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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)

    MIne eye and heart are at a mortall warre,
    How to deuide the conquest of thy sight,
    Mine eye, my heart their pictures sight would barre,
    My heart, mine eye the freeedome of that right,
    680My heart doth plead that thou in him doost lye,
    (A closet neuer pearst with christall eyes)
    But the defendant doth that plea deny,
    And sayes in him their faire appearance lyes.
    To side this title is impannelled
    685A quest of thoughts, all tennants to the heart,
    And by their verdict is determined
    The cleere eyes moyitie, and the deare hearts part.
    As thus, mine eyes due is their outward part,
    And my hearts right, their inward loue of heart.
    BEtwixt mine eye and heart a league is tooke,
    And each doth good turnes now vnto the other,
    When that mine eye is famisht for a looke,
    Or heart in loue with sighes himselfe doth smother;
    695With my loues picture then my eye doth feast,
    And to the painted banquet bids my heart:
    An other time mine eye is my hearts guest,
    And in his thoughts of loue doth share a part.
    So either by thy picture or my loue,
    700Thy selfe away, are present still with me,
    For thou nor farther then my thoughts canst moue,
    And I am still with them, and they with thee.
    Or if they sleepe, thy picture in my sight
    Awakes my heart, to hearts and eyes delight.
    HOw carefull was I when I tooke my way,
    Each trifle vnder truest barres to thrust,
    That to my vse it might vn-vsed stay
    From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust ?
    710But thou, to whom my iewels trifles are,
    Most worthy comfort, now my greatest griefe,
    Thou best of deerest, and mine onely care,
    Art left the prey of euery vulgar theefe.
    Thee haue I not lockt vp in any chest,
    715Saue where thou art not, though I feele thou art,
    Within the gentle closure of my brest,
    From whence at pleasure thou maist come and part,
    And euen thence thou wilt be stolne I feare,
    For truth prooues theeuish for a prize so deare.