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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)


    That they behold and see not what they see :
    They know what beautie is, see where it lyes,
    2045Yet what the best is, take the worst to be.
    If eyes corrupt by ouer-partiall lookes,
    Be anchord in the baye where all men ride,
    Why of eyes falsehood hast thou forged hookes,
    Whereto the iudgement of my heart is tide ?
    2050Why should my heart thinke that a seuerall plot,
    Which my heart knowes the wide worlds common place?
    Or mine eyes seeing this, say this is not
    To put faire truth vpon so foule a face,
    In things right true my heart and eyes haue erred,
    2055And to this false plague are they now transferred.


    WHen my loue sweares that she is made of truth,
    I do beleeue her though I know she lyes,
    That she might thinke me some vntuterd youth,
    2060Vnlearned in the worlds false subtilties.
    Thus vainely thinking that she thinkes me young,
    Although she knowes my dayes are past the best,
    Simply I credit her false speaking tongue,
    On both sides thus is simple truth supprest :
    2065But wherefore sayes she not she is vniust ?
    And wherefore say not I that I am old?
    O loues best habit is in seeming trust,
    And age in loue, loues not t'haue yeares told.
    Therefore I lye with her, and she with me,
    2070And in our faults by lyes we flattered be.


    O Call not me to iustifie the wrong,
    That thy vnkindnesse layes vpon my heart,
    Wound me not with thine eye but with thy toung,
    2075Vse power with power, and slay me not by Art,
    Tell me thou lou'st else-where;but in my sight,
    Deare heart forbeare to glance thine eye aside,
    What needst thou wound with cunning when thy might