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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)



    WHen in the Chronicle of wasted time,
    I see discriptions of the fairest wights,
    And beautie making beautifull old rime,
    1580In praise of Ladies dead, and louely Knights,
    Then in the blazon of sweet beauties best,
    Of hand, of foote, of lip, of eye, of brow,
    I see their antique Pen would haue exprest,
    Euen such a beauty as you maister now.
    1585So all their praises are but prophesies
    Of this our time, all you prefiguring,
    And for they look'd but with deuining eyes,
    They had not still enough your worth to sing :
    For we which now behold these present dayes,
    1590Haue eyes to wonder, but lack toungs to praise.


    NOt mine owne feares, nor the prophetick soule,
    Of the wide world, dreaming on things to come,
    Can yet the lease of my true loue controule,
    1595Supposde as forfeit to a confin'd doome.
    The mortall Moone hath her eclipse indur'de,
    And the sad Augurs mock their owne presage,
    Incertenties now crowne them-selues assur'de,
    And peace proclaimes Oliues of endlesse age,
    1600Now with the drops of this most balmie time,
    My loue lookes fresh, and death to me subscribes,
    Since spight of him Ile liue in this poore rime,
    While he insults ore dull and speachlesse tribes.
    And thou in this shalt finde thy monument,
    1605When tyrants crests and tombs of brasse are spent.


    WHat's in the braine that Inck may character ,
    Which hath not figur'd to thee my true spirit,
    What's new to speake, what now to register,
    1610That may expresse my loue, or thy deare merit ?
    Nothing sweet boy, but yet like prayers diuine,
    I must
    G 3