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O call not me to justify the wrong
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart.
Wound me not with thine eye, but with thy tongue;
Use pow'r with pow'r, and slay me not by art.
Tell me thou lov’st elsewhére; but in my sight,
Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside.
What need’st thou wound with cunning when thy might
Is more than my o'er-pressed defense can bide?
Let me excuse thee: Ah, my love well knows
Her pretty looks have been mine enemies,
And therefore from my face she turns my foes,
That they elsewhére might dart their injuries.
  Yet do not so, but since I am near slain,
  Kill me outr'ght with looks, and rid my pain.
Oh, don’t ask me to justify the cruel infidelities with which you have hurt me. Don’t hurt me by stealing glances at other men; hurt me by telling me about them to my face. Use your power openly, don’t kill me with subtle tricks. Tell me you love other people, but when you’re in my sight, dear heart, don’t glance at other men. Why would you need to hurt me with cunning, when your power over me is already too much for me to defend against? But I’ll make an excuse for you: Ah, my love knows perfectly well that her looks can kill me, so she looks away from me to kill my enemies instead. But don’t do that. Since I’m almost dead already, kill me outright with your looks, and put me out of my misery.

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets