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)

    SO am I as the rich whose blessed key,
    Can bring him to his sweet vp-locked treasure,
    The which he will not eu'ry hower suruay,
    For blunting the fine point of seldome pleasure.
    770Therefore are feasts so sollemne and so rare,
    Since sildom comming in the long yeare set,
    Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,
    Or captaine Iewells in the carconet.
    So is the time that keepes you as my chest,
    775Or as the ward-robe which the robe doth hide,
    To make some speciall instant speciall blest,
    By new vnfoulding his imprison'd pride.
    Blessed are you whose worthinesse giues skope,
    Being had to tryumph, being lackt to hope.
    WHat is your substance, whereof are you made,
    That millions of strange shaddowes on you tend?
    Since euery one, hath euery one, one shade,
    And you but one, can euery shaddow lend:
    785Describe Adonis and the counterfet,
    Is poorely immitated after you,
    On Hellens cheeke all art of beautie set,
    And you in Grecian tires are painted new:
    Speake of the spring, and foyzon of the yeare,
    790The one doth shaddow of your beautie show,
    The other as your bountie doth appeare,
    And you in euery blessed shape we know.
    In all externall grace you haue some part,
    But you like none, none you for constant heart.
    OH how much more doth beautie beautious seeme,
    By that sweet ornament which truth doth giue,
    The Rose lookes faire, but fairer we it deeme
    For that sweet odor, which doth in it liue:
    800The Canker bloomes haue full as deepe a die,
    As the perfumed tincture of the Roses,
    Hang on such thornes, and play as wantonly,
    When sommers breath their masked buds discloses:
    But for their virtue only is their show,
    805They liue vnwoo'd, and vnrespected fade,
    Die to themselues . Sweet Roses doe not so,
    Of their sweet deathes, are sweetest odors made:
    And so of you, beautious and louely youth,
    When that shall vade, by verse distils your truth.