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)



    THat God forbid , that made me first your slaue,
    I should in thought controule your times of pleasure,
    Or at your hand th' account of houres to craue,
    Being your vassail bound to staie your leisure.
    860Oh let me suffer(being at your beck)
    Th' imprison'd absence of your libertie,
    And patience tame, to sufferance bide each check,
    Without accusing you of iniury.
    Be where you list, your charter is so strong,
    865That you your selfe may priuiledge your time
    To what you will, to you it doth belong,
    Your selfe to pardon of selfe-doing crime.
    I am to waite, though waiting so be hell,
    Not blame your pleasure be it ill or well.


    IF their bee nothing new, but that which is,
    Hath beene before , how are our braines beguild,
    Which laboring for inuention beare amisse
    The second burthen of a former child ?
    875Oh that record could with a back-ward looke,
    Euen of fiue hundreth courses of the Sunne,
    Show me your image in some antique booke,
    Since minde at first in carrecter was done.
    That I might see what the old world could say,
    880To this composed wonder of your frame,
    Whether we are mended, or where better they,
    Or whether reuolution be the same.
    Oh sure I am the wits of former daies,
    To subiects worse haue giuen admiring praise.


    LIke as the waues make towards the pibled shore,
    So do our minuites hasten to their end,
    Each changing place with that which goes before,
    In sequent toile all forwards do contend.
    890Natiuity once in the maine of light.