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)


    The vacant leaues thy mindes imprint will beare,
    And of this booke, this learning maist thou taste.
    1145The wrinckles which thy glasse will truly show,
    Of mouthed graues will giue thee memorie,
    Thou by thy dyals shady stealth maist know,
    Times theeuish progresse to eternitie.
    Looke what thy memorie cannot containe,
    1150Commit to these waste blacks, and thou shalt finde
    Those children nurst, deliuerd from thy braine,
    To take a new acquaintance of thy minde.
    These offices, so oft as thou wilt looke,
    Shall profit thee, and much inrich thy booke.


    SO oft haue I inuok'd thee for my Muse,
    And found such faire assistance in my verse,
    As euery Alien pen hath got my vse,
    And vnder thee their poesie disperse.
    1160Thine eyes, that taught the dumbe on high to sing,
    And heauie ignorance aloft to flie,
    Haue added fethers to the learneds wing,
    And giuen grace a double Maiestie.
    Yet be most proud of that which I compile,
    1165Whose influence is thine, and borne of thee,
    In others workes thou doost but mend the stile,
    And Arts with thy sweete graces graced be.
    But thou art all my art, and doost aduance
    As high as learning, my rude ignorance.


    WHilst I alone did call vpon thy ayde,
    My verse alone had all thy gentle grace,
    But now my gracious numbers are decayde,
    And my sick Muse doth giue an other place.
    1175I grant ( sweet loue )thy louely argument
    Deserues the trauaile of a worthier pen,
    Yet what of thee thy Poet doth inuent,
    He robs thee of, and payes it thee againe,