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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)


    1685Seemes seeing, but effectually is out:
    For it no forme deliuers to the heart
    Of bird, of flowre, or shape which it doth lack,
    Of his quick obiects hath the minde no part,
    Nor his owne vision houlds what it doth catch:
    1690For if it see the rud'st or gentlest sight,
    The most sweet-fauor or deformedst creature,
    The mountaine, or the sea, the day, or night:
    The Croe, or Doue, it shapes them to your feature.
    Incapable of more repleat, with you,
    1695My most true minde thus maketh mine vntrue.


    OR whether doth my minde being crown'd with you
    Drinke vp the monarks plague this flattery ?
    Or whether shall I say mine eie saith true,
    1700And that your loue taught it this Alcumie?

    To make of monsters, and things indigest,
    Such cherubines as your sweet selfe resemble,
    Creating euery bad a perfect best
    As fast as obiects to his beames assemble:
    1705Oh tis the first, tis flatry in my seeing,
    And my great minde most kingly drinkes it vp,
    Mine eie well knowes what with his gust is greeing,
    And to his pallat doth prepare the cup.
    If it be poison'd, tis the lesser sinne,
    1710That mine eye loues it and doth first beginne.


    THose lines that I before haue writ doe lie,
    Euen those that said I could not loue you deerer,
    Yet then my iudgement knew no reason why,
    1715My most full flame should afterwards burne cleerer.
    But reckening time, whose milliond accidents
    Creepe in twixt vowes, and change decrees of Kings,
    Tan sacred beautie, blunt the sharp'st intents,
    Diuert strong mindes to th'course of altring things:
    1720Alas why fearing of times tiranie,