Were’t aught to me I bore the canopy,
With my extern the outward honouring,
Or laid great bases for eternity,
Which proves more short than waste or ruining;
Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour
Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent,
For compound sweet forgoing simple savour,
Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent?
No;—let me be obsequious in thy heart,
And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
Which is not mix’d with seconds, knows no art,
But mutual render, only me for thee.
Hence, thou suborn’d informer! a true soul,
When most impeach’d, stands least in thy control.
Note: In Shakespeare’s Spiritual Sonnets, Judge John T. Noon, Jr. wrote: “In the religious tempests of the time, in the twilight of his beloved, in the middle of the ruined remains of her beauty, in the muddle of his own life, in his own return to the ruined foundations of his faith, Shakespeare gives himself to God, ‘oblation poor, but free.’”