Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare: Poems.  1914.

The Passionate Pilgrim, III.

“Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye”

DID not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye, 
’Gainst whom the world could not hold argument, 
Persuade my heart to this false perjury? 
Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment. 
A woman I forswore; but I will prove,         5
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee: 
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love; 
Thy grace being gain’d cures all disgrace in me. 
My vow was breath, and breath a vapour is; 
Then thou, fair sun, that on this earth dost shine,  10
Exhale this vapour vow; in thee it is: 
If broken, then it is no fault of mine. 
  If by me broke, what fool is not so wise 
  To break an oath, to win a paradise? 



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