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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,
    And make me travel forth without my cloak,
    To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way,
    Hiding thy brav'ry in their rotten smoke?
    500'Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,
    To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
    For no man well of such a salve can speak
    That heals the wound, and cures not the disgrace;
    Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;
    505Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss;
    Th'offender's sorrow lends but weak relief
    To him that bears the strong offence's cross.
    Ah, but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds,
    And they are rich, and ransom all ill deeds.
    No more be grieved at that which thou hast done.
    Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;
    Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
    And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
    515All men make faults, and even I in this,
    Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
    Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,
    Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are:
    For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense;
    520Thy adverse party is thy advocate,
    And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence:
    Such civil war is in my love and hate
    That I an accessory needs must be
    To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.
    Let me confess that we two must be twain,
    Although our undivided loves are one;
    So shall those blots that do with me remain,
    Without thy help, by me be borne alone.
    530In our two loves there is but one respect,
    Though in our lives a separable spite;
    Which, though it alter not love's sole effect,
    Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight.
    I may not evermore acknowledge thee,
    535Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame,
    Nor thou with public kindness honor me,
    Unless thou take that honor from thy name:
    But do not so; I love thee in such sort,
    As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.