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

Did Not the Heavenly Rhetoric of Thine Eye

William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

DID not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,

’Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,

Persuade my heart to this false perjury?

Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.

A woman I forswore; but I will prove,

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.

Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is:

Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine,

Exhal’st 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 lose an oath to win a paradise?