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)

    IN the ould age blacke was not counted faire,
    Or if it weare it bore not beauties name:
    But now is blacke beauties successiue heire,
    1895And Beautie slanderd with a bastard shame,
    For since each hand hath put on Natures power,
    Fairing the foule with Arts faulse borrow'd face,
    Sweet beauty hath no name no holy boure,
    But is prophan'd, if not liues in disgrace.
    1900Therefore my Mistersse eyes are Rauen blacke,
    Her eyes so suted, and they mourners seeme,
    At such who not borne faire no beauty lack,
    Slandring Creation with a false esteeme,
    Yet so they mourne becomming of their woe,
    1905That euery toung saies beauty should looke so.
    HOw oft when thou my musike musike playst,
    Vpon that blessed wood whose motion sounds
    With thy sweet fingers when thou gently swayst,
    1910The wiry concord that mine eare confounds,
    Do I enuie those Iackes that nimble leape,
    To kisse the tender inward of thy hand,
    Whilst my poore lips which should that haruest reape,
    At the woods bouldnes by thee blushing stand.
    1915To be so tikled they would change their state,
    And situation with those dancing chips,
    Ore whome their fingers walke with gentle gate,
    Making dead wood more blest then liuing lips,
    Since sausie Iackes so happy are in this,
    1920Giue them their fingers, me thy lips to kisse.
    TH'expence of Spirit in a waste of shame
    Is lust in action, and till action , lust
    Is periurd, murdrous, blouddy full of blame,
    1925Sauage, extreame, rude, cruell, not to trust,
    Inioyd no sooner but dispised straight,
    Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
    Past reason hated as a swollowed bayt,
    On purpose layd to make the taker mad.
    1930Made In pursut and in possession so,
    Had, hauing, and in quest, to haue extreame,
    A blisse in proofe and proud and very wo,
    Before a ioy proposd behind a dreame,
    All this the world well knowes yet none knowes well,
    1935 To shun the heauen that leads men to this hell.