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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Let those who are in favor with their stars
    Of public honor and proud titles boast,
    Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
    Unlooked for joy in that I honor most.
    365Great princes' favorites their fair leaves spread
    But as the marigold at the sun's eye,
    And in themselves their pride lies buried,
    For at a frown they in their glory die.
    The painful warrior famousèd for worth,
    370After a thousand victories once foiled,
    Is from the book of honor razèd quite,
    And all the rest forgot for which he toiled:
    Then happy I, that love and am beloved
    Where I may not remove, nor be removed.
    Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
    Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit:
    To thee I send this written embassage
    To witness duty, not to show my wit;
    380Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine
    May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it;
    But that I hope some good conceit of thine
    In thy soul's thought, all naked, will bestow it.
    Till whatsoever star that guides my moving
    385Points on me graciously with fair aspect,
    And puts apparel on my tattered loving,
    To show me worthy of thy sweet respect:
    Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee;
    Till then, not show my head where thou mayst prove me.
    Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
    The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
    But then begins a journey in my head
    To work my mind, when body's work's expired;
    395For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
    Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
    And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
    Looking on darkness which the blind do see;
    Save that my soul's imaginary sight
    400Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
    Which like a jewel, hung in ghastly night,
    Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.
    Lo, thus by day my limbs, by night my mind,
    For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.