Then, I confess, Here on my knee, b...

All's Well That Ends Well

Helena

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Text

Then, I confess,

Here on my knee, before high heaven and you

That before you, and next unto high heaven,

I love your son.

My friends were poor, but honest; so's my love:

Be not offended, for it hurts not him

That he is lov'd of me: I follow him not

By any token of presumptuous suit;

Nor would I have him till I do deserve him;

Yet never know how that desert should be.

I know I love in vain, strive against hope;

Yet, in this captious and inteemable sieve

I still pour in the waters of my love,

And lack not to lose still. Thus, Indian-like,

Religious in mine error, I adore

The sun, that looks upon his worshipper,

But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,

Let not your hate encounter with my love

For loving where you do: but, if yourself,

Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth,

Did ever in so true a flame of liking

Wish chastely and love dearly, that your Dian

Was both herself and Love; O! then, give pity

To her, whose state is such that cannot choose

But lend and give where she is sure to lose;

That seeks not to find that her search implies,

But, riddle-like, lives sweetly where she dies.

William Shakespeare All's Well That Ends Well Act 1 sc.3 ll.188-213

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