Sonnets by William Shakespeare: CXXI

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff


 'Tis better to be vile than vile esteem'd, When not to be receives reproach of being; And the just pleasure lost, which is so deem'd Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing: For why should others' false adulterate eyes Give salutation to my sportive blood? Or on my frailties why are frailer spies, Which in their wills count bad what I think good? No, I am that I am, and they that level At my abuses reckon up their own: I may be straight though they themselves be bevel; By their rank thoughts, my deeds must not be shown; Unless this general evil they maintain, All men are bad and in their badness reign.