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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)

    IS it thy wil, thy Image should keepe open
    My heauy eielids to the weary night?
    Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
    While shadowes like to thee do mocke my sight?
    905Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
    So farre from home into my deeds to prye,
    To find out shames and idle houres in me,
    The skope and tenure of thy Ielousie?
    O no, thy loue though much, is not so great,
    910It is my loue that keepes mine eie awake,
    Mine owne true loue that doth my rest defeat,
    To plaie the watch-man euer for thy sake.
    For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
    From me farre of , with others all to neere.
    SInne of selfe-loue possesseth al mine eie,
    And all my soule, and al my euery part;
    And for this sinne there is no remedie,
    It is so grounded inward in my heart.
    920Me thinkes no face so gratious is as mine,
    No shape so true, no truth of such account,
    And for my selfe mine owne worth do define,
    As I all other in all worths surmount.
    But when my glasse shewes me my selfe indeed
    925Beated and chopt with tand antiquitie,
    Mine owne selfe loue quite contrary I read
    Selfe, so selfe louing were iniquity,
    T'is thee(my selfe)that for my selfe I praise,
    Painting my age with beauty of thy daies,
    AGainst my loue shall be as I am now
    With times iniurious hand chrusht and ore-worne,
    When houres haue dreind his blood and fild his brow
    With lines and wrincles, when his youthfull morne
    935Hath trauaild on to Ages steepie night,
    And all those beauties whereof now he's King
    Are vanishing, or vanisht out of sight,
    Stealing away the treasure of his Spring.
    For such a time do I now fortifie
    940Against confounding Ages cruell knife,
    That he shall neuer cut from memory
    My sweet loues beauty, though my louers life.
    His beautie shall in these blacke lines be seene,
    And they shall liue , and he in them still greene.