Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Sonnets (Modern)
  • Editor: Michael Best

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Michael Best
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Sonnets (Modern)

    O me! What eyes hath love put in my head,
    Which have no correspondence with true sight?
    Or if they have, where is my judgment fled,
    2210That censures falsely what they see aright?
    If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote,
    What means the world to say it is not so?
    If it be not, then love doth well denote,
    Love's eye is not so true as all men's no,
    2215How can it? O how can love's eye be true,
    That is so vexed with watching and with tears?
    No marvel then though I mistake my view:
    The sun itself sees not, till heaven clears.
    O cunning love, with tears thou keep'st me blind,
    2220 Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.
    Canst thou, O cruel, say I love thee not,
    When I against myself with thee partake?
    Do I not think on thee, when I forgot
    2225Am of myself--all, tyrant, for thy sake?
    Who hateth thee, that I do call my friend?
    On whom frown'st thou, that I do fawn upon?
    Nay, if thou lour'st on me, do I not spend
    Revenge upon myself with present moan?
    2230What merit do I in myself respect
    That is so proud thy service to despise,
    When all my best doth worship thy defect,
    Commanded by the motion of thine eyes?
    But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind:
    2235 Those that can see thou lov'st, and I am blind.
    O from what power hast thou this powerful might,
    With insufficiency my heart to sway,
    To make me give the lie to my true sight,
    2240And swear that brightness doth not grace the day?
    Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill,
    That in the very refuse of thy deeds
    There is such strength and warrantise of skill
    That in my mind thy worst all best exceeds?
    2245Who taught thee how to make me love thee more,
    The more I hear and see just cause of hate?
    Oh, though I love what others do abhor,
    With others thou shouldst not abhor my state.
    If thy unworthiness raised love in me,
    2250 More worthy I to be beloved of thee.