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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)

    THat thou are blam'd shall not be thy defect,
    For slanders marke was euer yet the faire,
    The ornament of beauty is suspect,
    A Crow that flies in heauens sweetest ayre.
    1040So thou be good, slander doth but approue,
    Their worth the greater beeing woo'd of time,
    For Canker vice the sweetest buds doth loue,
    And thou present'st a pure vnstayined prime.
    Thou hast past by the ambush of young daies,
    1045Either not assayld, or victor beeing charg'd,
    Yet this thy praise cannot be soe thy praise,
    To tye vp enuy, euermore inlarged,
    If some suspect of ill maskt not thy show,
    Then thou alone kingdomes of hearts shouldst owe.
    NOe Longer mourne for me when I am dead,
    Then you shall heare the surly sullen bell
    Giue warning to the world that I am fled
    From this vile world with vildest wormes to dwell:
    1055Nay if you read this line, remember not,
    The hand that writ it, for I loue you so,
    That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
    If thinking on me then should make you woe.
    O if(I say)you looke vpon this verse,
    1060When I (perhaps) compounded am with clay,
    Do not so much as my poore name reherse;
    But let your loue euen with my life decay.
    Least the wise world should looke into your mone,
    And mocke you with me after I am gon.
    O Least the world should taske you to recite,
    What merit liu'd in me that you should loue
    After my death(deare loue)for get me quite,
    For you in me can nothing worthy proue.
    1070Vnlesse you would deuise some vertuous lye,
    To doe more for me then mine owne desert,
    And hang more praise vpon deceased I,
    Then nigard truth would willingly impart:
    O least your true loue may seeme falce in this,
    1075That you for loue speake well of me vntrue,
    My name be buried where my body is,
    And liue no more to shame nor me, nor you.
    For I am shamd by that which I bring forth,
    And so should you, to loue things nothing worth.