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)

    MY glasse shall not perswade me I am ould,
    So long as youth and thou are of one date,
    But when in thee times forrwes I behould,
    Then look I death my daies should expiate.
    320For all that beauty that doth couer thee,
    Is but the seemely rayment of my heart,
    Which in thy brest doth liue, as thine in me,
    How can I then be elder then thou art?
    O therefore loue be of thy selfe so wary,
    325As I not for my selfe, but for thee will,
    Bearing thy heart which I will keepe so chary
    As tender nurse her babe from faring ill,
    Presume not on thy heart when mine is slaine,
    Thou gau'st me thine not to giue backe againe.
    AS an vnperfect actor on the stage,
    Who with his feare is put besides his part,
    Or some fierce thing repleat with too much rage,
    Whose strengths abondance weakens his owne heart;
    335So I for feare of trust, forget to say,
    The perfect ceremony of loues right,
    And in mine owne loues strength seeme to decay,
    Ore-charg'd with burthen of mine owne loues might:
    O let my books be then the eloquence,
    340And domb presagers of my speaking brest,
    Who pleade for loue, and look for recompence,
    More then that tonge that more hath more exprest.
    O learne to read what silent loue hath writ,
    To heare wit eies belongs to loues fine wiht.
    MIne eye hath play'd the painter and hath steeld,
    Thy beauties forme in table of my heart,
    My body is the frame wherein ti's held,
    And perspectiue it is best Painters art.
    350For through the Painter must you see his skill,
    To finde where your true Image pictur'd lies,
    Which in my bosomes shop is hanging stil,
    That hath his windowes glazed with thine eyes:
    Now see what good-turnes eyes for eies haue done,
    355Mine eyes haue drawne thy shape, and thine for me
    Are windowes to my brest, where-through the Sun
    Delights to peepe, to gaze therein on thee
    Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art
    They draw but what they see, know not the hart.