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William Shakespeare
(1564 - 1616)


English for Fun <<< Poetry <<< Shakespeare


Sigh no More

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, Men were deceivers ever; One foot in sea, and one on shore, To one thing constant never. Then sigh not so, But let them go, And be you blith and bonny, Converting all your sounds of woe Into Hey nonny, nonny. Sing no more ditties, sing no mo Of dumps so dull and heavy; The fraud of men was ever so, Since summer first was leavy. Then sigh not so, But let them go, And be you blith and bonny, Converting all your sounds of woe Into Hey nonny, nonny.

SONNET 12

When I do count the clock that tells the time, And see the brave day sunk in hideous night; When I behold the violet past prime, And sable curls, all silver'd o'er with white; When lofty trees I see barren of leaves, Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, And summer's green all girded up in sheaves, Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard, Then of thy beauty do I question make, That thou among the wastes of time must go, Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake And die as fast as they see others grow; And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

SONNET 23

As an unperfect actor on the stage Who with his fear is put besides his part, Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage, Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart. So I, for fear of trust, forget to say The perfect ceremony of love's rite, And in mine own love's strength seem to decay, O'ercharged with burden of mine own love's might. O, let my books be then the eloquence And dumb presagers of my speaking breast, Who plead for love and look for recompense More than that tongue that more hath more express'd. O, learn to read what silent love hath writ: To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.

SONNET 25

Let those who are in favour with their stars Of public honour and proud titles boast, Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars, Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most. Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread But as the marigold at the sun's eye, And in themselves their pride lies buried, For at a frown they in their glory die. The painful warrior famoused for fight, After a thousand victories once foil'd, Is from the book of honour razed quite, And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd: Then happy I, that love and am beloved Where I may not remove nor be removed.

SONNET 29

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, Featured like him, like him with friends possessed, 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 remembered such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

SONNET 57

Being your slave, what should I do but tend Upon the hours and times of your desire? I have no precious time* at all to spend, Nor services to do, till you require. Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you, Nor think the bitterness of absence sour When you have bid your servant once adieu; Nor dare I question with my jealous thought Where you may be, or your affairs suppose, But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought Save, where you are how happy you make those. So true a fool is love that in your will, Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill.

SONNET 66

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry, As, to behold desert a beggar born, And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity, And purest faith unhappily forsworn, And guilded honour shamefully misplaced, And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted, And right perfection wrongfully disgraced, And strength by limping sway disabled, And art made tongue-tied by authority, And folly doctor-like controlling skill, And simple truth miscall'd simplicity, And captive good attending captain ill: Tired with all these, from these would I be gone, Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

SONNET 127

In the old age black was not counted fair, Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name; But now is black beauty's successive heir, And beauty slander'd with a bastard's shame: For since each hand hath put on Nature's power, Fairing the foul with Art's false borrow'd face, Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower, But is profan'd, if not lives in disgrace. Therefore my mistress' brows are raven black, Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack, Sland'ring creation with a false esteem: Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe, That every tongue says beauty should look so.

SONNET 146

Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth, [ ] these rebel powers that thee array; Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth, Painting thy outward walls so costly gay? Why so large cost, having so short a lease, Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend? Shall worms, inheritors of this excess, Eat up thy charge? is this thy body's end? Then soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss, And let that pine to aggravate thy store; Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross; Within be fed, without be rich no more: So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men, And Death once dead, there's no more dying then.

Links: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
    www.absoluteshakespeare.com
    www.shakespeare-online.com
    www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/9744/index.html




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