Category: shakespeare sonnets

Sonnet CXV

Those lines that I before have writ do lie,

Even those that said I could not love you dearer.

Yet then my judgement knew no reason why

My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer.

But reckoning Time, whose millioned accidents,

Creep in ‘twixt vows and change decrees of kings,

Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp’st intents,

Divert strong minds to th’ course of alt’ring things.

Alas, why, fearing of Time’s tyranny,

Might I not then say, “Now I love you best,”

When I was certain o’er incertainty,

Crowning the present, doubting of the rest ?

Love is a babe ; then might I not say so,

To give full growth to that which still doth grow.

Sonnet CXIV

Or whether doth my mind, being crowned with you,

Drink up the monarch’s plague, this flattery ?

Or whether shall I say mine eye saith true,

And that your love taught it this alchemy,

To make of monsters, and things indigest,

Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble,

Creating every bad a perfect best

As fast as objects to his beams assemble ?

O, ‘tis the first, ‘tis flatt’ry in my seeing,

And my great mind most kingly drinks it up.

Mine eye well knows what with his gust is ‘greeing,

And to his palate doth prepare the cup.

If it be poisoned, ‘tis the lesser sin

That mine eye loves it and doth first begin.

Sonnet CXIII

Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind,

And that which governs me to go about

Doth part his function and is partly blind,

Seems seeing, but effectually is out ;

For it no form delivers to the heart

Of bird, of flow’r, or shape, which it doth latch.

Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,

Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch ;

For if it see the rud’st or gentlest sight,

The most sweet favor or deformed’st creature,

The mountain, or the sea, the day, or night,

The crow, or dove, it shapes them to your feature.

Incapable of more, replete with you,

My most true mind thus maketh mine eye untrue.

Sonnet CXII

Your love and pity doth th’ impression fill,

Which vulgar scandal stamped upon my brow ;

For what care I who calls me well or ill,

So you o’er-green my bad, my good allow ?

You are my all the world, and I must strive

To know my shames and praises from your tongue ;

None else to me, nor I to none alive,

That my steeled sense or changes right or wrong.

in so profound abysm I throw all care

Of other;s voices, that my adder’s sense

To critic and to flatter stopped are.

Mark how with my neglect I do dispense :

You are so strongly in my purpose bred,

That all the world beside methinks are dead.

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Sonnet CXI

O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide,

The guilty goddess of my harmful deed,

That did not better for my life provide

Than public means which public manners breeds.

Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,

And almost thence my nature is subdued

To what it works in, like the dyer’s hand.

Pity me then, and wish I were renewed,

Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink

Potions of eisel ‘gainst my strong infection ;

No bitterness that I will bitter think,

Nor double penance, to correct correction.

Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye

Even that your pity is enough to cure me.

Sonnet CX

Alas, ‘tis true I have gone here and there

And made myself a motley to the view,

Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,

Made old offenses of affections new.

Most true it is that I have looked on truth

Askance and strangely ; but, by all above,

These blenches gave my heart another youth,

And worse essays proved thee my best of love. 

Now all is done, have what shall have no end.

Mine appetite I never more will grind

On newer proof, to try an older friend,

A god in love, to whom I am confined.

Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,

Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.

Sonnet CIX

O, never say that I was false of heart,

Though absence seemed my flame to qualify.

As easy might I from myself depart,

As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie.

That is my home of love ; if I have ranged,

Like him that travels, I return again,

Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,

So that myself bring water for my stain.

Never believe, though in my nature reigned

All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,

That it could so preposterously be stained

To leave for nothing all thy sum of good ;

For nothing this wide universe I call

Save thou, my Rose ; In it thou art my all.

Sonnet CVIII

What’s in the brain that ink may character

Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit ?

What’s new to speak, what now to register,

That may express my love or thy dear merit ?

Nothing, sweet boy, but yet, like prayers divine,

I must each day say o’er the very same ;

Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,

Even as when first I hallowed thy fair name.

So that eternal love in love’s fresh case

Weighs not the dust and injury of age,

Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place,

But makes antiquity for aye his page,

Finding the first conceit of love there bred

Where time and outward form would show it dead.

Sonnet CVII

Not mine own fears nor the prophetic soul

Of the wide world dreaming on things to come

Can yet the lease of my true love control,

Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom.

The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured,

And the sad augurs mock their own presage,

Incertainties now crown themselves assured,

And peace proclaims olives of endless age.

Now with the drops of this most balmy time

My love looks fresh, and Death to me subscribes,

Since, spite of him, I’ll live in this poor rhyme,

While he insults o’er dull and speechless tribes :

And thou in this shalt find thy monument,

When tyrant’s crests and tombs of brass are spent.