'So many have, that never touch'd his hand, Sweetly suppos'd them mistress of his heart. My woeful self, that did in freedom stand, And was my own fee-simple, (not in part,) What with his heart in youth, and youth in art, Threw my affections in his charmed power, Reserv'd the stalk, and gave him all my flower.

'Yet did I not, as some my equals did, Demand of him, nor being desired yielded; Finding myself in honour so forbid, With safest distance I mine honour shielded: Experience for me many bulwarks builded Of proofs new-bleeding, which remain'd the foil Of this false jewel, and his amorous spoil.

'But ah! who ever shunn'd by precedent The destin'd ill she must herself assay? Or force'd examples, 'gainst her own content, To put the by-pass'd perils in her way? Counsel may stop awhile what will not stay; For when we rage, advice is often seen By blunting us to make our wills more keen.

'Nor gives it satisfaction to our blood, That we must curb it upon others' proof, To be forbod the sweets that seems so good, For fear of harms that preach in our behoof. O appetite, from judgement stand aloof! The one a palate hath that needs will taste, Though reason weep, and cry It is thy last.

A Lover's Complaint Page 07

William Shakespeare Plays

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book