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Herein lives wisdom, beauty, and increase;
If all were minded so, the times should cease,
She carv'd thee for her seal, and meant thereby,
When I do count the clock that tells the time,
for store,] i. e. to be preserved for use.
I Look, whom she best endow'd, she gave THEE more;
Which bounteous gift thou should'st in bounty cherish :] On a survey of mankind, you will find that nature, however liberal she may have been to others, has been still more bountiful to you. The old copy reads-she gave the more; which was evidently a misprint. MALone.
2 Thou should'st print more, NOR LET THAT COPY DIE.] So, in Twelfth Night:
Lady, you are the cruellest she alive,
"If you will lead the graces to the grave,
"And leave the world no copy." MALONE.
3 And sable curls, ALL silver'd o'er with white;] The old copy reads:
or silver'd o'er with white."
Or was clearly an error of the press. Mr. Tyrwhitt would read-are silver'd o'er with white. MALONE.
So, in Hamlet:
"His beard was, as I've seen it in his life,
36 A sable silver'd." STEEVENS.
4 When lofty TREES I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did CANOPY the herd,] So, in A Mid
summer-Night's Dream :
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves,
That thou among the wastes of time must go, Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake, And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing 'gainst time's scythe can make defence,
Save breed, to brave him, when he takes thee
O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are
"Quite over-canopy'd with luscious woodbine." Malone. 5 And SUMMER'S GREEN all girded up in sheaves,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly BEARD ;] So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:
and the green corn
"Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard."
6 Save breed, to brave him,] Except children, whose youth may set the scythe of Time at defiance, and render thy own death less painful. MALONE.
7 Against this coming end you should prepare,
And your sweet semblance to some other give.] This is a sentiment that Shakspeare is never weary of expressing. We meet with it again in Venus and Adonis :
By law of nature thou art bound to breed,
"That thine may live, when thou thyself art dead;
"In that thy likeness still is left alive." MALone.
Find no DETERMINATION:] So Daniel, in one of his Sonnets,
"in beauty's lease expir'd appears
The date of age, the calends of our death."
Yourself again, after yourself's decease,
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
O! none but unthrifts:-Dear my love, you
You had a father; let your son say so.
Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck;
Again, in Macbeth :
“But in them nature's copy's not eterne." Determination in legal language means end. MALOne. So, in Macbeth:
9 Which HUSBANDRY in honour might uphold,] Husbandry is generally used by Shakspeare for economical prudence. So, in King Henry V.:
"For our bad neighbours make us early stirrers,
By OFT predict-] Dr. Sewel reads-By aught predict; but the text is right.-So, in the Birth of Merlin, 1662:
"How much the oft report of this bless'd hermit
The old reading may be the true one. By oft predict" may mean- By what is most frequently prognosticated.'
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive
Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.
When I consider every thing that grows
2 But from thine EYES my knowledge I DERIVE,] So, in Love's Labour's Lost:
"From women's eyes this doctrine I derive." STEEvens. 3 If from thyself TO STORE thou would'st convert :] If thou would'st change thy single state, and beget a numerous progeny. So, before:
"Let those whom nature hath not made for store." Again, in Romeo and Juliet:
O, she is rich in beauty; only poor,
"That when she dies, with beauty dies her store."
4 Where wasteful TIME DEBATETH with DECAY,] So, in All's Well That Ends Well:
5 To change your day of youth to sullied night;] So, in King Richard III. :
"Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night."
But wherefore do not you a mightier way
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?
With virtuous wish would bear you living flowers 7,
6 And many maiden gardens, yet unset,] We have the same allusion in our author's Lover's Complaint:
"And knew the patterns of his foul beguiling,
would bear you living flowers,] The first edition reads, by an apparent error of the press :-' your living flowers.'
8 Much liker than your painted COUNTERFEIT:] A counterfeit formerly signified a portrait. So, in Greene's Farewell to Folly, 1617: "Why do the painters, in figuring forth the counterfeit of Love, draw him blind?" So, in the Merchant of Venice:
"Fair Portia's counterfeit?" MALONE.
9 So should the LINES of life-] This appears to me obscure. Perhaps the poet wrote-" the lives of life: " i. e. 'children.' MALONE. The "lines of life" perhaps are living pictures,' viz. children. ANON.
This explanation is very plausible. Shakspeare has again used line with a reference to painting in All's Well That Ends Well: "And every line and trick of his sweet favour." MALONE. my PUPIL pen,] This expression may be considered as a slight proof that the poems before us were our author's earliest compositions. STEEVENS.
2 Neither in inward worth, nor outward FAIR,] See p. 240, n. 6. MALONE.