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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

The Love-Letter

William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

From “As You Like It,” Act IV. Scene 3

ART thou god to shepherd turned,

That a maiden’s heart hath burned?

Why, thy godhead laid apart,

Warr’st thou with a woman’s heart?

Whiles the eye of man did woo me,

That could do no vengeance to me.

If the scorn of your bright eyne

Have power to raise such love in mine,

Alack, in me what strange effect

Would they work in mild aspect?

Whiles you chid me, I did love;

How then might your prayers move?

He that brings this love to thee,

Little knows this love in me:

And by him seal up thy mind;

Whether that thy youth and kind

Will the faithful offer take

Of me, and all that I can make;

Or else by him my love deny,

And then I’ll study how to die.