A monologue from the play by William Shakespeare
HELENA: I confess
Here on my knee before high heaven and you,
That before you, and next unto high heaven,
I love your son.
My friends were poor but honest; so’s my love.
Be not offended, for it hurts not him
That he is loved of me. I follow him not
By any token of presumptuous suit,
Nor would I have him till I do deserve him;
Yet never know how that desert should be.
I know I love in vain, strive against hope;
Yet in this captious and intensible sieve
I still pour in the waters of my love
And lack not to lose still. Thus, Indian-like,
Religious in mine error, I adore
The sun that looks upon his worshipper
But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,
Let not your hate encounter with my love,
For loving where you do; but if yourself,
Whose aged honor cites a virtuous youth,
Did ever in so true a flame of liking,
Wish chastely and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both herself and Love, O, then give pity
To her whose state is such that cannot choose
But lend and give where she is sure to lose;
That seeks not to find that her search implies,
But, riddle-like, lives sweetly where she dies.