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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)



    LIke as to make our appetites more keene
    With eager compounds we our pallat vrge,
    As to preuent our malladies vnseene,
    1760We sicken to shun sicknesse when we purge.
    Euen so being full of your nere cloying sweetnesse,
    To bitter sawces did I frame my feeding;
    And sicke of wel-fare found a kind of meetnesse,
    To be diseas'd ere that there was true needing.
    1765Thus pollicie in loue t'anticipate
    The ills that were, not grew to faults assured,
    And brought to medicine a healthfull state
    Which rancke of goodnesse would by ill be cured.
    But thence I learne and find the lesson true,
    1770Drugs poyson him that so fell sicke of you.


    WHat potions haue I drunke of Syren teares
    Distil'd from Lymbecks foule as hell within,
    Applying feares to hopes, and hopes to feares,
    1775Still loosing when I saw my selfe to win?
    What wretched errors hath my heart committed,
    Whilst it hath thought it selfe so blessed neuer?

    How haue mine eies out of their Spheares bene fitted
    In the distraction of this madding feuer?
    1780O benefit of ill, now I find true
    That better is, by euil still made better.
    And ruin'd loue when it is built anew
    Growes fairer then at first, more strong, far greater.
    So I returne rebukt to my content,
    1785And gaine by ills thrise more then I haue spent.


    THat you were once vnkind be-friends mee now,
    And for that sorrow , which I then didde feele,
    Needes must I vnder my transgression bow,
    1790Vnlesse my Nerues were brasse or hammered steele.
    For if you were by my vnkindnesse shaken