Shakespeare's Sonnets

William Shakespeare


From fairest creatures we desire increase
When forty winters shall besiege thy brow
Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest
Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
Then let not winter's ragged hand deface
Lo! in the orient when the gracious light
Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly
Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye
For shame! deny that thou bear'st love to any
As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow'st
When I do count the clock that tells the time
O! that you were your self; but, love you are
Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck
When I consider every thing that grows
But wherefore do not you a mightier way
Who will believe my verse in time to come
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day
Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws
A woman's face with nature's own hand painted
So is it not with me as with that Muse
My glass shall not persuade me I am old
As an unperfect actor on the stage
Mine eye hath play'd the painter and hath stell'd
Let those who are in favour with their stars
Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed
How can I then return in happy plight
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts
If thou survive my well-contented day
Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day
No more be griev'd at that which thou hast done
Let me confess that we two must be twain
As a decrepit father takes delight
How can my muse want subject to invent
O! how thy worth with manners may I sing
Take all my loves, my love, yea take them all
Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits
That thou hast her it is not all my grief
When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see
If the dull substance of my flesh were thought
The other two, slight air, and purging fire
Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war
Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took
How careful was I when I took my way
Against that time, if ever that time come
How heavy do I journey on the way
Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
So am I as the rich, whose blessed key
What is your substance, whereof are you made
O! how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said
Being your slave what should I do but tend
That god forbid, that made me first your slave
If there be nothing new, but that which is
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore
Is it thy will, thy image should keep open
Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
Against my love shall be as I am now
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
Tired with all these, for restful death I cry
Ah! wherefore with infection should he live
Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn
Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth view
That thou art blam'd shall not be thy defect
No longer mourn for me when I am dead
O! lest the world should task you to recite
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
But be contented: when that fell arrest
So are you to my thoughts as food to life
Why is my verse so barren of new pride
Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear
So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse
Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid
O! how I faint when I of you do write
Or I shall live your epitaph to make
I grant thou wert not married to my Muse
I never saw that you did painting need
Who is it that says most, which can say more
My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still
Was it the proud full sail of his great verse
Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing
When thou shalt be dispos'd to set me light
Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault
Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now
Some glory in their birth, some in their skill
But do thy worst to steal thyself away
So shall I live, supposing thou art true
They that have power to hurt, and will do none
How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame
Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness
How like a winter hath my absence been
From you have I been absent in the spring
The forward violet thus did I chide
Where art thou Muse that thou forget'st so long
O truant Muse what shall be thy amends
My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seeming
Alack! what poverty my Muse brings forth
To me, fair friend, you never can be old
Let not my love be call'd idolatry
When in the chronicle of wasted time
Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
What's in the brain, that ink may character
O! never say that I was false of heart
Alas! 'tis true, I have gone here and there
O! for my sake do you with Fortune chide
Your love and pity doth the impression fill
Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind
Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you
Those lines that I before have writ do lie
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all
Like as, to make our appetite more keen
What potions have I drunk of Siren tears
That you were once unkind befriends me now
'Tis better to be vile than vile esteem'd
Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain
No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change
If my dear love were but the child of state
Were't aught to me I bore the canopy
O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power
In the old age black was not counted fair
How oft when thou, my music, music play'st
The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun
Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,
Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me
Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan
So, now I have confess'd that he is thine
Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy 'Will,
If thy soul check thee that I come so near,
Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes
When my love swears that she is made of truth
O! call not me to justify the wrong
Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press
In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes,
Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate
Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch
Two loves I have of comfort and despair
Those lips that Love's own hand did make
Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
My love is as a fever longing still
O me! what eyes hath Love put in my head
Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not
O! from what power hast thou this powerful might
Love is too young to know what conscience is,
In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn
Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep
The little Love-god lying once asleep
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