Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,
As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel;
For well thou know'st to my dear doting heart
Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel.
Yet, in good faith, some say that thee behold
Thy face hath not the power to make love groan:
To say they err, I dare not be so bold,
Although I swear it to myself alone.
And, to be sure that is not false I swear,
A thousand groans, but thinking on thy face,
One on another's neck, do witness bear
Thy black is fairest in my judgment's place.
In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds,
And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds.
6. Thy face hath not the power to make love groan. The poet's "thousand groans" (line 10) afford an answer, though, according to ordinary standards of beauty, he could not say that they are wrong (line 7) who make the assertion.
13. In nothing art thou black, save in thy deeds. Cf. CXLVII.14, "Who art as black as hell, as dark as night;" and CXLIV.4, "The worser spirit a woman colour'd ill," &c.