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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)


    To base of thee to be remembred,
    The worth of that, is that which it containes,
    And that is this, and this with thee remaines.


    SO are you to my thoughts as food to life,
    Or as sweet season'd shewers are to the ground;
    And for the peace of you I hold such strife,
    As twixt a miser and his wealth is found.
    1115Now proud as an inioyer, and anon
    Doubting the filching age will steale his treasure,
    Now counting best to be with you alone,
    Then betterd that the world may see my pleasure,
    Some-time all ful with feasting on your sight,
    1120And by and by cleane starued for a looke,
    Possessing or pursuing no delight
    Saue what is had, or must from you be tooke.
    Thus do I pine and surfet day by day,
    Or gluttoning on all, or all away,


    WHy is my verse so barren of new pride?

    So far from variation or quicke change?
    Why with the time do I not glance aside
    To new found methods, and to compounds strange?

    1130Why write I still all one, euer the same,
    And keepe inuention in a noted weed,
    That euery word doth almost fel my name,
    Shewing their birth, and where they did proceed proceed

    O know sweet loue I alwaies write of you,
    1135And you and loue are still my argument:
    So all my best is dressing old words new,
    Spending againe what is already spent:
    For as the Sun is daily new and old,
    So is my loue still telling what is told,


    THy glasse will shew thee how thy beauties were,
    Thy dyall how thy pretious mynuits waste,