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Sonnets of William Shakespeare

LXXI

No longer mourn for me when I am dead

Than 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.

 

LXXII

O, lest the world should task you to recite

What merit liv'd in me, that you should love

After my death,ódear 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 sham'd by that which I bring forth,

And so should you, to love things nothing worth.

 

LXXIII

That time of year that 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 the rest.

In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,

As the death-bed whereon it must expire,

Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.

This thou perceiv'st which makes thy love more strong,

To love that well which thou must leave ere long:

 

LXXIV

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.

 

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.

 

LXXVI

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.

 

LXXVII

Thy glass shall 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 at what thy memory cannot contain,

Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find

Those children nurs'd, 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.

 

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