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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)


    Within be fed, without be rich no more,
    So shalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men,
    2190And death once dead, ther's no more dying then.


    MY loue is as a feauer longing still,
    For that which longer nurseth the disease,
    Feeding on that which doth preserue the ill,
    2195Th'vncertaine sicklie appetite to please:
    My reason the Phisition to my loue,
    Angry that his prescriptions are not kept
    Hath left me, and I desperate now approoue,
    Desire is death, which Phisick did except.
    2200Past cure I am, now Reason is past care,
    And frantick madde with euer-more vnrest,
    My thoughts and my discourse as mad mens are,
    At randon from the truth vainely exprest.
    For I haue sworne thee faire, and thought thee bright,
    2205Who art as black as hell, as darke as night.


    O Me ! what eyes hath loue put in my head,
    Which haue no correspondence with true sight,
    Or if they haue, where is my iudgment fled,
    2210That censures falsely what they see aright ?
    If that be faire whereon my false eyes dote,
    What meanes the world to say it is not so ?
    If it be not, then loue doth well denote,
    Loues eye is not so true as all mens:no,
    2215How can it ? O how can loues eye be true,
    That is so vext with watching and with teares?

    No maruaile then though I mistake my view,
    The sunne it selfe sees not, till heauen cleeres.
    O cunning loue, with teares thou keepst me blinde,
    2220Least eyes well seeing thy foule faults should finde.


    CAnst thou O cruell, say I loue thee not,
    When I against my selfe with thee pertake :