Internet Shakespeare Editions

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)


    How would(I say)mine eyes be blessed made,
    640By looking on thee in the liuing day ?
    When in dead night their faire imperfect shade,
    Through heauy sleepe on sightlesse eyes doth stay?
    All dayes are nights to see till I see thee,
    And nights bright daies when dreams do shew thee me,


    IF the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
    Iniurious distance should not stop my way,
    For then dispight of space I would be brought,
    From limits farre remote, where thou doost stay,
    650No matter then although my foote did stand
    Vpon the farthest earth remoou'd from thee,
    For nimble thought can iumpe both sea and land,
    As soone as thinke the place where he would be.
    But ah, thought kills me that I am not thought
    655To leape large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
    But that so much of earth and water wrought,
    I must attend, times leasure with my mone.
    Receiuing naughts by elements so sloe,
    But heauie teares, badges of eithers woe.


    THe other two, slight ayre, and purging fire,
    Are both with thee, where euer I abide,
    The first my thought, the other my desire,
    These present absent with swift motion slide.
    665For when these quicker Elements are gone
    In tender Embassie of loue to thee,
    My life being made of foure, with two alone,
    Sinkes downe to death, opprest with melancholie.
    Vntill liues composition be recured,
    670By those swift messengers return'd from thee,
    Who euen but now come back againe assured,
    Of their faire health, recounting it to me.
    This told, I ioy, but then no longer glad,
    I send them back againe and straight grow sad.
    D 2