Let me note to the marriage of two bodies
that I admit my hearts desires and love to my bride.
Love is not love in which alters when an alteration is found,
or bends with the hearts desires to remove mine own heart.
O, no! It is an ever-fixed mark on one’s mind and conscience
that looks on temptations and is never taken as a mark of regret;
it is the passions to every man’s heart,
whose worthy of the unknown although his heart is taken.
Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks of a brushing bride
and eyes like sickle’s surpass none ales but she who I marry.
Love alters not with his brief hours, weeks and months,
but bears it out even to the edge of his own doom.
If this be in my hearts error and upon my brow,
and I never regret. Nor no man ever loved like I have found.
Be this may my life be over by this day’s end,
for I shall be married to my best friend.
Old Wills 116
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.