Internet Shakespeare Editions

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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Thy bosom is endearèd with all hearts
    Which I, by lacking, have supposèd dead;
    And there reigns love, and all love's loving parts,
    And all those friends which I thought burièd.
    455How many a holy and obsequious tear
    Hath dear religious love stolen from mine eye,
    As interest of the dead, which now appear
    But things removed that hidden in thee lie.
    Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
    460Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
    Who all their parts of me to thee did give;
    That due of many, now is thine alone.
    Their images I loved, I view in thee,
    And thou, all they, hast all the all of me.
    If thou survive my well-contented day,
    When that churl death my bones with dust shall cover,
    And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
    These poor rude lines of thy deceasèd lover:
    470Compare them with the bett'ring of the time,
    And though they be outstripped by every pen,
    Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
    Exceeded by the height of happier men.
    Oh, then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
    475"Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing age,
    A dearer birth than this his love had brought,
    To march in ranks of better equipage;
    But since he died and poets better prove,
    Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love."
    Full many a glorious morning have I seen
    Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye--
    Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
    Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy--
    485Anon permit the basest clouds to ride,
    With ugly rack on his celestial face,
    And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
    Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
    Even so my sun one early morn did shine
    490With all triumphant splendor on my brow;
    But out alack, he was but one hour mine,
    The region cloud hath masked him from me now.
    Yet him for this, my love no whit disdaineth:
    Suns of the world may stain, when heaven's sun staineth.