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  • Title: The Sonnets (Modern)
  • Editor: Michael Best

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Michael Best
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Sonnets (Modern)

    40528
    How can I then return in happy plight
    That am debarred the benefit of rest?
    When day's oppression is not eased by night,
    But day by night and night by day oppressed,
    410And each, though enemies to either's reign,
    Do in consent shake hands to torture me,
    The one by toil, the other to complain
    How far I toil, still farther off from thee.
    I tell the day, to please him, thou art bright,
    415And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven;
    So flatter I the swart-complexioned night,
    When sparkling stars twire not thou gild'st the even;
    But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer,
    And night doth nightly make grief's length seem stronger.
    42029
    When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes
    I all alone beweep my outcast state,
    And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
    And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
    425Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
    Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
    Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
    With what I most enjoy contented least;
    Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
    430Haply I think on thee, and then my state137--
    Like to the lark at break of day arising
    From sullen earth--sings hymns at heaven's gate;
    For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
    That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
    43530
    When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
    I summon up remembrance of things past,
    I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
    And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste;
    440Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
    For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
    And weep afresh love's long since cancelled woe,
    And moan th'expense of many a vanished sight.
    Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
    445And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
    The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
    Which I new pay as if not paid before;
    But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
    All losses are restored, and sorrows end.