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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
    Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
    But you shall shine more bright in these contents
    Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
    815When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
    And broils root out the work of masonry,
    Nor Mars his sword, nor war's quick fire, shall burn
    The living record of your memory.
    'Gainst death, and all-oblivious enmity
    820Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
    Even in the eyes of all posterity
    That wear this world out to the ending doom.
    So till the judgment that yourself arise,
    You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.
    Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said
    Thy edge should blunter be than appetite,
    Which but today by feeding is allayed,
    Tomorrow sharpened in his former might.
    830So, love, be thou; although today thou fill
    Thy hungry eyes, even till they wink with fullness,
    Tomorrow see again, and do not kill
    The spirit of love with a perpetual dullness;
    Let this sad interim like the ocean be
    835Which parts the shore, where two contracted new
    Come daily to the banks, that when they see
    Return of love, more blessed may be the view;
    Or call it winter, which being full of care
    Makes summer's welcome thrice more wished, more rare.
    Being your slave, what should I do but tend
    Upon the hours and times of your desire?
    I have no precious time at all to spend,
    Nor services to do, till you require;
    845Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
    Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
    Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
    When you have bid your servant once adieu;
    Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
    850Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
    But like a sad slave stay and think of naught,
    Save, where you are, how happy you make those.
    So true a fool is love, that in your will,
    Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.