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   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
100. Love’s Perjuries
 
William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
 
ON a day, alack the day!
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air;
Through the velvet leaves the wind,        5
All unseen, ’gan passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish’d himself the heaven’s breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!        10
But, alack, my hand is sworn
Ne’er to pluck thee from thy thorn:
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet;
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.
Do not call it sin in me        15
That I am forsworn for thee:
Thou for whom e’en Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiope were,
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.        20
 

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