Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Shake-speares Sonnets (Quarto 1, 1609)
  • Editors: Hardy M. Cook, Ian Lancashire

  • Copyright Hardy M. Cook and Ian Lancashire. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editors: Hardy M. Cook, Ian Lancashire
    Peer Reviewed

    Shake-speares Sonnets (Quarto 1, 1609)


    More sharpe to me then spurring to his side,
    For that same grone doth put this in my mind,
    My greefe lies onward and my ioy behind.


    THus can my loue excuse the slow offence,
    Of my dull bearer, when from thee I speed,
    From where thou art, why shoulld I hast me thence,
    Till I returne of posting is noe need.
    755O what excuse will my poore beast then find,
    When swift extremity can seeme but slow,
    Then should I spurre though mounted on the wind,
    In winged speed no motion shall I know,
    Then can no horse with my desire keepe pace,
    760Therefore desire(of perfects loue being made)

    Shall naigh noe dull flesh in his fiery race,
    But loue, for loue, thus shall excuse my iade,
    Since from thee going, he went wilfull slow,
    Towards thee ile run, and giue him leaue to goe.


    SO am I as the rich whose blessed key,
    Can bring him to his sweet vp-locked treasure,
    The which he will not eu'ry hower suruay,
    For blunting the fine point of seldome pleasure.
    770Therefore are feasts so sollemne and so rare,
    Since sildom comming in the long yeare set,
    Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,
    Or captaine Iewells in the carconet.
    So is the time that keepes you as my chest,
    775Or as the ward-robe which the robe doth hide,
    To make some speciall instant speciall blest,
    By new vnfoulding his imprison'd pride.
    Blessed are you whose worthinesse giues skope,
    Being had to tryumph, being lackt to hope.


    WHat is your substance, whereof are you made,
    That millions of strange shaddowes on you tend?