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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Take all my loves, my love; yea, take them all.
    What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?
    No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;
    All mine was thine, before thou hadst this more:
    590Then if for my love thou my love receivest,
    I cannot blame thee, for my love thou usest;
    But yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest
    By wilful taste of what thyself refusest.
    I do forgive thy robb'ry, gentle thief,
    595Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
    And yet love knows it is a greater grief
    To bear love's wrong, than hate's known injury.
    Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows,
    Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes.
    Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits,
    When I am sometime absent from thy heart,
    Thy beauty and thy years full well befits;
    For still temptation follows where thou art.
    605Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won;
    Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assailed;
    And when a woman woos, what woman's son
    Will sourly leave her till she have prevailed?
    Ay me, but yet thou mightst my seat forbear,
    610And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth,
    Who lead thee in their riot even there
    Where thou art forced to break a twofold truth:
    Hers by thy beauty tempting her to thee,
    Thine by thy beauty being false to me.
    That thou hast her it is not all my grief,
    And yet it may be said I loved her dearly;
    That she hath thee is of my wailing chief,
    A loss in love that touches me more nearly.
    620Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye:
    Thou dost love her, because thou know'st I love her,
    And for my sake even so doth she abuse me,
    Suff'ring my friend for my sake to approve her.
    If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain,
    625And losing her, my friend hath found that loss;
    Both find each other, and I lose both twain,
    And both for my sake lay on me this cross.
    But here's the joy: my friend and I are one--
    Sweet flattery--then she loves but me alone.