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Sonnets of William Shakespeare

XXIX

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

And look upon myself, and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featur'd like him, like one with friends possess'd,

Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope.

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state

(Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;

For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings,

That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

 

XXX

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

I summon up remembrance of things past,

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

And with old woes new wail my dear times' waste:

Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to to flow,

For precious friends hid in death's dateless night.

And weep afresh love's long-since cancell'd woe,

And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight.

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,

And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er

The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,

Which I new pay as if not paid before.

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,

All losses are restor'd, and sorrows end.

 

XXXI

Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,

Which I by lacking have supposed dead;

And there reigns love and all love's loving parts,

And all those friends which I thought buried.

How many a holy and obsequious tear

Hath dear religious love stolen from mine eye,

As interest of the dead, which now appear

But things remov'd, that hidden in thee lie!

Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,

Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,

Who all their parts of me to thee did give;

That due of many now is thine alone:

Their images I lov'd I view in thee,

And thou (all they) hast all the all of me.

 

XXXII

If thou survive my well-contented day,

When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover,

And shalt by fortune once more re-survey

These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,

Compare them with the bettering of the time;

And though they be outstripp'd by every pen,

Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,

Exceeded by the height of happier men.

O then vouchsafe me but this loving thought!

'Had my friend's muse grown with this growing age,

A dearer birth than this his love had brought,

To march in ranks of better equipage:

But since he died, and poets better prove,

Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love.'

 

XXXIII

Full many a glorious morning have I seen

Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,

Kissing with golden face the meadows green,

Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;

Anon permit the basest clouds to ride

With ugly rack on his celestial face,

And from the forlorn world his visage hide,

Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:

Even so my sun one early morn did shine

With all triumphant splendour on my brow;

But out! alack! he was but one hour mine,

The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now.

Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;

Suns of the world may stain, when heaven's sun staineth.

 

XXXIV

Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,

And make me travel forth without my cloak,

To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way,

Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?

"Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,

To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,

For no man well of such a salve can speak,

That heals the wound, and cures not the disgrace:

Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;

Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss:

The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief

To him that bears the strong offence's cross,

Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds,

And they are rich, and ransom all ill deeds.

 

XXXV

No more be griev'd at that which thou hast done:

Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud,

Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,

And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.

All men make faults, and even I in this,

Authorising thy trespass with compare,

Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,

Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are:

For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense,

(Thy adverse party is thy advocate,)

And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence:

Such civil war is in my love and hate,

That I an accessory needs must be

To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.

 

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