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)



    THey that haue powre to hurt, and will doe none,
    That doe not do the thing, they most do showe,
    Who mouing others, are themselues as stone,
    Vnmooued, could, and to temptation slow:
    1400They rightly do inherrit heauens graces,
    And husband natures ritches from expence,
    They are the Lords and owners of their faces,
    Others, but stewards of their excellence:
    The sommers flowre is to the sommer sweet,
    1405Though to it selfe, it onely liue and die,
    But if that flowre with base infection meete,
    The basest weed out-braues his dignity:
    For sweetest things turne sowrest by their deedes,
    Lillies that fester, smell far worse then weeds.


    HOw sweet and louely dost thou make the shame,
    Which like a canker in the fragrant Rose,
    Doth spot the beautie of thy budding name?
    Oh in what sweets doest thou thy sinnes inclose!
    1415That tongue that tells the story of thy daies,
    (Making lasciuious comments on thy sport)
    Cannot dispraise, but in a kinde of praise,
    Naming thy name, blesses an ill report.
    Oh what a mansion haue those vices got,
    1420Which for their habitation chose out thee,
    Where beauties vaile doth couer euery blot,
    And all things turnes to faire, that eies can see!
    Take heed(deare heart)of this large priuiledge,
    The hardest knife ill vs'd doth loose his edge.


    SOme say thy fault is youth, some wantonesse,
    Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport,
    Both grace and faults are lou'd of more and lesse:
    Thou makst faults graces, that to thee resort:
    1430As on the finger of a throned Queene,