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Author: William Shakespeare
Editors: Hardy M. Cook, Ian Lancashire
Peer Reviewed

Shake-speares Sonnets (Quarto 1, 1609)


SONNETS.

For thy neglect of truth in beauty di'd?
Both truth and beauty on my loue depends:
1505So dost thou too,and therein dignifi'd:
Make answere Muse,wilt thou not haply saie,
Truth needs no collour with his collour fixt,
Beautie no pensell,beauties truth to lay:
But best is best,if neuer intermixt.
1510Because he needs no praise,wilt thou be dumb?
Excuse not silence so,for't lies in thee,
To make him much out-liue a gilded tombe:
And to be praisd of ages yet to be.
Then do thy office Muse,I teach thee how,
1515To make him seeme long hence,as he showes now.

I02

MY loue is strengthned though more weake in see-ming
I loue not lesse,thogh lesse the show appeare,

That loue is marchandiz'd,whose ritch esteeming,
1520The owners tongue doth publish euery where.
Our loue was new,and then but in the spring,
When I was wont to greet it with my laies,
As Philomell in summers front doth singe,
And stops his pipe in growth of riper daies:
1525Not that the summer is lesse pleasant now
Then when her mournefull himns did hush the night,
But that wild musick burthens euery bow,
And sweets growne common loose their deare delight.
Therefore like her,I some-time hold my tongue:
1530Because I would not dull you with my songe.

I03

ALack what pouerty my Muse brings forth,
That hauing such a skope to show her pride,
The argument all bare is of more worth
1535Then when it hath my added praise beside.
Oh blame me not if I no more can write!
Looke in your glasse and there appeares a face,
That ouer-goes my blunt inuention quite,
Dulling my lines,and doing me disgrace.
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