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

Shake-speares Sonnets (Quarto 1, 1609)


VVHen thou shalt be dispode to set me light,
And place my merrit in the eie of skorne,
Vpon thy side,against my selfe ile fight,
And proue thee virtuous,though thou art forsworne:
1310With mine owne weakenesse being best acquainted,
Vpon thy part I can set downe a story
Of faults conceald,wherein I am attainted:
That thou in loosing me shall win much glory:
And I by this wil be a gainer too,
1315For bending all my louing thoughts on thee,
The iniuries that to my selfe I doe,
Doing thee vantage,duble vantage me.
Such is my loue,to thee I so belong,
That for thy right,my selfe will beare all wrong.
SAy that thou didst forsake mee for some falt,
And I will comment vpon that offence,
Speake of my lamenesse, and I straight will halt:
Against thy reasons making no defence.
1325Thou canst not(loue)disgrace me halfe so ill,
To set a forme vpon desired change,
As ile my selfe disgrace,knowing thy wil,
I will acquaintance strangle and looke strange:
Be absent from thy walkes and in my tongue,
1330Thy sweet beloued name no more shall dwell,
Least I (too much prophane) should do it wronge:
And haplie of our old acquaintance tell.
For thee,against my selfe ile vow debate,
For I must nere loue him whom thou dost hate.
THen hate me when thou wilt, if euer,now,
Now while the world is bent my deeds to crosse,
Ioyne with the spight of fortune,make me bow,
And doe not drop in for an after losse:
1340Ah doe not,when my heart hath scapte this sorrow,
Come in the rereward of a conquerd woe,
Giue not a windy night a rainie morrow,
To linger out a purposd ouer-throw.
If thou wilt leaue me, do not leaue me last,
1345When other pettie griefes haue done their spight,
But in the onset come,so stall I taste
At first the very worst of fortunes might.
And other straines of woe, which now seeme woe,
Compar'd with losse of thee,will not seeme so.