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Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 70

|LXX. |

|That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect, |

|For slander's mark was ever yet the fair; |

|The ornament of beauty is suspect, |

|A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air. |

|So thou be good, slander doth but approve |

|Thy worth the greater, being woo'd of time; |

|For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love, |

|And thou present'st a pure unstained prime. |

|Thou hast pass'd by the ambush of young days, |

|Either not assail'd or victor being charged; |

|Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise, |

|To tie up envy evermore enlarged: |

| If some suspect of ill mask'd not thy show, |

| Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst |

|owe. |

|Sonnets of William Shakespeare |

|Sonnet 71 |

|LXXI. |

|No longer mourn for me when I am dead |

|Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell |

|Give warning to the world that I am fled |

|From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell: |

|Nay, if you read this line, remember not |

|The hand that writ it; for I love 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 look upon this verse |

|When I perhaps compounded am with clay, |

|Do not so much as my poor name rehearse. |

|But let your love even with my life decay, |

| Lest the wise world should look into your moan |

| And mock you with me after I am gone. |

| |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 72


|O, lest the world should task you to recite |

|What merit lived in me, that you should love |

|After my death, dear love, forget me quite, |

|For you in me can nothing worthy prove; |

|Unless you would devise some virtuous lie, |

|To do more for me than mine own desert, |

|And hang more praise upon deceased I |

|Than niggard truth would willingly impart: |

|O, lest your true love may seem false in this, |

|That you for love speak well of me untrue, |

|My name be buried where my body is, |

|And live no more to shame nor me nor you. |

| For I am shamed by that which I bring forth, |

| And so should you, to love things nothing |

|worth. |

|Sonnets of William Shakespeare |

|Sonnet 73 |


|That time of year thou mayst in me behold |

|When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang |

|Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, |

|Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. |

|In me thou seest the twilight of such day |

|As after sunset fadeth in the west, |

|Which by and by black night doth take away, |

|Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. |

|In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire |

|That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, |

|As the death-bed whereon it must expire |

|Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by. |

| This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong, |

| To love that well which thou must leave ere long. |

| |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 74


|But be contented: when that fell arrest |

|Without all bail shall carry me away, |

|My life hath in this line some interest, |

|Which for memorial still with thee shall stay. |

|When thou reviewest this, thou dost review |

|The very part was consecrate to thee: |

|The earth can have but earth, which is his due; |

|My spirit is thine, the better part of me: |

|So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life, |

|The prey of worms, my body being dead, |

|The coward conquest of a wretch's knife, |

|Too base of thee to be remembered. |

| The worth of that is that which it contains, |

| And that is this, and this with thee remains. |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 75

|LXXV. |

|So are you to my thoughts as food to life, |

|Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground; |

|And for the peace of you I hold such strife |

|As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found; |

|Now proud as an enjoyer and anon |

|Doubting the filching age will steal his |

|treasure, |

|Now counting best to be with you alone, |

|Then better'd that the world may see my pleasure;|

| |

|Sometime all full with feasting on your sight |

|And by and by clean starved for a look; |

|Possessing or pursuing no delight, |

|Save what is had or must from you be took. |

| Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day, |

| Or gluttoning on all, or all away. |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 76


|Why is my verse so barren of new pride, |

|So far from variation or quick change? |

|Why with the time do I not glance aside |

|To new-found methods and to compounds strange? |

|Why write I still all one, ever the same, |

|And keep invention in a noted weed, |

|That every word doth almost tell my name, |

|Showing their birth and where they did proceed? |

|O, know, sweet love, I always write of you, |

|And you and love are still my argument; |

|So all my best is dressing old words new, |

|Spending again what is already spent: |

| For as the sun is daily new and old, |

| So is my love still telling what is told. |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 77


|Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear, |

|Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste; |

|The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear, |

|And of this book this learning mayst thou taste. |

|The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show |

|Of mouthed graves will give thee memory; |

|Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know |

|Time's thievish progress to eternity. |

|Look, what thy memory can not contain |

|Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find|

| |

|Those children nursed, deliver'd from thy brain, |

|To take a new acquaintance of thy mind. |

| These offices, so oft as thou wilt look, |

| Shall profit thee and much enrich thy book. |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 78


|So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse |

|And found such fair assistance in my verse |

|As every alien pen hath got my use |

|And under thee their poesy disperse. |

|Thine eyes that taught the dumb on high to sing |

|And heavy ignorance aloft to fly |

|Have added feathers to the learned's wing |

|And given grace a double majesty. |

|Yet be most proud of that which I compile, |

|Whose influence is thine and born of thee: |

|In others' works thou dost but mend the style, |

|And arts with thy sweet graces graced be; |

| But thou art all my art and dost advance |

| As high as learning my rude ignorance. |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 79


|Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid, |

|My verse alone had all thy gentle grace, |

|But now my gracious numbers are decay'd |

|And my sick Muse doth give another place. |

|I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument |

|Deserves the travail of a worthier pen, |

|Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent |

|He robs thee of and pays it thee again. |

|He lends thee virtue and he stole that word |

|From thy behavior; beauty doth he give |

|And found it in thy cheek; he can afford |

|No praise to thee but what in thee doth live. |

| Then thank him not for that which he doth say, |

| Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay. |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 80

|LXXX. |

|O, how I faint when I of you do write, |

|Knowing a better spirit doth use your name, |

|And in the praise thereof spends all his might, |

|To make me tongue-tied, speaking of your fame! |

|But since your worth, wide as the ocean is, |

|The humble as the proudest sail doth bear, |

|My saucy bark inferior far to his |

|On your broad main doth wilfully appear. |

|Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat, |

|Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride; |

|Or being wreck'd, I am a worthless boat, |

|He of tall building and of goodly pride: |

| Then if he thrive and I be cast away, |

| The worst was this; my love was my decay. |

|Sonnets of William Shakespeare |

|Sonnet 81 |


|Or I shall live your epitaph to make, |

|Or you survive when I in earth am rotten; |

|From hence your memory death cannot take, |

|Although in me each part will be forgotten. |

|Your name from hence immortal life shall have, |

|Though I, once gone, to all the world must die: |

|The earth can yield me but a common grave, |

|When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie. |

|Your monument shall be my gentle verse, |

|Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read, |

|And tongues to be your being shall rehearse |

|When all the breathers of this world are dead; |

| You still shall live--such virtue hath my pen-- |

| Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men. |

| |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 82


|I grant thou wert not married to my Muse |

|And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook |

|The dedicated words which writers use |

|Of their fair subject, blessing every book |

|Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue, |

|Finding thy worth a limit past my praise, |

|And therefore art enforced to seek anew |

|Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days |

|And do so, love; yet when they have devised |

|What strained touches rhetoric can lend, |

|Thou truly fair wert truly sympathized |

|In true plain words by thy true-telling friend; |

| And their gross painting might be better used |

| Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abused. |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 83


|I never saw that you did painting need |

|And therefore to your fair no painting set; |

|I found, or thought I found, you did exceed |

|The barren tender of a poet's debt; |

|And therefore have I slept in your report, |

|That you yourself being extant well might show |

|How far a modern quill doth come too short, |

|Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow. |

|This silence for my sin you did impute, |

|Which shall be most my glory, being dumb; |

|For I impair not beauty being mute, |

|When others would give life and bring a tomb. |

| There lives more life in one of your fair eyes |

| Than both your poets can in praise devise. |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 84


|Who is it that says most? which can say more |

|Than this rich praise, that you alone are you? |

|In whose confine immured is the store |

|Which should example where your equal grew. |

|Lean penury within that pen doth dwell |

|That to his subject lends not some small glory; |

|But he that writes of you, if he can tell |

|That you are you, so dignifies his story, |

|Let him but copy what in you is writ, |

|Not making worse what nature made so clear, |

|And such a counterpart shall fame his wit, |

|Making his style admired every where. |

| You to your beauteous blessings add a curse, |

| Being fond on praise, which makes your praises |

|worse. |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 85


|My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still, |

|While comments of your praise, richly compiled, |

|Reserve their character with golden quill |

|And precious phrase by all the Muses filed. |

|I think good thoughts whilst other write good |

|words, |

|And like unletter'd clerk still cry 'Amen' |

|To every hymn that able spirit affords |

|In polish'd form of well-refined pen. |

|Hearing you praised, I say ''Tis so, 'tis true,' |

|And to the most of praise add something more; |

|But that is in my thought, whose love to you, |

|Though words come hindmost, holds his rank |

|before. |

| Then others for the breath of words respect, |

| Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect. |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 86


|Was it the proud full sail of his great verse, |

|Bound for the prize of all too precious you, |

|That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse, |

|Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew? |

|Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write |

|Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead? |

|No, neither he, nor his compeers by night |

|Giving him aid, my verse astonished. |

|He, nor that affable familiar ghost |

|Which nightly gulls him with intelligence |

|As victors of my silence cannot boast; |

|I was not sick of any fear from thence: |

| But when your countenance fill'd up his line, |

| Then lack'd I matter; that enfeebled mine. |

Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Sonnet 87


|Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing, |

|And like enough thou know'st thy estimate: |

|The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing; |

|My bonds in thee are all determinate. |

|For how do I hold thee but by thy granting? |

|And for that riches where is my deserving? |

|The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting, |

|And so my patent back again is swerving. |

|Thyself thou gavest, thy own worth then not |

|knowing, |

|Or me, to whom thou gavest it, else mistaking; |

|So thy great gift, upon misprision growing, |

|Comes home again, on better judgment making. |

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