When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eye unus'd to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long-since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay, as if not paid before:
But if the while I think on thee dear friend,
All losses are resor'd and sorrows end.
If music be the food of love play on;
Give excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.-
O! it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour. - Enough! no more:
T'is not so sweet now, as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That not withstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute! so full of shapes is fancy,
That it alone is high-fantastical.