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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)

    DEuouring time blunt thou the Lyons pawes,
    And make the earth deuoure her owne sweet brood,
    Plucke the keene teeth from the fierce Tygers yawes,
    And burne the long liu'd Phænix in her blood,
    275Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet'st,
    And do what ere thou wilt swift-footed time
    To the wide world and all her fading sweets:
    But I forbid thee one most hainous crime,
    O carue not with thy howers my loues faire brow,
    280Nor draw noe lines there with thine antique pen,
    Him in thy course vntainted doe allow,
    For beauties patterne to succeding men.
    Yet doe thy worst ould Time dispight thy wrong,
    My loue shall in my verse euer liue young.
    A Womans face with natures owne hand painted,
    Haste thou the Master Mistris of my passion,
    A womans gentle hart but not acquainted
    With shifting change as is false womens fashion,
    290An eye more bright then theirs, lesse false in rowling:
    Gilding the obiect where-vpon it gazeth,
    A man in hew all Hews in his controwling,
    Which steales mens eyes and womens soules amaseth.
    And for a woman wert thou first created,
    295Till nature as she wrought thee fell a dotinge,
    And by addition me of thee defeated,
    By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
    But since she prickt thee out for womens pleasure,
    Mine be thy loue and thy loues vse their treasure.
    SO is it not with me as with that Muse,
    Stird by a painted beauty to his verse,
    Who heauen it selfe for ornament doth vse,
    And euery faire with his faire doth reherse,
    305Making a coopelment of proud compare
    With Sunne and Moone, with earth and seas rich gems:
    With Aprills first borne flowers and all things rare,
    That heauens ayre in this huge rondure hems,
    O let me true in loue but truly write,
    310And then beleeue me, my loue is as faire,
    As any mothers childe, though not so bright
    As those gould candells fixt in heauens ayer:
    Let them say more that like of heare-say well,
    I will not prayse that purpose not to sell.