Original Text

Modern Text

So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet seasoned show'rs are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ’twixt a miser and his wealth is found;
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure;
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then bettered that the world may see my pleasure;
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight
And by and by clean starvèd for a look;
Possessing or pursuing no delight,
Save what is had or must from you be took.
  Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
  Or gluttoning on all, or all away.
I need you the way living things need food or the grass needs rain, and to attain the peace that only you can give me, I fight with myself the way a miser struggles with his wealth. One moment he enjoys his wealth proudly, and the next he’s worried that someone from these thieving times will steal his treasure. One moment I think it’s best to be alone with you, but then I think it would be better if the rest of the world could see my pleasure. At times I feel oversatisfied from looking at you excessively, but a little later I’m starving to get a look at you. I can’t experience or pursue any enjoyment except what you can give me or I can take from you. That’s why I suffer and feel hungry day after day, because I either get too much of you or none at all.

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