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 basest Iewell wil be well esteem'd:
    So are those errors that in thee are seene,
    To truths translated, and for true things deem'd.
    How many Lambs might the sterne Wolfe betray,
    1435If like a Lambe he could his lookes translate.
    How many gazers mighst thou lead away,
    If thou wouldst vse the strength of all thy state?
    But doe not so, I loue thee in such sort,
    As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.


    HOw like a Winter hath my absence beene
    From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting yeare?
    What freezings haue I felt, what darke daies seene?

    What old Decembers barenesse euery where?
    1445And yet this time remou'd was sommers time,
    The teeming Autumne big with ritch increase,
    Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime,
    Like widdowed wombes after their Lords decease:
    Yet this aboundant issue seem'd to me,
    1450But hope of Orphans, and vn-fathered fruite,
    For Sommer and his pleasures waite on thee,
    And thou away, the very birds are mute.
    Or if they sing, tis with so dull a cheere,
    That leaues looke pale, dreading the Winters neere.


    FRom you haue I beene absent in the spring,
    When proud pide Aprill (drest in all his trim)
    Hath put a spirit of youth in euery thing:
    That heauie Saturne laught and leapt with him.
    1460Yet nor the laies of birds, nor the sweet smell
    Of different flowers in odor and in hew,
    Could make me any summers story tell:
    Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
    Nor did I wonder at the Lillies white,
    1465Nor praise the deepe vermillion in the Rose,
    They weare but sweet, but figures of delight: