Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle,
Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty,
Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle;
Softer than wax, and yet as iron rusty;
A lily pale, with damask dye to grace her,
None fairer, nor none falser to deface her.
Her lips to mine how often hath she joined,
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing.
How many tales to please me hath she coined,
Dreading my love, the loss whereol’ still learing.
Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings
Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jestings.
She burnt with love as straw with fir flameth,
She burnt out love as soon as straw out burneth.
She framed the love, and yet she foiled the framing,
She bade love last, and yet she fell a-turning.
Was this a lover or a lecher whether,
Bad in the best, though excellent in neither?
Shakespeare, Poems from The Passionate Pilgrim, 7