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

Shake-speares Sonnets (Quarto 1, 1609)

IS it thy wil,thy Image should keepe open
My heauy eielids to the weary night?
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
While shadowes like to thee do mocke my sight?
905Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
So farre from home into my deeds to prye,
To find out shames and idle houres in me,
The skope and tenure of thy Ielousie?
O no,thy loue though much,is not so great,
910It is my loue that keepes mine eie awake,
Mine owne true loue that doth my rest defeat,
To plaie the watch-man euer for thy sake.
For thee watch I,whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
From me farre of , with others all to neere.
SInne of selfe-loue possesseth al mine eie,
And all my soule,and al my euery part;
And for this sinne there is no remedie,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
920Me thinkes no face so gratious is as mine,
No shape so true,no truth of such account,
And for my selfe mine owne worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glasse shewes me my selfe indeed
925Beated and chopt with tand antiquitie,
Mine owne selfe loue quite contrary I read
Selfe,so selfe louing were iniquity,
T'is thee(my selfe)that for my selfe I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy daies,
AGainst my loue shall be as I am now
With times iniurious hand chrusht and ore-worne,
When houres haue dreind his blood and fild his brow
With lines and wrincles,when his youthfull morne
935Hath trauaild on to Ages steepie night,
And all those beauties whereof now he's King
Are vanishing,or vanisht out of sight,
Stealing away the treasure of his Spring.
For such a time do I now fortifie
940Against confounding Ages cruell knife,
That he shall neuer cut from memory
My sweet loues beauty,though my louers life.
His beautie shall in these blacke lines be seene,
And they shall liue , and he in them still greene.