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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)

    AGainst that time ( if euer that time come )
    When I shall see thee frowne on my defects,
    When as thy loue hath cast his vtmost summe,
    Cauld to that audite by aduis'd respects,
    725Against that time when thou shalt strangely passe,
    And scarcely greete me with that sunne thine eye,
    When loue conuerted from the thing it was
    Shall reasons finde of setled grauitie.
    Against that time do I insconce me here
    730Within the knowledge of mine owne desart,
    And this my hand, against my selfe vpreare,
    To guard the lawfull reasons on thy part,
    To leaue poore me, thou hast the strength of lawes,
    Since why to loue, I can alledge no cause.
    HOw heauie doe I iourney on the way,
    When what I seeke (my wearie trauels end)
    Doth teach that ease and that repose to say
    Thus farre the miles are measurde from thy friend.
    740The beast that beares me, tired with my woe,
    Plods duly on, to beare that waight in me,
    As if by some instinct the wretch did know
    His rider lou'd not speed being made from thee:
    The bloody spurre cannot prouoke him on,
    745That some-times anger thrusts into his hide,
    Which heauily he answers with a grone,
    More sharpe to me then spurring to his side,
    For that same grone doth put this in my mind,
    My greefe lies onward and my ioy behind.
    THus can my loue excuse the slow offence,
    Of my dull bearer, when from thee I speed,
    From where thou art, why shoulld I hast me thence,
    Till I returne of posting is noe need.
    755O what excuse will my poore beast then find,
    When swift extremity can seeme but slow,
    Then should I spurre though mounted on the wind,
    In winged speed no motion shall I know,
    Then can no horse with my desire keepe pace,
    760Therefore desire(of perfects loue being made)
    Shall naigh noe dull flesh in his fiery race,
    But loue, for loue, thus shall excuse my iade,
    Since from thee going, he went wilfull slow,
    Towards thee ile run, and giue him leaue to goe.