A Lover's Complaint

by

William Shakespeare

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Classic Literature Library

A Lover's Complaint Page 01

From off a hill whose concave womb re-worded A plaintful story from a sistering vale, My spirits to attend this double voice accorded, And down I laid to list the sad-tun'd tale; Ere long espied a fickle maid full pale, Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain, Storming her world with sorrow's wind and rain.

Upon her head a platted hive of straw, Which fortified her visage from the sun, Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw The carcase of a beauty spent and done. Time had not scythed all that youth begun, Nor youth all quit; but, spite of Heaven's fell rage Some beauty peeped through lattice of sear'd age.

Oft did she heave her napkin to her eyne, Which on it had conceited characters, Laund'ring the silken figures in the brine That season'd woe had pelleted in tears, And often reading what contents it bears; As often shrieking undistinguish'd woe, In clamours of all size, both high and low.

Sometimes her levell'd eyes their carriage ride; As they did battery to the spheres intend; Sometime diverted their poor balls are tied To th' orbed earth; sometimes they do extend Their view right on; anon their gazes lend To every place at once, and nowhere fix'd, The mind and sight distractedly commix'd.

A Lover's Complaint Page 02

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William Shakespeare
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