Bero. Something then in rime.
Ferd. Berowne is like an enuious sneaping Frost,
110That bites the first borne infants of the Spring.
Bero. Well, say I am, why should proude Sommer boast,
Before the Birdes haue any cause to sing?
Why should I ioy in any abhortiue byrth?