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)

    WHere art thou Muse that thou forgetst so long,
    To speake of that which giues thee all thy might?
    Spendst thou thy furie on some worthlesse songe,
    1490Darkning thy powre to lend base subiects light.
    Returne forgetfull Muse, and straight redeeme,
    In gentle numbers time so idely spent,
    Sing to the eare that doth thy laies esteeme,
    And giues thy pen both skill and argument.
    1495Rise resty Muse, my loues sweet face suruay,
    If time haue any wrincle grauen there,
    If any, be a Satire to decay,
    And make times spoiles dispised euery where.
    Giue my loue fame faster then time wasts life,
    1500So thou preuenst his sieth, and crooked knife.
    OH truant Muse what shalbe thy amends,
    For thy neglect of truth in beauty di'd?
    Both truth and beauty on my loue depends:
    1505So dost thou too, and therein dignifi'd:
    Make answere Muse, wilt thou not haply saie,
    Truth needs no collour with his collour fixt,
    Beautie no pensell, beauties truth to lay:
    But best is best, if neuer intermixt.
    1510Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?
    Excuse not silence so, for't lies in thee,
    To make him much out-liue a gilded tombe:
    And to be praisd of ages yet to be.
    Then do thy office Muse, I teach thee how,
    1515To make him seeme long hence, as he showes now.
    MY loue is strengthned though more weake in see-ming
    I loue not lesse, thogh lesse the show appeare,
    That loue is marchandiz'd, whose ritch esteeming,
    1520The owners tongue doth publish euery where.
    Our loue was new, and then but in the spring,
    When I was wont to greet it with my laies,
    As Philomell in summers front doth singe,
    And stops his pipe in growth of riper daies:
    1525Not that the summer is lesse pleasant now
    Then when her mournefull himns did hush the night,
    But that wild musick burthens euery bow,
    And sweets growne common loose their deare delight.
    Therefore like her, I some-time hold my tongue:
    1530Because I would not dull you with my songe.