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About this text

  • Title: Shake-speares Sonnets (Quarto 1, 1609)
  • Editors: Hardy M. Cook, Ian Lancashire

  • Copyright Hardy M. Cook and Ian Lancashire. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editors: Hardy M. Cook, Ian Lancashire
    Peer Reviewed

    Shake-speares Sonnets (Quarto 1, 1609)


    Though in our liues a seperable spight,
    Which though it alter not loues sole effect,
    Yet doth it steale sweet houres from loues delight,
    I may not euer-more acknowledge thee,
    535Least my bewailed guilt should do thee shame,
    Nor thou with publike kindnesse honour me,
    Vnlesse thou take that honour from thy name:
    But doe not so, I loue thee in such sort,
    As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.


    AS a decrepit father takes delight,
    To see his actiue childe do deeds of youth,
    So I , made lame by Fortunes dearest spight
    Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
    545For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
    Or any of these all, or all, or more
    Intitled in their parts, do crowned sit,
    I make my loue ingrafted to this store:
    So then I am not lame, poore, nor dispis'd,
    550Whilst that this shadow doth such substance giue,
    That I in thy abundance am suffic'd,
    And by a part of all thy glory liue:
    Looke what is best, that best I wish in thee,
    This wish I haue, then ten times happy me.


    HOw can my Muse want subiect to inuent
    While thou dost breath that poor'st into my verse,
    Thine owne sweet argument, to excellent,
    For euery vulgar paper to rehearse:
    560Oh giue thy selfe the thankes if ought in me,
    Worthy perusal stand against thy sight,
    For who's so dumbe that cannot write to thee,
    When thou thy selfe dost giue inuention light?
    Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth
    565Then those old nine which rimers inuocate,
    And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth