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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)

    BVt wherefore do not you a mightier waie
    Make warre vppon this bloudie tirant time?
    And fortifie your selfe in your decay
    With meanes more blessed then my barren rime?
    230Now stand you on the top of happie houres,
    And many maiden gardens yet vnset,
    With vertuous wish would beare your liuing flowers,
    Much liker then your painted counterfeit:
    So should the lines of life that life repaire
    235Which this (Times pensel or my pupill pen )
    Neither in inward worth nor outward faire
    Can make you liue your selfe in eies of men,
    To giue away your selfe, keeps your selfe still,
    And you must liue drawne by your owne sweet skill,
    WHo will beleeue my verse in time to come
    If it were fild with your most high deserts?
    Though yet heauen knowes it is but as a tombe
    Which hides your life , and shewes not halfe your parts:
    245If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
    And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
    The age to come would say this Poet lies,
    Such heauenly touches nere toucht earthly faces.
    So should my papers (yellowed with their age)
    250Be scorn'd, like old men of lesse truth then tongue,
    And your true rights be termd a Poets rage,
    And stretched miter of an Antique song.
    But were some childe of yours aliue that time,
    You should liue twise in it, and in my rime.
    SHall I compare thee to a Summers day?
    Thou art more louely and more temperate:
    Rough windes do shake the darling buds of Maie,
    And Sommers lease hath all too short a date:
    260Sometime too hot the eye of heauen shines,
    And often is his gold complexion dimm'd,
    And euery faire from faire some-time declines,
    By chance, or natures changing course vntrim'd:
    But thy eternall Sommer shall not fade,
    265Nor loose possession of that faire thou ow'st,
    Nor shall death brag thou wandr'st in his shade,
    When in eternall lines to time thou grow'st,
    So long as men can breath or eyes can see,
    So long liues this, and this giues life to thee,