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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)


    Selfe, so selfe louing were iniquity,
    T'is thee(my selfe)that for my selfe I praise,
    Painting my age with beauty of thy daies,


    AGainst my loue shall be as I am now
    With times iniurious hand chrusht and ore-worne,
    When houres haue dreind his blood and fild his brow
    With lines and wrincles, when his youthfull morne
    935Hath trauaild on to Ages steepie night,
    And all those beauties whereof now he's King
    Are vanishing, or vanisht out of sight,
    Stealing away the treasure of his Spring.
    For such a time do I now fortifie
    940Against confounding Ages cruell knife,
    That he shall neuer cut from memory
    My sweet loues beauty, though my louers life.
    His beautie shall in these blacke lines be seene,
    And they shall liue , and he in them still greene.


    WHen I haue seene by times fell hand defaced
    The rich proud cost of outworne buried age,
    When sometime loftie towers I see downe rased,
    And brasse eternall slaue to mortall rage.
    950When I haue seene the hungry Ocean gaine
    Aduantage on the Kingdome of the shoare,
    And the firme soile win of the watry maine,
    Increasing store with losse, and losse with store.
    When I haue seene such interchange of state,
    955Or state it selfe confounded, to decay,
    Ruine hath taught me thus to ruminate
    That Time will come and take my loue away.
    This thought is as a death which cannot choose
    But weepe to haue, that which it feares to loose.


    SInce brasse, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundlesse sea,
    But sad mortallity ore-swaies their power,
    E 2