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William

Shakespeares
Sonnets
An Electronic Classics Series Publication
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Shakespeares Sonnets

Contents 19 Devouring Time, blunt thou the lions paws, ..........16


20 A womans face with Natures own hand painted ...17
21 So is it not with me as with that Muse ....................17
1 From fairest creatures we desire increase, ..................7 22 My glass shall not persuade me I am old, ...............18
2 When forty winters shall beseige thy brow, ................8 23 As an unperfect actor on the stage ..........................18
3 Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest ........8 24 Mine eye hath playd the painter and hath stelld ...19
4 Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend ..................9 25 Let those who are in favour with their stars ............19
5 Those hours, that with gentle work did frame ............9 26 Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage ..................20
6 Then let not winters ragged hand deface .................10 27 Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed, ....................20
7 Lo! in the orient when the gracious light ..................10 28 How can I then return in happy plight, ...................21
8 Music to hear, why hearst thou music sadly? ..........11 29 When, in disgrace with fortune and mens eyes, .....21
9 Is it for fear to wet a widows eye .............................11 30 When to the sessions of sweet silent thought .........22
10 For shame! deny that thou bearst love to any, ........12 31 Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts, ...................22
11 As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou growest .....12 32 If thou survive my well-contented day, ...................23
12 When I do count the clock that tells the time, .........13 33 Full many a glorious morning have I seen ..............23
13 O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are ..........13 34 Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day, .......24
14 Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck; ...........14 35 No more be grieved at that which thou hast done: ..24
15 When I consider every thing that grows ..................14 36 Let me confess that we two must be twain, ............25
16 But wherefore do not you a mightier way ...............15 37 As a decrepit father takes delight ............................25
17 Who will believe my verse in time to come, ...........15 38 How can my Muse want subject to invent, .............26
18 Shall I compare thee to a summers day? ................16 39 O, how thy worth with manners may I sing, ...........26

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40 Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all; ......27 60 Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
41 Those petty wrongs that liberty commits, ...............27 ..................................................................................37
42 That thou hast her, it is not all my grief, .................28 61 Is it thy will thy image should keep open ................37
43 When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see, .....28 62 Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye ..................38
44 If the dull substance of my flesh were thought, ......29 63 Against my love shall be, as I am now, ...................38
45 The other two, slight air and purging fire, ..............29 64 When I have seen by Times fell hand defaced .......39
46 Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war ...................30 65 Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
47 Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took, ..........30 .................................................................................39
48 How careful was I, when I took my way, ................31 66 Tired with all these, for restful death I cry, .............40
49 Against that time, if ever that time come, ...............31 67 Ah! wherefore with infection should he live, .........40
50 How heavy do I journey on the way, .......................32 68 Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn, ...........41
51 Thus can my love excuse the slow offence .............32 69 Those parts of thee that the worlds eye doth view .41
52 So am I as the rich, whose blessed key ...................33 70 That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect, ..........42
53 What is your substance, whereof are you made, .....33 71 No longer mourn for me when I am dead ...............42
54 O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem ....34 72 O, lest the world should task you to recite ..............43
55 Not marble, nor the gilded monuments ...................34 73 That time of year thou mayst in me behold .............43
56 Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said .............35 74 But be contented: when that fell arrest ....................44
57 Being your slave, what should I do but tend ...........35 75 So are you to my thoughts as food to life, ...............44
58 That god forbid that made me first your slave, .......36 76 Why is my verse so barren of new pride, ................45
59 If there be nothing new, but that which is ...............36 77 Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear, ...45
78 So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse .................46

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79 Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid, .......................46 100 Where art thou, Muse, that thou forgetst so long .57
80 O, how I faint when I of you do write, ....................47 101 O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends .............57
81 Or I shall live your epitaph to make, .......................47 102 My love is strengthend, though more weak in seem-
82 I grant thou wert not married to my Muse ..............48 ing; .................................................................58
83 I never saw that you did painting need ....................48 103 Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth, ..........58
84 Who is it that says most? which can say more ........49 104 To me, fair friend, you never can be old, ..............59
85 My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still, ....49 105 Let not my love be calld idolatry, ........................59
86 Was it the proud full sail of his great verse, ............50 106 When in the chronicle of wasted time ...................60
87 Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing, .......50 107 Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul ..........60
88 When thou shalt be disposed to set me light, ..........51 108 Whats in the brain that ink may character ...........61
89 Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault, ........51 109 O, never say that I was false of heart, ...................61
90 Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now; ............52 110 Alas, tis true I have gone here and there ..............62
91 Some glory in their birth, some in their skill, .........52 111 O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide, ...........62
92 But do thy worst to steal thyself away, ....................53 112 Your love and pity doth the impression fill ...........63
93 So shall I live, supposing thou art true, ...................53 113 Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind; ..............63
94 They that have power to hurt and will do none, ......54 114 Or whether doth my mind, being crownd with you,
95 How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame ..54 ..................................................................................64
96 Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness; ......55 115 Those lines that I before have writ do lie, .............64
97 How like a winter hath my absence been ................55 116 Let me not to the marriage of true minds ..............65
98 From you have I been absent in the spring, .............56 117 Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all .................65
99 The forward violet thus did I chide: ........................56 118 Like as, to make our appetites more keen, ............66

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119 What potions have I drunk of Siren tears, .............66 139 O, call not me to justify the wrong ........................76
120 That you were once unkind befriends me now, .....67 140 Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press ..................77
121 Tis better to be vile than vile esteemd, ...............67 141 In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes, ...........77
122 Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain ...............68 142 Love is my sin and thy dear virtue hate, ...............78
123 No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change: ..68 143 Lo! as a careful housewife runs to catch ...............78
124 If my dear love were but the child of state, ...........69 144 Two loves I have of comfort and despair, .............79
125 Weret aught to me I bore the canopy, ...................69 145 Those lips that Loves own hand did make ...........79
126 O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power .............70 146 Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth, ...............80
127 In the old age black was not counted fair, .............70 147 My love is as a fever, longing still ........................80
128 How oft, when thou, my music, music playst, .....71 148 O me, what eyes hath Love put in my head, .........81
129 The expense of spirit in a waste of shame ............71 149 Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not, ..............81
130 My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun; ..........72 150 O, from what power hast thou this powerful might
131 Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art, ....................72 .................................................................................82
132 Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me, ...........73 151 Love is too young to know what conscience is; ....82
133 Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan .73 152 In loving thee thou knowst I am forsworn, ..........83
134 So, now I have confessd that he is thine, .............74 153 Cupid laid by his brand, and fell asleep: ...............83
135 Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will, .......74 154 The little Love-god lying once asleep ...................84
136 If thy soul cheque thee that I come so near, ..........75
137 Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,
..................................................................................75
138 When my love swears that she is made of truth ....76

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THE SONNETS 1
From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beautys rose might never die,

OF But as the riper should by time decease,


His tender heir might bear his memory:

WILLIAM But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,


Feedst thy lights flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
SHAKESPEARE Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the worlds fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the worlds due, by the grave and thee.

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2 3
When forty winters shall beseige thy brow, Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest
And dig deep trenches in thy beautys field, Now is the time that face should form another;
Thy youths proud livery, so gazed on now, Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,
Will be a tatterd weed, of small worth held: Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.
Then being askd where all thy beauty lies, For where is she so fair whose uneard womb
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days, Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes, Or who is he so fond will be the tomb
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise. Of his self-love, to stop posterity?
How much more praise deserved thy beautys use, Thou art thy mothers glass, and she in thee
If thou couldst answer This fair child of mine Calls back the lovely April of her prime:
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse, So thou through windows of thine age shall see
Proving his beauty by succession thine! Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.
This were to be new made when thou art old, But if thou live, rememberd not to be,
And see thy blood warm when thou feelst it cold. Die single, and thine image dies with thee.

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4 5
Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
Upon thyself thy beautys legacy? The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Natures bequest gives nothing but doth lend, Will play the tyrants to the very same
And being frank she lends to those are free. And that unfair which fairly doth excel:
Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse For never-resting time leads summer on
The bounteous largess given thee to give? To hideous winter and confounds him there;
Profitless usurer, why dost thou use Sap chequed with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live? Beauty oersnowd and bareness every where:
For having traf c with thyself alone, Then, were not summers distillation left,
Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive. A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone, Beautys effect with beauty were bereft,
What acceptable audit canst thou leave? Nor it, nor no remembrance what it was:
Thy unused beauty must be tombd with thee, But flowers distilld though they with winter meet,
Which, used, lives th executor to be. Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.

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6 7
Then let not winters ragged hand deface Lo! in the orient when the gracious light
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distilld: Lifts up his burning head, each under eye
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
With beautys treasure, ere it be self-killd. Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
That use is not forbidden usury, And having climbd the steep-up heavenly hill,
Which happies those that pay the willing loan; Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
Thats for thyself to breed another thee, yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
Or ten times happier, be it ten for one; Attending on his golden pilgrimage;
Ten times thyself were happier than thou art, But when from highmost pitch, with weary car,
If ten of thine ten times refigured thee: Like feeble age, he reeleth from the day,
Then what could death do, if thou shouldst depart, The eyes, fore duteous, now converted are
Leaving thee living in posterity? From his low tract and look another way:
Be not self-willd, for thou art much too fair So thou, thyself out-going in thy noon,
To be deaths conquest and make worms thine heir. Unlookd on diest, unless thou get a son.

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8 9
Music to hear, why hearst thou music sadly? Is it for fear to wet a widows eye
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy. That thou consumest thyself in single life?
Why lovest thou that which thou receivest not gladly, Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die.
Or else receivest with pleasure thine annoy? The world will wail thee, like a makeless wife;
If the true concord of well-tuned sounds, The world will be thy widow and still weep
By unions married, do offend thine ear, That thou no form of thee hast left behind,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds When every private widow well may keep
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear. By childrens eyes her husbands shape in mind.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another, Look, what an unthrift in the world doth spend
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering, Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
Resembling sire and child and happy mother But beautys waste hath in the world an end,
Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing: And kept unused, the user so destroys it.
Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one, No love toward others in that bosom sits
Sings this to thee: thou single wilt prove none. That on himself such murderous shame commits.

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10 11
For shame! deny that thou bearst love to any, As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou growest
Who for thyself art so unprovident. In one of thine, from that which thou departest;
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many, And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestowest
But that thou none lovest is most evident; Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth convertest.
For thou art so possessd with murderous hate Herein lives wisdom, beauty and increase:
That gainst thyself thou stickst not to conspire. Without this, folly, age and cold decay:
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate If all were minded so, the times should cease
Which to repair should be thy chief desire. And threescore year would make the world away.
O, change thy thought, that I may change my mind! Let those whom Nature hath not made for store,
Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love? Harsh featureless and rude, barrenly perish:
Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind, Look, whom she best endowd she gave the more;
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove: Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish:
Make thee another self, for love of me, She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby
That beauty still may live in thine or thee. Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.

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12 13
When I do count the clock that tells the time, O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night; No longer yours than you yourself here live:
When I behold the violet past prime, Against this coming end you should prepare,
And sable curls all silverd oer with white; And your sweet semblance to some other give.
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, Find no determination: then you were
And summers green all girded up in sheaves Yourself again after yourselfs decease,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard, When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Then of thy beauty do I question make, Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
That thou among the wastes of time must go, Which husbandry in honour might uphold
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake Against the stormy gusts of winters day
And die as fast as they see others grow; And barren rage of deaths eternal cold?
And nothing gainst Times scythe can make defence O, none but unthrifts! Dear my love, you know
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence. You had a father: let your son say so.

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14 15
Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck; When I consider every thing that grows
And yet methinks I have astronomy, Holds in perfection but a little moment,
But not to tell of good or evil luck, That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons quality; Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell, When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind, Cheered and chequed even by the self-same sky,
Or say with princes if it shall go well, Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
By oft predict that I in heaven find: And wear their brave state out of memory;
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive, Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
And, constant stars, in them I read such art Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
As truth and beauty shall together thrive, Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay,
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert; To change your day of youth to sullied night;
Or else of thee this I prognosticate: And all in war with Time for love of you,
Thy end is truths and beautys doom and date. As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

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16 17
But wherefore do not you a mightier way Who will believe my verse in time to come,
Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time? If it were filld with your most high deserts?
And fortify yourself in your decay Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme? Which hides your life and shows not half your parts.
Now stand you on the top of happy hours, If I could write the beauty of your eyes
And many maiden gardens yet unset And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
With virtuous wish would bear your living flowers, The age to come would say This poet lies:
Much liker than your painted counterfeit: Such heavenly touches neer touchd earthly faces.
So should the lines of life that life repair, So should my papers yellowd with their age
Which this, Times pencil, or my pupil pen, Be scornd like old men of less truth than tongue,
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair, And your true rights be termd a poets rage
Can make you live yourself in eyes of men. And stretched metre of an antique song:
To give away yourself keeps yourself still, But were some child of yours alive that time,
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill. You should live twice; in it and in my rhyme.

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18 19
Shall I compare thee to a summers day? Devouring Time, blunt thou the lions paws,
Thou art more lovely and more temperate: And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tigers jaws,
And summers lease hath all too short a date: And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And often is his gold complexion dimmd; And do whateer thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
And every fair from fair sometime declines, To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
By chance or natures changing course untrimmd; But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade O, carve not with thy hours my loves fair brow,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Nor shall death brag thou wanderst in his shade, Him in thy course untainted do allow
When in eternal lines to time thou growest: For beautys pattern to succeeding men.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee. My love shall in my verse ever live young.

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20 21
A womans face with Natures own hand painted So is it not with me as with that Muse
Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion; Stirrd by a painted beauty to his verse,
A womans gentle heart, but not acquainted Who heaven itself for ornament doth use
With shifting change, as is false womens fashion; And every fair with his fair doth rehearse
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling, Making a couplement of proud compare,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth; With sun and moon, with earth and seas rich gems,
A man in hue, all hues in his controlling, With Aprils first-born flowers, and all things rare
Much steals mens eyes and womens souls amazeth. That heavens air in this huge rondure hems.
And for a woman wert thou first created; O let me, true in love, but truly write,
Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting, And then believe me, my love is as fair
And by addition me of thee defeated, As any mothers child, though not so bright
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing. As those gold candles fixd in heavens air:
But since she prickd thee out for womens pleasure, Let them say more than like of hearsay well;
Mine be thy love and thy loves use their treasure. I will not praise that purpose not to sell.

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22 23
My glass shall not persuade me I am old, As an unperfect actor on the stage
So long as youth and thou are of one date; Who with his fear is put besides his part,
But when in thee times furrows I behold, Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
Then look I death my days should expiate. Whose strengths abundance weakens his own heart.
For all that beauty that doth cover thee So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart, The perfect ceremony of loves rite,
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me: And in mine own loves strength seem to decay,
How can I then be elder than thou art? Oercharged with burden of mine own loves might.
O, therefore, love, be of thyself so wary O, let my books be then the eloquence
As I, not for myself, but for thee will; And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary Who plead for love and look for recompense
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill. More than that tongue that more hath more expressd.
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain; O, learn to read what silent love hath writ:
Thou gavest me thine, not to give back again. To hear with eyes belongs to loves fine wit.

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24 25
Mine eye hath playd the painter and hath stelld Let those who are in favour with their stars
Thy beautys form in table of my heart; Of public honour and proud titles boast,
My body is the frame wherein tis held, Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
And perspective it is the painters art. Unlookd for joy in that I honour most.
For through the painter must you see his skill, Great princes favourites their fair leaves spread
To nd where your true image pictured lies; But as the marigold at the suns eye,
Which in my bosoms shop is hanging still, And in themselves their pride lies buried,
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes. For at a frown they in their glory die.
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done: The painful warrior famoused for fight,
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me After a thousand victories once foild,
Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun Is from the book of honour razed quite,
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee; And all the rest forgot for which he toild:
Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art; Then happy I, that love and am beloved
They draw but what they see, know not the heart. Where I may not remove nor be removed.

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26 27
Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit, The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
To thee I send this written embassage, But then begins a journey in my head,
To witness duty, not to show my wit: To work my mind, when bodys works expired:
Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it, Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
But that I hope some good conceit of thine And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
In thy souls thought, all naked, will bestow it; Looking on darkness which the blind do see
Till whatsoever star that guides my moving Save that my souls imaginary sight
Points on me graciously with fair aspect Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
And puts apparel on my tatterd loving, Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
To show me worthy of thy sweet respect: Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee; Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
Till then not show my head where thou mayst prove me. For thee and for myself no quiet find.

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28 29
How can I then return in happy plight, When, in disgrace with fortune and mens eyes,
That am debarrd the benefit of rest? I all alone beweep my outcast state
When days oppression is not eased by night, And trouble deal heaven with my bootless cries
But day by night, and night by day, oppressd? And look upon myself and curse my fate,
And each, though enemies to eithers reign, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Do in consent shake hands to torture me; Featured like him, like him with friends possessd,
The one by toil,the other to complain Desiring this mans art and that mans scope,
How far I toil, still farther off from thee. With what I most enjoy contented least;
I tell the day, to please them thou art bright Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven: Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
So flatter I the swart-complexiond night, Like to the lark at break of day arising
When sparkling stars twire not thou gildst the even. From sullen earth, sings hymns at heavens gate;
But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer For thy sweet love rememberd such wealth brings
And night doth nightly make griefs strength seem stronger. That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

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30 31
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
I summon up remembrance of things past, Which I by lacking have supposed dead,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, And there reigns love and all loves loving parts,
And with old woes new wail my dear times waste: And all those friends which I thought buried.
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, How many a holy and obsequious tear
For precious friends hid in deaths dateless night, Hath dear religious love stoln from mine eye
And weep afresh loves long since cancelld woe, As interest of the dead, which now appear
And moan the expense of many a vanishd sight: But things removed that hidden in thee lie!
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
And heavily from woe to woe tell oer Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, Who all their parts of me to thee did give;
Which I new pay as if not paid before. That due of many now is thine alone:
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, Their images I loved I view in thee,
All losses are restored and sorrows end. And thou, all they, hast all the all of me.

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32 33
If thou survive my well-contented day, Full many a glorious morning have I seen
When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover, Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover, Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Compare them with the bettering of the time, Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
And though they be outstrippd by every pen, With ugly rack on his celestial face,
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme, And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Exceeded by the height of happier men. Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
O, then vouchsafe me but this loving thought: Even so my sun one early morn did shine
Had my friends Muse grown with this growing age, With all triumphant splendor on my brow;
A dearer birth than this his love had brought, But out, alack! he was but one hour mine;
To march in ranks of better equipage: The region cloud hath maskd him from me now.
But since he died and poets better prove, Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Theirs for their style Ill read, his for his love. Suns of the world may stain when heavens sun staineth.

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34 35
Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day, No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
And make me travel forth without my cloak, Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;
To let base clouds oertake me in my way, Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke? And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break, All men make faults, and even I in this,
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face, Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
For no man well of such a salve can speak Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,
That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace: Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are;
Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief; For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense
Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss: Thy adverse party is thy advocate
The offenders sorrow lends but weak relief And gainst myself a lawful plea commence:
To him that bears the strong offences cross. Such civil war is in my love and hate
Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds, That I an accessary needs must be
And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds. To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.

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36 37
Let me confess that we two must be twain, As a decrepit father takes delight
Although our undivided loves are one: To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So shall those blots that do with me remain So I, made lame by fortunes dearest spite,
Without thy help by me be borne alone. Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
In our two loves there is but one respect, For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Though in our lives a separable spite, Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Which though it alter not loves sole effect, Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit,
Yet doth it steal sweet hours from loves delight. I make my love engrafted to this store:
I may not evermore acknowledge thee, So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,
Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame, Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
Nor thou with public kindness honour me, That I in thy abundance am sufficd
Unless thou take that honour from thy name: And by a part of all thy glory live.
But do not so; I love thee in such sort Look, what is best, that best I wish in thee:
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report. This wish I have; then ten times happy me!

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38 39
How can my Muse want subject to invent, O, how thy worth with manners may I sing,
While thou dost breathe, that pourst into my verse When thou art all the better part of me?
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent What can mine own praise to mine own self bring?
For every vulgar paper to rehearse? And what is t but mine own when I praise thee?
O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me Even for this let us divided live,
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight; And our dear love lose name of single one,
For whos so dumb that cannot write to thee, That by this separation I may give
When thou thyself dost give invention light? That due to thee which thou deservest alone.
Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth O absence, what a torment wouldst thou prove,
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate; Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth To entertain the time with thoughts of love,
Eternal numbers to outlive long date. Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive,
If my slight Muse do please these curious days, And that thou teachest how to make one twain,
The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise. By praising him here who doth hence remain!

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40 41
Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all; Those petty wrongs that liberty commits,
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before? When I am sometime absent from thy heart,
No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call; Thy beauty and thy years full well befits,
All mine was thine before thou hadst this more. For still temptation follows where thou art.
Then if for my love thou my love receivest, Gentle thou art and therefore to be won,
I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest; Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assailed;
But yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest And when a woman woos, what womans son
By wilful taste of what thyself refusest. Will sourly leave her till she have prevailed?
I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief, Ay me! but yet thou mightest my seat forbear,
Although thou steal thee all my poverty; And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth,
And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief Who lead thee in their riot even there
To bear loves wrong than hates known injury. Where thou art forced to break a twofold truth,
Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows, Hers by thy beauty tempting her to thee,
Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes. Thine, by thy beauty being false to me.

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42 43
That thou hast her, it is not all my grief, When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
And yet it may be said I loved her dearly; For all the day they view things unrespected;
That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief, But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
A loss in love that touches me more nearly. And darkly bright are bright in dark directed.
Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye: Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
Thou dost love her, because thou knowst I love her; How would thy shadows form form happy show
And for my sake even so doth she abuse me, To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her. When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
If I lose thee, my loss is my loves gain, How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
And losing her, my friend hath found that loss; By looking on thee in the living day,
Both find each other, and I lose both twain, When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
And both for my sake lay on me this cross: Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
But heres the joy; my friend and I are one; All days are nights to see till I see thee,
Sweet flattery! then she loves but me alone. And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.

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44 45
If the dull substance of my flesh were thought, The other two, slight air and purging fire,
Injurious distance should not stop my way; Are both with thee, wherever I abide;
For then despite of space I would be brought, The first my thought, the other my desire,
From limits far remote where thou dost stay. These present-absent with swift motion slide.
No matter then although my foot did stand For when these quicker elements are gone
Upon the farthest earth removed from thee; In tender embassy of love to thee,
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land My life, being made of four, with two alone
As soon as think the place where he would be. Sinks down to death, oppressd with melancholy;
But ah! thought kills me that I am not thought, Until lifes composition be recured
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone, By those swift messengers returnd from thee,
But that so much of earth and water wrought Who even but now come back again, assured
I must attend times leisure with my moan, Of thy fair health, recounting it to me:
Receiving nought by elements so slow This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,
But heavy tears, badges of eithers woe. I send them back again and straight grow sad.

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46 47
Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
How to divide the conquest of thy sight; And each doth good turns now unto the other:
Mine eye my heart thy pictures sight would bar, When that mine eye is famishd for a look,
My heart mine eye the freedom of that right. Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie With my loves picture then my eye doth feast
A closet never pierced with crystal eyes And to the painted banquet bids my heart;
But the defendant doth that plea deny Another time mine eye is my hearts guest
And says in him thy fair appearance lies. And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:
To cide this title is impannelled So, either by thy picture or my love,
A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart, Thyself away art present still with me;
And by their verdict is determined For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,
The clear eyes moiety and the dear hearts part: And I am still with them and they with thee;
As thus; mine eyes due is thy outward part, Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
And my hearts right thy inward love of heart. Awakes my heart to hearts and eyes delight.

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48 49
How careful was I, when I took my way, Against that time, if ever that time come,
Each trifle under truest bars to thrust, When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
That to my use it might unused stay When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust! Calld to that audit by advised respects;
But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are, Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass
Most worthy of comfort, now my greatest grief, And scarcely greet me with that sun thine eye,
Thou, best of dearest and mine only care, When love, converted from the thing it was,
Art left the prey of every vulgar thief. Shall reasons find of settled gravity,
Thee have I not lockd up in any chest, Against that time do I ensconce me here
Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art, Within the knowledge of mine own desert,
Within the gentle closure of my breast, And this my hand against myself uprear,
From whence at pleasure thou mayst come and part; To guard the lawful reasons on thy part:
And even thence thou wilt be stoln, I fear, To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws,
For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear. Since why to love I can allege no cause.

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50 51
How heavy do I journey on the way, Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
When what I seek, my weary travels end, Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
Doth teach that ease and that repose to say From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Thus far the miles are measured from thy friend! Till I return, of posting is no need.
The beast that bears me, tired with my woe, O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
Plods dully on, to bear that weight in me, When swift extremity can seem but slow?
As if by some instinct the wretch did know Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
His rider loved not speed, being made from thee: In winged speed no motion shall I know:
The bloody spur cannot provoke him on Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;
That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide; Therefore desire of perfectst love being made,
Which heavily he answers with a groan, Shall neighno dull fleshin his fiery race;
More sharp to me than spurring to his side; But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade;
For that same groan doth put this in my mind; Since from thee going he went wilful-slow,
My grief lies onward and my joy behind. Towards thee Ill run, and give him leave to go.

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52 53
So am I as the rich, whose blessed key What is your substance, whereof are you made,
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure, That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
The which he will not every hour survey, Since every one hath, every one, one shade,
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure. And you, but one, can every shadow lend.
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare, Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit
Since, seldom coming, in the long year set, Is poorly imitated after you;
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are, On Helens cheek all art of beauty set,
Or captain jewels in the carcanet. And you in Grecian tires are painted new:
So is the time that keeps you as my chest, Speak of the spring and foison of the year;
Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide, The one doth shadow of your beauty show,
To make some special instant special blest, The other as your bounty doth appear;
By new unfolding his imprisond pride. And you in every blessed shape we know.
Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope, In all external grace you have some part,
Being had, to triumph, being lackd, to hope. But you like none, none you, for constant heart.

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54 55
O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give! Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem But you shall shine more bright in these contents
For that sweet odour which doth in it live. Than unswept stone besmeard with sluttish time.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
As the perfumed tincture of the roses, And broils root out the work of masonry,
Hang on such thorns and play as wantonly Nor Mars his sword nor wars quick fire shall burn
When summers breath their masked buds discloses: The living record of your memory.
But, for their virtue only is their show, Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
They live unwood and unrespected fade, Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so; Even in the eyes of all posterity
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made: That wear this world out to the ending doom.
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth, So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
When that shall fade, my verse distills your truth. You live in this, and dwell in lovers eyes.

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56 57
Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite, Upon the hours and times of your desire?
Which but to-day by feeding is allayd, I have no precious time at all to spend,
To-morrow sharpend in his former might: Nor services to do, till you require.
So, love, be thou; although to-day thou fill Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Thy hungry eyes even till they wink with fullness, Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
To-morrow see again, and do not kill Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
The spirit of love with a perpetual dullness. When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Let this sad interim like the ocean be Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Which parts the shore, where two contracted new Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
Come daily to the banks, that, when they see But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Return of love, more blest may be the view; Save, where you are how happy you make those.
Else call it winter, which being full of care So true a fool is love that in your will,
Makes summers welcome thrice more wishd, more rare. Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill.

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58 59
That god forbid that made me first your slave, If there be nothing new, but that which is
I should in thought control your times of pleasure, Hath been before, how are our brains beguiled,
Or at your hand the account of hours to crave, Which, labouring for invention, bear amiss
Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure! The second burden of a former child!
O, let me suffer, being at your beck, O, that record could with a backward look,
The imprisond absence of your liberty; Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each cheque, Show me your image in some antique book,
Without accusing you of injury. Since mind at first in character was done!
Be where you list, your charter is so strong That I might see what the old world could say
That you yourself may privilege your time To this composed wonder of your frame;
To what you will; to you it doth belong Whether we are mended, or whether better they,
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime. Or whether revolution be the same.
I am to wait, though waiting so be hell; O, sure I am, the wits of former days
Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or well. To subjects worse have given admiring praise.

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60 61
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, Is it thy will thy image should keep open
So do our minutes hasten to their end; My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
Each changing place with that which goes before, Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend. While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?
Nativity, once in the main of light, Is it thy spirit that thou sendst from thee
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crownd, So far from home into my deeds to pry,
Crooked elipses gainst his glory fight, To find out shames and idle hours in me,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound. The scope and tenor of thy jealousy?
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth O, no! thy love, though much, is not so great:
And delves the parallels in beautys brow, It is my love that keeps mine eye awake;
Feeds on the rarities of natures truth, Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow: To play the watchman ever for thy sake:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand, For thee watch I whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand. From me far off, with others all too near.

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62 63
Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye Against my love shall be, as I am now,
And all my soul and all my every part; With Times injurious hand crushd and oer-worn;
And for this sin there is no remedy, When hours have draind his blood and filld his brow
It is so grounded inward in my heart. With lines and wrinkles; when his youthful morn
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine, Hath travelld on to ages steepy night,
No shape so true, no truth of such account; And all those beauties whereof now hes king
And for myself mine own worth do define, Are vanishing or vanishd out of sight,
As I all other in all worths surmount. Stealing away the treasure of his spring;
But when my glass shows me myself indeed, For such a time do I now fortify
Beated and choppd with tannd antiquity, Against confounding ages cruel knife,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read; That he shall never cut from memory
Self so self-loving were iniquity. My sweet loves beauty, though my lovers life:
Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise, His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days. And they shall live, and he in them still green.

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64 65
When I have seen by Times fell hand defaced Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age; But sad mortality oer-sways their power,
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage; Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain O, how shall summers honey breath hold out
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore, Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
And the firm soil win of the watery main, When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Increasing store with loss and loss with store; Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
When I have seen such interchange of state, O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Or state itself confounded to decay; Shall Times best jewel from Times chest lie hid?
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate, Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
That Time will come and take my love away. Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
This thought is as a death, which cannot choose O, none, unless this miracle have might,
But weep to have that which it fears to lose. That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

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66 67
Tired with all these, for restful death I cry, Ah! wherefore with infection should he live,
As, to behold desert a beggar born, And with his presence grace impiety,
And needy nothing trimmd in jollity, That sin by him advantage should achieve
And purest faith unhappily forsworn, And lace itself with his society?
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced, Why should false painting imitate his cheek
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted, And steal dead seeing of his living hue?
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced, Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
And strength by limping sway disabled, Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?
And art made tongue-tied by authority, Why should he live, now Nature bankrupt is,
And folly doctor-like controlling skill, Beggard of blood to blush through lively veins?
And simple truth miscalld simplicity, For she hath no exchequer now but his,
And captive good attending captain ill: And, proud of many, lives upon his gains.
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone, O, him she stores, to show what wealth she had
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone. In days long since, before these last so bad.

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68 69
Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn, Those parts of thee that the worlds eye doth view
When beauty lived and died as flowers do now, Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend;
Before the bastard signs of fair were born, All tongues, the voice of souls, give thee that due,
Or durst inhabit on a living brow; Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend.
Before the golden tresses of the dead, Thy outward thus with outward praise is crownd;
The right of sepulchres, were shorn away, But those same tongues that give thee so thine own
To live a second life on second head; In other accents do this praise confound
Ere beautys dead fleece made another gay: By seeing farther than the eye hath shown.
In him those holy antique hours are seen, They look into the beauty of thy mind,
Without all ornament, itself and true, And that, in guess, they measure by thy deeds;
Making no summer of anothers green, Then, churls, their thoughts, although their eyes were kind,
Robbing no old to dress his beauty new; To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds:
And him as for a map doth Nature store, But why thy odour matcheth not thy show,
To show false Art what beauty was of yore. The soil is this, that thou dost common grow.

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70 71
That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect, No longer mourn for me when I am dead
For slanders mark was ever yet the fair; Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
The ornament of beauty is suspect, Give warning to the world that I am fled
A crow that flies in heavens sweetest air. From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
So thou be good, slander doth but approve Nay, if you read this line, remember not
Thy worth the greater, being wood of time; The hand that writ it; for I love you so
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love, That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
And thou presentst a pure unstained prime. If thinking on me then should make you woe.
Thou hast passd by the ambush of young days, O, if, I say, you look upon this verse
Either not assaild or victor being charged; When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise, Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
To tie up envy evermore enlarged: But let your love even with my life decay,
If some suspect of ill maskd not thy show, Lest the wise world should look into your moan
Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe. And mock you with me after I am gone.

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72 73
O, lest the world should task you to recite That time of year thou mayst in me behold
What merit lived in me, that you should love When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
After my death, dear love, forget me quite, Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
For you in me can nothing worthy prove; Bare ruind choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
Unless you would devise some virtuous lie, In me thou seest the twilight of such day
To do more for me than mine own desert, As after sunset fadeth in the west,
And hang more praise upon deceased I Which by and by black night doth take away,
Than niggard truth would willingly impart: Deaths second self, that seals up all in rest.
O, lest your true love may seem false in this, In me thou seest the glowing of such fire
That you for love speak well of me untrue, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
My name be buried where my body is, As the death-bed whereon it must expire
And live no more to shame nor me nor you. Consumed with that which it was nourishd by.
For I am shamed by that which I bring forth, This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
And so should you, to love things nothing worth. To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

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74 75
But be contented: when that fell arrest So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Without all bail shall carry me away, Or as sweet-seasond showers are to the ground;
My life hath in this line some interest, And for the peace of you I hold such strife
Which for memorial still with thee shall stay. As twixt a miser and his wealth is found;
When thou reviewest this, thou dost review Now proud as an enjoyer and anon
The very part was consecrate to thee: Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure,
The earth can have but earth, which is his due; Now counting best to be with you alone,
My spirit is thine, the better part of me: Then betterd that the world may see my pleasure;
So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life, Sometime all full with feasting on your sight
The prey of worms, my body being dead, And by and by clean starved for a look;
The coward conquest of a wretchs knife, Possessing or pursuing no delight,
Too base of thee to be remembered. Save what is had or must from you be took.
The worth of that is that which it contains, Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
And that is this, and this with thee remains. Or gluttoning on all, or all away.

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76 77
Why is my verse so barren of new pride, Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
So far from variation or quick change? Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
Why with the time do I not glance aside The vacant leaves thy minds imprint will bear,
To new-found methods and to compounds strange? And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
Why write I still all one, ever the same, The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
And keep invention in a noted weed, Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
That every word doth almost tell my name, Thou by thy dials shady stealth mayst know
Showing their birth and where they did proceed? Times thievish progress to eternity.
O, know, sweet love, I always write of you, Look, what thy memory can not contain
And you and love are still my argument; Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find
So all my best is dressing old words new, Those children nursed, deliverd from thy brain,
Spending again what is already spent: To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.
For as the sun is daily new and old, These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
So is my love still telling what is told. Shall profit thee and much enrich thy book.

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78 79
So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,
And found such fair assistance in my verse My verse alone had all thy gentle grace,
As every alien pen hath got my use But now my gracious numbers are decayd
And under thee their poesy disperse. And my sick Muse doth give another place.
Thine eyes that taught the dumb on high to sing I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly Deserves the travail of a worthier pen,
Have added feathers to the learneds wing Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent
And given grace a double majesty. He robs thee of and pays it thee again.
Yet be most proud of that which I compile, He lends thee virtue and he stole that word
Whose influence is thine and born of thee: From thy behavior; beauty doth he give
In others works thou dost but mend the style, And found it in thy cheek; he can afford
And arts with thy sweet graces graced be; No praise to thee but what in thee doth live.
But thou art all my art and dost advance Then thank him not for that which he doth say,
As high as learning my rude ignorance. Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay.

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80 81
O, how I faint when I of you do write, Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name, Or you survive when I in earth am rotten;
And in the praise thereof spends all his might, From hence your memory death cannot take,
To make me tongue-tied, speaking of your fame! Although in me each part will be forgotten.
But since your worth, wide as the ocean is, Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
The humble as the proudest sail doth bear, Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:
My saucy bark inferior far to his The earth can yield me but a common grave,
On your broad main doth wilfully appear. When you entombed in mens eyes shall lie.
Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat, Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride; Which eyes not yet created shall oer-read,
Or being wreckd, I am a worthless boat, And tongues to be your being shall rehearse
He of tall building and of goodly pride: When all the breathers of this world are dead;
Then if he thrive and I be cast away, You still shall livesuch virtue hath my pen
The worst was this; my love was my decay. Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.

47
Shakespeares Sonnets

82 83
I grant thou wert not married to my Muse I never saw that you did painting need
And therefore mayst without attaint oerlook And therefore to your fair no painting set;
The dedicated words which writers use I found, or thought I found, you did exceed
Of their fair subject, blessing every book The barren tender of a poets debt;
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue, And therefore have I slept in your report,
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise, That you yourself being extant well might show
And therefore art enforced to seek anew How far a modern quill doth come too short,
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow.
And do so, love; yet when they have devised This silence for my sin you did impute,
What strained touches rhetoric can lend, Which shall be most my glory, being dumb;
Thou truly fair wert truly sympathized For I impair not beauty being mute,
In true plain words by thy true-telling friend; When others would give life and bring a tomb.
And their gross painting might be better used There lives more life in one of your fair eyes
Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abused. Than both your poets can in praise devise.

48
Shakespeares Sonnets

84 85
Who is it that says most? which can say more My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still,
Than this rich praise, that you alone are you? While comments of your praise, richly compiled,
In whose confine immured is the store Reserve their character with golden quill
Which should example where your equal grew. And precious phrase by all the Muses led.
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell I think good thoughts whilst other write good words,
That to his subject lends not some small glory; And like unletterd clerk still cry Amen
But he that writes of you, if he can tell To every hymn that able spirit affords
That you are you, so dignifies his story, In polishd form of well-refined pen.
Let him but copy what in you is writ, Hearing you praised, I say Tis so, tis true,
Not making worse what nature made so clear, And to the most of praise add something more;
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit, But that is in my thought, whose love to you,
Making his style admired every where. Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before.
You to your beauteous blessings add a curse, Then others for the breath of words respect,
Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse. Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect.

49
Shakespeares Sonnets

86 87
Was it the proud full sail of his great verse, Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
Bound for the prize of all too precious you, And like enough thou knowst thy estimate:
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse, The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew? My bonds in thee are all determinate.
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead? And for that riches where is my deserving?
No, neither he, nor his compeers by night The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
Giving him aid, my verse astonished. And so my patent back again is swerving.
He, nor that affable familiar ghost Thyself thou gavest, thy own worth then not knowing,
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence Or me, to whom thou gavest it, else mistaking;
As victors of my silence cannot boast; So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
I was not sick of any fear from thence: Comes home again, on better judgment making.
But when your countenance filld up his line, Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter,
Then lackd I matter; that enfeebled mine. In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.

50
Shakespeares Sonnets

88 89
When thou shalt be disposed to set me light, Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,
And place my merit in the eye of scorn, And I will comment upon that offence;
Upon thy side against myself Ill fight, Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt,
And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn. Against thy reasons making no defence.
With mine own weakness being best acquainted, Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so ill,
Upon thy part I can set down a story To set a form upon desired change,
Of faults conceald, wherein I am attainted, As Ill myself disgrace: knowing thy will,
That thou in losing me shalt win much glory: I will acquaintance strangle and look strange,
And I by this will be a gainer too; Be absent from thy walks, and in my tongue
For bending all my loving thoughts on thee, Thy sweet beloved name no more shall dwell,
The injuries that to myself I do, Lest I, too much profane, should do it wrong
Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me. And haply of our old acquaintance tell.
Such is my love, to thee I so belong, For thee against myself Ill vow debate,
That for thy right myself will bear all wrong. For I must neer love him whom thou dost hate.

51
Shakespeares Sonnets

90 91
Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now; Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross, Some in their wealth, some in their bodies force,
Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow, Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill,
And do not drop in for an after-loss: Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
Ah, do not, when my heart hath scoped this sorrow, And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Come in the rearward of a conquerd woe; Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow, But these particulars are not my measure;
To linger out a purposed overthrow. All these I better in one general best.
If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last, Thy love is better than high birth to me,
When other petty griefs have done their spite Richer than wealth, prouder than garments cost,
But in the onset come; so shall I taste Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
At first the very worst of fortunes might, And having thee, of all mens pride I boast:
And other strains of woe, which now seem woe, Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take
Compared with loss of thee will not seem so. All this away and me most wretched make.

52
Shakespeares Sonnets

92 93
But do thy worst to steal thyself away, So shall I live, supposing thou art true,
For term of life thou art assured mine, Like a deceived husband; so loves face
And life no longer than thy love will stay, May still seem love to me, though alterd new;
For it depends upon that love of thine. Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place:
Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs, For there can live no hatred in thine eye,
When in the least of them my life hath end. Therefore in that I cannot know thy change.
I see a better state to me belongs In manys looks the false hearts history
Than that which on thy humour doth depend; Is writ in moods and frowns and wrinkles strange,
Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind, But heaven in thy creation did decree
Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie. That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
O, what a happy title do I find, Whateer thy thoughts or thy hearts workings be,
Happy to have thy love, happy to die! Thy looks should nothing thence but sweetness tell.
But whats so blessed-fair that fears no blot? How like Eves apple doth thy beauty grow,
Thou mayst be false, and yet I know it not. If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show!

53
Shakespeares Sonnets

94 95
They that have power to hurt and will do none, How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame
That do not do the thing they most do show, Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone, Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow, O, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose!
They rightly do inherit heavens graces That tongue that tells the story of thy days,
And husband natures riches from expense; Making lascivious comments on thy sport,
They are the lords and owners of their faces, Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise;
Others but stewards of their excellence. Naming thy name blesses an ill report.
The summers flower is to the summer sweet, O, what a mansion have those vices got
Though to itself it only live and die, Which for their habitation chose out thee,
But if that flower with base infection meet, Where beautys veil doth cover every blot,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity: And all things turn to fair that eyes can see!
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; Take heed, dear heart, of this large privilege;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds. The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge.

54
Shakespeares Sonnets

96 97
Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness; How like a winter hath my absence been
Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport; From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
Both grace and faults are loved of more and less; What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
Thou makest faults graces that to thee resort. What old Decembers bareness every where!
As on the finger of a throned queen And yet this time removed was summers time,
The basest jewel will be well esteemd, The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
So are those errors that in thee are seen Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
To truths translated and for true things deemd. Like widowd wombs after their lords decease:
How many lambs might the stern wolf betray, Yet this abundant issue seemd to me
If like a lamb he could his looks translate! But hope of orphans and unfatherd fruit;
How many gazers mightst thou lead away, For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state! And, thou away, the very birds are mute;
But do not so; I love thee in such sort, Or, if they sing, tis with so dull a cheer
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report. That leaves look pale, dreading the winters near.

55
Shakespeares Sonnets

98 99
From you have I been absent in the spring, The forward violet thus did I chide:
When proud-pied April dressd in all his trim Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing, If not from my loves breath? The purple pride
That heavy Saturn laughd and leapd with him. Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells
Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell In my loves veins thou hast too grossly dyed.
Of different flowers in odour and in hue The lily I condemned for thy hand,
Could make me any summers story tell, And buds of marjoram had stoln thy hair:
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew; The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
Nor did I wonder at the lilys white, One blushing shame, another white despair;
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose; A third, nor red nor white, had stoln of both
They were but sweet, but figures of delight, And to his robbery had annexd thy breath;
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those. But, for his theft, in pride of all his growth
Yet seemd it winter still, and, you away, A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
As with your shadow I with these did play. More flowers I noted, yet I none could see
But sweet or colour it had stoln from thee.

56
Shakespeares Sonnets

100 101
Where art thou, Muse, that thou forgetst so long O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might? For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Spendst thou thy fury on some worthless song, Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light? So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say
In gentle numbers time so idly spent; Truth needs no colour, with his colour fixd;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem Beauty no pencil, beautys truth to lay;
And gives thy pen both skill and argument. But best is best, if never intermixd?
Rise, resty Muse, my loves sweet face survey, Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?
If Time have any wrinkle graven there; Excuse not silence so; fort lies in thee
If any, be a satire to decay, To make him much outlive a gilded tomb,
And make Times spoils despised every where. And to be praised of ages yet to be.
Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life; Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how
So thou preventst his scythe and crooked knife. To make him seem long hence as he shows now.

57
Shakespeares Sonnets

102 103
My love is strengthend, though more weak in seeming; Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth,
I love not less, though less the show appear: That having such a scope to show her pride,
That love is merchandized whose rich esteeming The argument all bare is of more worth
The owners tongue doth publish every where. Than when it hath my added praise beside!
Our love was new and then but in the spring O, blame me not, if I no more can write!
When I was wont to greet it with my lays, Look in your glass, and there appears a face
As Philomel in summers front doth sing That over-goes my blunt invention quite,
And stops her pipe in growth of riper days: Dulling my lines and doing me disgrace.
Not that the summer is less pleasant now Were it not sinful then, striving to mend,
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night, To mar the subject that before was well?
But that wild music burthens every bough For to no other pass my verses tend
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight. Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;
Therefore like her I sometime hold my tongue, And more, much more, than in my verse can sit
Because I would not dull you with my song. Your own glass shows you when you look in it.

58
Shakespeares Sonnets

104 105
To me, fair friend, you never can be old, Let not my love be calld idolatry,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed, Nor my beloved as an idol show,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold Since all alike my songs and praises be
Have from the forests shook three summers pride, To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turnd Kind is my love today, tomorrow kind,
In process of the seasons have I seen, Still constant in a wondrous excellence;
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burnd, Therefore my verse to constancy confined,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green. One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-hand, Fair, kind and true, is all my argument,
Steal from his figure and no pace perceived; Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand, And in this change is my invention spent,
Hath motion and mine eye may be deceived: Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred; Fair, kind, and true, have often lived alone,
Ere you were born was beautys summer dead. Which three till now never kept seat in one.

59
Shakespeares Sonnets

106 107
When in the chronicle of wasted time Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
I see descriptions of the fairest wights, Of the wide world dreaming on things to come,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme Can yet the lease of my true love control,
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights, Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom.
Then, in the blazon of sweet beautys best, The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow, And the sad augurs mock their own presage;
I see their antique pen would have expressd Incertainties now crown themselves assured
Even such a beauty as you master now. And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
So all their praises are but prophecies Now with the drops of this most balmy time
Of this our time, all you prefiguring; My love looks fresh, and death to me subscribes,
And, for they lookd but with divining eyes, Since, spite of him, Ill live in this poor rhyme,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing: While he insults oer dull and speechless tribes:
For we, which now behold these present days, And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
Had eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise. When tyrants crests and tombs of brass are spent.

60
Shakespeares Sonnets

108 109
Whats in the brain that ink may character O, never say that I was false of heart,
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit? Though absence seemd my flame to qualify.
Whats new to speak, what new to register, As easy might I from myself depart
That may express my love or thy dear merit? As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie:
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine, That is my home of love: if I have ranged,
I must, each day say oer the very same, Like him that travels I return again,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine, Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
Even as when first I hallowd thy fair name. So that myself bring water for my stain.
So that eternal love in loves fresh case Never believe, though in my nature reignd
Weighs not the dust and injury of age, All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place, That it could so preposterously be staind,
But makes antiquity for aye his page, To leave for nothing all thy sum of good;
Finding the first conceit of love there bred For nothing this wide universe I call,
Where time and outward form would show it dead. Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.

61
Shakespeares Sonnets

110 111
Alas, tis true I have gone here and there O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
And made myself a motley to the view, The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear, That did not better for my life provide
Made old offences of affections new; Than public means which public manners breeds.
Most true it is that I have lookd on truth Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
Askance and strangely: but, by all above, And almost thence my nature is subdued
These blenches gave my heart another youth, To what it works in, like the dyers hand:
And worse essays proved thee my best of love. Pity me then and wish I were renewd;
Now all is done, have what shall have no end: Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Mine appetite I never more will grind Potions of eisel gainst my strong infection;
On newer proof, to try an older friend, No bitterness that I will bitter think,
A god in love, to whom I am confined. Nor double penance, to correct correction.
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best, Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye
Even to thy pure and most loving breast. Even that your pity is enough to cure me.

62
Shakespeares Sonnets

112 113
Your love and pity doth the impression fill Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind;
Which vulgar scandal stampd upon my brow; And that which governs me to go about
For what care I who calls me well or ill, Doth part his function and is partly blind,
So you oer-green my bad, my good allow? Seems seeing, but effectually is out;
You are my all the world, and I must strive For it no form delivers to the heart
To know my shames and praises from your tongue: Of bird of flower, or shape, which it doth latch:
None else to me, nor I to none alive, Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,
That my steeld sense or changes right or wrong. Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch:
In so profound abysm I throw all care For if it see the rudest or gentlest sight,
Of others voices, that my adders sense The most sweet favour or deformedst creature,
To critic and to flatterer stopped are. The mountain or the sea, the day or night,
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense: The crow or dove, it shapes them to your feature:
You are so strongly in my purpose bred Incapable of more, replete with you,
That all the world besides methinks are dead. My most true mind thus makes mine eye untrue.

63
Shakespeares Sonnets

114 115
Or whether doth my mind, being crownd with you, Those lines that I before have writ do lie,
Drink up the monarchs plague, this flattery? Even those that said I could not love you dearer:
Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true, Yet then my judgment knew no reason why
And that your love taught it this alchemy, My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer.
To make of monsters and things indigest But reckoning time, whose milliond accidents
Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble, Creep in twixt vows and change decrees of kings,
Creating every bad a perfect best, Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharpst intents,
As fast as objects to his beams assemble? Divert strong minds to the course of altering things;
O, tis the first; tis flattery in my seeing, Alas, why, fearing of times tyranny,
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up: Might I not then say Now I love you best,
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is greeing, When I was certain oer incertainty,
And to his palate doth prepare the cup: Crowning the present, doubting of the rest?
If it be poisond, tis the lesser sin Love is a babe; then might I not say so,
That mine eye loves it and doth first begin. To give full growth to that which still doth grow?

64
Shakespeares Sonnets

116 117
Let me not to the marriage of true minds Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all
Admit impediments. Love is not love Wherein I should your great deserts repay,
Which alters when it alteration finds, Forgot upon your dearest love to call,
Or bends with the remover to remove: Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day;
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That I have frequent been with unknown minds
That looks on tempests and is never shaken; And given to time your own dear-purchased right
It is the star to every wandering bark, That I have hoisted sail to all the winds
Whose worths unknown, although his height be taken. Which should transport me farthest from your sight.
Loves not Times fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Book both my wilfulness and errors down
Within his bending sickles compass come: And on just proof surmise accumulate;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, Bring me within the level of your frown,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. But shoot not at me in your wakend hate;
If this be error and upon me proved, Since my appeal says I did strive to prove
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. The constancy and virtue of your love.

65
Shakespeares Sonnets

118 119
Like as, to make our appetites more keen, What potions have I drunk of Siren tears,
With eager compounds we our palate urge, Distilld from limbecks foul as hell within,
As, to prevent our maladies unseen, Applying fears to hopes and hopes to fears,
We sicken to shun sickness when we purge, Still losing when I saw myself to win!
Even so, being full of your neer-cloying sweetness, What wretched errors hath my heart committed,
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding; Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never!
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted
To be diseased, ere that there was true needing. In the distraction of this madding fever!
Thus policy in love, to anticipate O benefit of ill! now I find true
The ills that were not, grew to faults assured, That better is by evil still made better;
And brought to medicine a healthful state, And ruind love, when it is built anew,
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cured: Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater.
But thence I learn, and find the lesson true, So I return rebuked to my content
Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you. And gain by ill thrice more than I have spent.

66
Shakespeares Sonnets

120 121
That you were once unkind befriends me now, Tis better to be vile than vile esteemd,
And for that sorrow which I then did feel When not to be receives reproach of being,
Needs must I under my transgression bow, And the just pleasure lost which is so deemd
Unless my nerves were brass or hammerd steel. Not by our feeling but by others seeing:
For if you were by my unkindness shaken For why should others, false adulterate eyes
As I by yours, youve passd a hell of time, Give salutation to my sportive blood?
And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,
To weigh how once I suffered in your crime. Which in their wills count bad what I think good?
O, that our night of woe might have rememberd No, I am that I am, and they that level
My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits, At my abuses reckon up their own:
And soon to you, as you to me, then tenderd I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel;
The humble slave which wounded bosoms fits! By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown;
But that your trespass now becomes a fee; Unless this general evil they maintain,
Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me. All men are bad, and in their badness reign.

67
Shakespeares Sonnets

122 123
Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change:
Full characterd with lasting memory, Thy pyramids built up with newer might
Which shall above that idle rank remain To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
Beyond all date, even to eternity; They are but dressings of a former sight.
Or at the least, so long as brain and heart Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
Have faculty by nature to subsist; What thou dost foist upon us that is old,
Till each to razed oblivion yield his part And rather make them born to our desire
Of thee, thy record never can be missd. Than think that we before have heard them told.
That poor retention could not so much hold, Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score; Not wondering at the present nor the past,
Therefore to give them from me was I bold, For thy records and what we see doth lie,
To trust those tables that receive thee more: Made more or less by thy continual haste.
To keep an adjunct to remember thee This I do vow and this shall ever be;
Were to import forgetfulness in me. I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.

68
Shakespeares Sonnets

124 125
If my dear love were but the child of state, Weret aught to me I bore the canopy,
It might for Fortunes bastard be unfatherd With my extern the outward honouring,
As subject to Times love or to Times hate, Or laid great bases for eternity,
Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gatherd. Which prove more short than waste or ruining?
No, it was builded far from accident; Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour
It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent,
Under the blow of thralled discontent, For compound sweet forgoing simple savour,
Whereto the inviting time our fashion calls: Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent?
It fears not policy, that heretic, No, let me be obsequious in thy heart,
Which works on leases of short-numberd hours, And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
But all alone stands hugely politic, Which is not mixd with seconds, knows no art,
That it nor grows with heat nor drowns with showers. But mutual render, only me for thee.
To this I witness call the fools of time, Hence, thou subornd informer! a true soul
Which die for goodness, who have lived for crime. When most impeachd stands least in thy control.

69
Shakespeares Sonnets

126 127
O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power In the old age black was not counted fair,
Dost hold Times fickle glass, his sickle hour; Or if it were, it bore not beautys name;
Who hast by waning grown, and therein showst But now is black beautys successive heir,
Thy lovers withering as thy sweet self growst; And beauty slanderd with a bastard shame:
If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack, For since each hand hath put on natures power,
As thou goest onwards, still will pluck thee back, Fairing the foul with arts false borrowd face,
She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower,
May time disgrace and wretched minutes kill. But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure! Therefore my mistress brows are raven black,
She may detain, but not still keep, her treasure: Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem
Her audit, though delayd, answerd must be, At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
And her quietus is to render thee. Slandering creation with a false esteem:
Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe,
That every tongue says beauty should look so.

70
Shakespeares Sonnets

128 129
How oft, when thou, my music, music playst, The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds Is lust in action; and till action, lust
With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently swayst Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds, Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap Enjoyd no sooner but despised straight,
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand, Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap, Past reason hated, as a swallowd bait
At the woods boldness by thee blushing stand! On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
To be so tickled, they would change their state Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
And situation with those dancing chips, Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
Oer whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait, A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Making dead wood more blest than living lips. Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this, All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss. To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

130 131
My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun; Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,
Coral is far more red than her lips red; As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; For well thou knowst to my dear doting heart
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel.
I have seen roses damaskd, red and white, Yet, in good faith, some say that thee behold
But no such roses see I in her cheeks; Thy face hath not the power to make love groan:
And in some perfumes is there more delight To say they err I dare not be so bold,
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. Although I swear it to myself alone.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know And, to be sure that is not false I swear,
That music hath a far more pleasing sound; A thousand groans, but thinking on thy face,
I grant I never saw a goddess go; One on anothers neck, do witness bear
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground: Thy black is fairest in my judgments place.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds,
As any she belied with false compare. And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

132 133
Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me, Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan
Knowing thy heart torments me with disdain, For that deep wound it gives my friend and me!
Have put on black and loving mourners be, Ist not enough to torture me alone,
Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain. But slave to slavery my sweetst friend must be?
And truly not the morning sun of heaven Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken,
Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east, And my next self thou harder hast engrossd:
Nor that full star that ushers in the even Of him, myself, and thee, I am forsaken;
Doth half that glory to the sober west, A torment thrice threefold thus to be crossd.
As those two mourning eyes become thy face: Prison my heart in thy steel bosoms ward,
O, let it then as well beseem thy heart But then my friends heart let my poor heart bail;
To mourn for me, since mourning doth thee grace, Whoeer keeps me, let my heart be his guard;
And suit thy pity like in every part. Thou canst not then use rigor in my gaol:
Then will I swear beauty herself is black And yet thou wilt; for I, being pent in thee,
And all they foul that thy complexion lack. Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

134 135
So, now I have confessd that he is thine, Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will,
And I myself am mortgaged to thy will, And Will to boot, and Will in overplus;
Myself Ill forfeit, so that other mine More than enough am I that vex thee still,
Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still: To thy sweet will making addition thus.
But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free, Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious,
For thou art covetous and he is kind; Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine?
He learnd but surety-like to write for me Shall will in others seem right gracious,
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind. And in my will no fair acceptance shine?
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take, The sea all water, yet receives rain still
Thou usurer, that putst forth all to use, And in abundance addeth to his store;
And sue a friend came debtor for my sake; So thou, being rich in Will, add to thy Will
So him I lose through my unkind abuse. One will of mine, to make thy large Will more.
Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me: Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill;
He pays the whole, and yet am I not free. Think all but one, and me in that one Will.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

136 137
If thy soul cheque thee that I come so near, Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,
Swear to thy blind soul that I was thy Will, That they behold, and see not what they see?
And will, thy soul knows, is admitted there; They know what beauty is, see where it lies,
Thus far for love my love-suit, sweet, fulfil. Yet what the best is take the worst to be.
Will will fulfil the treasure of thy love, If eyes corrupt by over-partial looks
Ay, fill it full with wills, and my will one. Be anchord in the bay where all men ride,
In things of great receipt with ease we prove Why of eyes falsehood hast thou forged hooks,
Among a number one is reckond none: Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied?
Then in the number let me pass untold, Why should my heart think that a several plot
Though in thy stores account I one must be; Which my heart knows the wide worlds common place?
For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold Or mine eyes seeing this, say this is not,
That nothing me, a something sweet to thee: To put fair truth upon so foul a face?
Make but my name thy love, and love that still, In things right true my heart and eyes have erred,
And then thou lovest me, for my name is Will. And to this false plague are they now transferrd.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

138 139
When my love swears that she is made of truth O, call not me to justify the wrong
I do believe her, though I know she lies, That thy unkindness lays upon my heart;
That she might think me some untutord youth, Wound me not with thine eye but with thy tongue;
Unlearned in the worlds false subtleties. Use power with power and slay me not by art.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young, Tell me thou lovest elsewhere, but in my sight,
Although she knows my days are past the best, Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside:
Simply I credit her false speaking tongue: What needst thou wound with cunning when thy might
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressd. Is more than my oer-pressd defense can bide?
But wherefore says she not she is unjust? Let me excuse thee: ah! my love well knows
And wherefore say not I that I am old? Her pretty looks have been mine enemies,
O, loves best habit is in seeming trust, And therefore from my face she turns my foes,
And age in love loves not to have years told: That they elsewhere might dart their injuries:
Therefore I lie with her and she with me, Yet do not so; but since I am near slain,
And in our faults by lies we flatterd be. Kill me outright with looks and rid my pain.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

140 141
Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes,
My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain; For they in thee a thousand errors note;
Lest sorrow lend me words and words express But tis my heart that loves what they despise,
The manner of my pity-wanting pain. Who in despite of view is pleased to dote;
If I might teach thee wit, better it were, Nor are mine ears with thy tongues tune delighted,
Though not to love, yet, love, to tell me so; Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone,
As testy sick men, when their deaths be near, Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited
No news but health from their physicians know; To any sensual feast with thee alone:
For if I should despair, I should grow mad, But my five wits nor my five senses can
And in my madness might speak ill of thee: Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,
Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad, Who leaves unswayd the likeness of a man,
Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be, Thy proud hearts slave and vassal wretch to be:
That I may not be so, nor thou belied, Only my plague thus far I count my gain,
Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go wide. That she that makes me sin awards me pain.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

142 143
Love is my sin and thy dear virtue hate, Lo! as a careful housewife runs to catch
Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving: One of her featherd creatures broke away,
O, but with mine compare thou thine own state, Sets down her babe and makes an swift dispatch
And thou shalt find it merits not reproving; In pursuit of the thing she would have stay,
Or, if it do, not from those lips of thine, Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,
That have profaned their scarlet ornaments Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent
And seald false bonds of love as oft as mine, To follow that which flies before her face,
Robbd others beds revenues of their rents. Not prizing her poor infants discontent;
Be it lawful I love thee, as thou lovest those So runnst thou after that which flies from thee,
Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee: Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind;
Root pity in thy heart, that when it grows But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me,
Thy pity may deserve to pitied be. And play the mothers part, kiss me, be kind:
If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide, So will I pray that thou mayst have thy Will,
By self-example mayst thou be denied! If thou turn back, and my loud crying still.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

144 145
Two loves I have of comfort and despair, Those lips that Loves own hand did make
Which like two spirits do suggest me still: Breathed forth the sound that said I hate
The better angel is a man right fair, To me that languishd for her sake;
The worser spirit a woman colourd ill. But when she saw my woeful state,
To win me soon to hell, my female evil Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Tempteth my better angel from my side, Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil, Was used in giving gentle doom,
Wooing his purity with her foul pride. And taught it thus anew to greet:
And whether that my angel be turnd end I hate she alterd with an end,
Suspect I may, but not directly tell; That followd it as gentle day
But being both from me, both to each friend, Doth follow night, who like a fiend
I guess one angel in anothers hell: From heaven to hell is flown away;
Yet this shall I neer know, but live in doubt, I hate from hate away she threw,
Till my bad angel fire my good one out. And saved my life, saying not you.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

146 147
Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth, My love is as a fever, longing still
these rebel powers that thee array, For that which longer nurseth the disease,
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth, Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay? The uncertain sickly appetite to please.
Why so large cost, having so short a lease, My reason, the physician to my love,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend? Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess, Hath left me, and I desperate now approve
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy bodys end? Desire is death, which physic did except.
Then soul, live thou upon thy servants loss, Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store; And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross; My thoughts and my discourse as madmens are,
Within be fed, without be rich no more: At random from the truth vainly expressd;
So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men, For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright,
And Death once dead, theres no more dying then. Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

148 149
O me, what eyes hath Love put in my head, Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not,
Which have no correspondence with true sight! When I against myself with thee partake?
Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled, Do I not think on thee, when I forgot
That censures falsely what they see aright? Am of myself, all tyrant, for thy sake?
If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote, Who hateth thee that I do call my friend?
What means the world to say it is not so? On whom frownst thou that I do fawn upon?
If it be not, then love doth well denote Nay, if thou lourst on me, do I not spend
Loves eye is not so true as all mens: no. Revenge upon myself with present moan?
How can it? O, how can Loves eye be true, What merit do I in myself respect,
That is so vexd with watching and with tears? That is so proud thy service to despise,
No marvel then, though I mistake my view; When all my best doth worship thy defect,
The sun itself sees not till heaven clears. Commanded by the motion of thine eyes?
O cunning Love! with tears thou keepst me blind, But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind;
Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find. Those that can see thou lovst, and I am blind.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

150 151
O, from what power hast thou this powerful might Love is too young to know what conscience is;
With insufficiency my heart to sway? Yet who knows not conscience is born of love?
To make me give the lie to my true sight, Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,
And swear that brightness doth not grace the day? Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove:
Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill, For, thou betraying me, I do betray
That in the very refuse of thy deeds My nobler part to my gross bodys treason;
There is such strength and warrantise of skill My soul doth tell my body that he may
That, in my mind, thy worst all best exceeds? Triumph in love; flesh stays no farther reason;
Who taught thee how to make me love thee more But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee
The more I hear and see just cause of hate? As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride,
O, though I love what others do abhor, He is contented thy poor drudge to be,
With others thou shouldst not abhor my state: To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.
If thy unworthiness raised love in me, No want of conscience hold it that I call
More worthy I to be belovd of thee. Her love for whose dear love I rise and fall.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

152 153
In loving thee thou knowst I am forsworn, Cupid laid by his brand, and fell asleep:
But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing, A maid of Dians this advantage found,
In act thy bed-vow broke and new faith torn, And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep
In vowing new hate after new love bearing. In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;
But why of two oaths breach do I accuse thee, Which borrowd from this holy fire of Love
When I break twenty? I am perjured most; A dateless lively heat, still to endure,
For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove
And all my honest faith in thee is lost, Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness, But at my mistress eye Loves brand new-fired,
Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy, The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;
And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness, I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,
Or made them swear against the thing they see; And thither hied, a sad distemperd guest,
For I have sworn thee fair; more perjured I, But found no cure: the bath for my help lies
To swear against the truth so foul a lie! Where Cupid got new firemy mistress eyes.

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Shakespeares Sonnets

154
The little Love-god lying once asleep
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
Whilst many nymphs that vowd chaste life to keep
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand
The fairest votary took up that fire
Which many legions of true hearts had warmd;
And so the general of hot desire
Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarmd.
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
Which from Loves fire took heat perpetual,
Growing a bath and healthful remedy
For men diseased; but I, my mistress thrall,
Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,
Loves fire heats water, water cools not love.

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