The forward violet thus did I chide:
Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,
If not from my love’s breath? The purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells
In my love’s veins thou hast too grossly dyed.
The lily I condemnèd for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair;
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another white despair;
A third, nor red nor white, had stol'n of both,
And to his robb'ry had annexed thy breath;
But for his theft, in pride of all his growth
A vengeful canker ate him up to death.
More flow'rs I noted, yet I none could see
But sweet or color it had stol'n from thee.
(Continuing from Sonnet 98) This is how I scolded the presumptuous violet: “Sweet thief, where did you steal your sweet smell from if not from my beloved’s breath? You obviously got that purple color you’re so proud of by dying yourself in his blood.” I condemned the lily for stealing its whiteness from your hand and the marjoram buds for stealing your curly hair. The roses stood by anxiously, the red one blushing in shame, the white one pale with despair, knowing they were guilty of stealing your colors too. A third rose, neither red nor white, had stolen both red and white from your complexion, and added to his robbery the smell of your breath. But as punishment for his theft, a vengeful worm destroyed the rose just at its proudest growth. I noticed other flowers, and I couldn’t see any that hadn’t stolen its sweetness or color from you.
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