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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)

    O That you were your selfe, but loue you are
    No longer yours, then you your selfe here liue,
    Against this cumming end you should prepare,
    And your sweet semblance to some other giue.
    185So should that beauty which you hold in lease
    Find no determination, then you were
    You selfe again after your selfes decease,
    When your sweet issue your sweet forme should beare.
    Who lets so faire a house fall to decay,
    190Which husbandry in honour might vphold,
    Against the stormy gusts of winters day
    And barren rage of deaths eternall cold?
    O none but vnthrifts, deare my loue you know,
    You had a Father, let your Son say so.
    NOt from the stars do I my iudgement plucke,
    And yet me thinkes I haue Astronomy,
    But not to tell of good, or euil lucke,
    Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons quallity,
    200Nor can I fortune to breefe mynuits tell;
    Pointing to each his thunder, raine and winde,
    Or say with Princes if it shal go wel
    By oft predict that I in heauen finde.
    But from thine eies my knowledge I deriue,
    205And constant stars in them I read such art
    As truth and beautie shal together thriue
    If from thy selfe, to store thou wouldst conuert:
    Or else of thee this I prognosticate,
    Thy end is Truthes and Beauties doome and date.
    WHen I consider euery thing that growes
    Holds in perfection but a little moment.
    That this huge stage presenteth nought but showes
    Whereon the Stars in secret influence comment.
    215When I perceiue that men as plants increase,
    Cheared and checkt euen by the selfe-same skie:
    Vaunt in their youthfull sap, at height decrease,
    And were their braue state out of memory.
    Then the conceit of this inconstant stay,
    220Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
    Where wastfull time debateth with decay
    To change your day of youth to sullied night,
    And all in war with Time for loue of you
    As he takes from you, I ingraft you new.