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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)

    HOw can I then returne in happy plight
    That am debard the benifit of rest?
    When daies oppression is not eazd by night,
    But day by night and night by day oprest.
    410And each(though enimes to ethers raigne)
    Doe in consent shake hands to torture me,
    The one by toyle, the other to complaine
    How far I toyle, still farther off from thee.
    I tell the Day to please him thou art bright,
    415And do'st him grace when clouds doe blot the heauen:
    So flatter I the swart complexiond night,
    When sparkling stars twire not thou guil'st th' eauen.
    But day doth daily draw my sorrowes longer,
    And night doth nightly make greefes length seeme stronger
    WHen in disgrace with Fortune and mens eyes,
    I all alone beweepe my out-cast state,
    And trouble deafe heauen with my bootlesse cries,
    And looke vpon my selfe and curse my fate.
    425Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
    Featur'd like him, like him with friends possest,
    Desiring this mans art, and that mans skope,
    With what I most inioy contented least,
    Yet in these thoughts my selfe almost despising,
    430Haplye I thinke on thee, and then my state,
    (Like to the Larke at breake of daye arising)
    From sullen earth sings himns at Heauens gate,
    For thy sweet loue remembred such welth brings,
    That then I skorne to change my state with Kings.
    WHen to the Sessions of sweet silent thought,
    I sommon vp remembrance of things past,
    I sigh the lacke of many a thing I sought,
    And with old woes new waile my deare times waste:
    440Then can I drowne an eye(vn-vs'd to flow)
    For precious friends hid in deaths dateles night,
    And weepe a fresh loues long since canceld woe,
    And mone th'expence of many a vannisht sight.
    Then can I greeue at greeuances fore-gon,
    445And heauily from woe to woe tell ore
    The sad account of fore-bemoned mone,
    Which I new pay, as if not payd before.
    But if the while I thinke on thee (deare friend)
    All losses are restord, and sorrowes end.