Lo, as a careful huswife runs to catch
One of her feathered creatures broke away,
Sets down her babe, and makes all swift dispatch
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay,
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent
To follow that which flies before her face,
Not prizing her poor infant’s discontent;
So runn’st thou after that which flies from thee,
Whilst I, thy babe, chase thee afar behind.
But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me
And play the mother’s part: kiss me, be kind.
So will I pray that thou mayst have thy will,
If thou turn back and my loud crying still.
Reading of Sonnet 143
The images in the YouTube video are from an original 1609 edition of Shake-speares Sonnets held by the British Library. It is one of only thirteen copies in existence. Images courtesy of the Octavo Corporation.
Text from Original 1609 Quarto
Transcription courtesy of University of Virginia Library:
Loe as a carefull huswife runnes to catch,
One of her fethered creatures broake away,
Sets downe her babe and makes all swift dispatch
In pursuit of the thing she would haue stay:
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chace,
Cries to catch her whose busie care is bent,
To follow that which flies before her face:
Not prizing her poore infants discontent;
So runst thou after that which flies from thee,
Whilst I thy babe chace thee a farre behind,
But if thou catch thy hope turne back to me:
And play the mothers part kisse me, be kind.
So will I pray that thou maist haue thy Will,
If thou turne back and my loude crying still.