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

Shake-speares Sonnets (Quarto 1, 1609)


I24
YF my deare loue were but the childe of state,
It might for fortunes basterd be vnfathered,
As subiect to times loue,or to times hate,
1850Weeds among weeds,or flowers with flowers gatherd.
No it was buylded far from accident,
It suffers not in smilinge pomp,nor falls
Vnder the blow of thralled discontent,
Whereto th'inuiting time our fashion calls:
1855It feares not policy that Heriticke,
Which workes on leases of short numbred howers,
But all alone stands hugely pollitick,
That it nor growes with heat,nor drownes with showres.
To this I witnes call the foles of time,
1860Which die for goodnes,who haue liu'd for crime.
I25
VVEr't ought to me I bore the canopy,
With my extern the outward honoring,
Or layd great bases for eternity,
1865Which proues more short then wast or ruining?
Haue I not seene dwellers on forme and fauor
Lose all,and more by paying too much rent
For compound sweet;Forgoing simple sauor,
Pittifull thriuors in their gazing spent.
1870Noe,let me be obsequious in thy heart,
And take thou my oblacion,poore but free,
Which is not mixt with seconds,knows no art,
But mutuall render onely me for thee.
Hence,thou subborndInformer, a trew soule
1875When most impeacht,stands least in thy controule.
I26
O Thou my louely Boy who in thy power,
Doest hould times fickle glasse,his fickle,hower:
Who hast by wayning growne,and therein shou'st,
1880Thy louers withering,as thy sweet selfe grow'st.
If Nature(soueraine misteres ouer wrack)
As thou goest onwards still will plucke thee backe,
She keepes thee to this purpose,that her skill.
May time disgrace,and wretched mynuit kill.
1885Yet feare her O thou minnion of her pleasure,
She may detaine,but not still keepe her tresure!
Her Audite(though delayd)answer'd must be,
And her Quietus is to render thee.
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