All’s Well That Ends Well: Act I, Scene iii

 

All’s Well That Ends Well.         Act 1, Scene 3.             Helena

(This text is featured in our interview with Ellen Adair)

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1.                                                Then, I confess,
2.     Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
3.    That before you, and next unto high heaven,
4.    I love your son.
5.    My friends were poor, but honest; so’s my love:
6.    Be not offended; for it hurts not him
7.    That he is loved of me: I follow him not
8.    By any token of presumptuous suit;
9.    Nor would I have him till I do deserve him;
10.  Yet never know how that desert should be.
11.   I know I love in vain, strive against hope;
12.  Yet in this captious and intenible sieve
13.   I still pour in the waters of my love
14.  And lack not to lose still: thus, Indian-like,
15.   Religious in mine error, I adore
16.  The sun, that looks upon his worshipper,
17.   But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,
18.   Let not your hate encounter with my love
19.   For loving where you do: but if yourself,
20.  Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
21.   Did ever in so true a flame of liking
22.   Wish chastely and love dearly, that your Dian
23.   Was both herself and love: O, then, give pity
24.   To her, whose state is such that cannot choose
25.   But lend and give where she is sure to lose;
26.   That seeks not to find that her search implies,
27.   But riddle-like lives sweetly where she dies!

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