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English dramatist and poet
(1564 - 1616)
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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.
      - Sonnet LXXVI [Words]

Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy:
  Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly,
    Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy?
      - Sonnet VIII [Joy]

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
  Some in their wealth, some in their body's force,
    Some in their garments, though newfangled ill,
      Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
        And every humor hath his adjunct pleasure,
          Wherein it finds a joy above the rest,
            But these particulars are not my measure;
              All these I better in one general best.
      - Sonnet XCI [Glory]

The summer's flow'r is to the summer sweet,
  Though to itself it only live and die'
    But if that flow'r with base infection meet,
      The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
        For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
          Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.
      - Sonnet XCIV [Frailty : Weeds]

O, what a mansion have those vices got
  Which for their habitation chose out thee,
    Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot
      And all things turns to fair that eyes can see!
      - Sonnet XCV [Vice]

How like a winter hath my absence been
  From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
    What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
      What old December's bareness everywhere!
      - Sonnet XCVII [Absence]

From you have I been absent in the spring,
  When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
    Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
      That heavy Saturn laughed and leapt with him;
        Yet nor the lays of birds, not the sweet smell
          Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
            Could make me any summer's story tell,
              Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
                Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
                  Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
                    They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
                      Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
                        Yet seemed it winter still, and you away,
                          As with your shadow I with these did play.
      - Sonnet XCVIII [April]

Yet do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,
  My love shall in my verse ever live young.
      - Sonnet XIX [Time]

All days are nights to see till I see thee,
  And nights bright days when dreams do show thee to me.
      - Sonnet XLIII [Absence]

When I consider everything that grows
  Holds in perfection but a little moment,
    That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
      Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
        When I perceive that men as plants increase,
          Cheered and checked even by the selfsame sky,
            Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
              And wear their brave state out of memory:
                Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
                  Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
                    Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay
                      To change your day of youth to sullied night;
                        And, all in war with Time for love of you,
                          As he takes from you, I ingraft you new.
      - Sonnet XV [Creation]

If I could write the beauty of your eyes
  And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
    The age to come would say, 'This poet lies--
      Such heavenly touches ne'er touched earthly faces.'
      - Sonnet XVII [Eyes]

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
  And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
      - Sonnet XVIII [May]

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
  Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
    Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
      And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
        Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
          And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
            And every fair from fair sometime declines,
              By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed:
                But thy eternal summer shall not fade
                  Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
                    Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade
                      When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
                        So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
                          So ling lives this, and this gives life to thee.
      - Sonnet XVIII [Summer]

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 expressed.
      - Sonnet XXIII [Books]

The painful warrior famoused for fight,
  After a thousand victories once foiled,
    Is from the book of honor rased quite,
      And all the rest forgot for which he toiled.
      - Sonnet XXV [Soldiers]

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 splendor on my brow;
                    But, out alack, he was but one hour mine,
                      The region cloud hath masked him from me now.
                        Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
                          Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.
      - Sonnet XXXIII [Sun]

O, how thy worth with manners may I sing
  When thou art all the better part of me?
    What can mine own praise to mine own self bring,
      And what is't but mine own when I praise thee?
      - Sonnet XXXIX [Worth]

Loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
      - Sonnet XXXV [Proverbs]

No more be grieved 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,
          Authorizing 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 accessary needs must be
                          To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.
      - Sonnet XXXV [Faults]

Kindness in woman, not their beauteous looks, shall win my love.
      - Taming of the Shrew [Women]

A league from Epidamnum had we sailed
  Before the always wind-obeying deep
    Gave any tragic instance of our harm.
      - The Comedy of Errors (Egeon at I, i)

Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall,
  And by the doom of death end woes and all.
      - The Comedy of Errors (Egeon at I, i)
        [Books (First Lines)]

There had she not been long but she became
  A joyful mother of two goodly sons;
    And, which strange, the one so like the other
      As could not be distinguished but by names.
      - The Comedy of Errors (Egeon at I, i)

A wretched soul, bruised with adversity,
  We bid be quiet when we hear it cry.
    But were we burd'ned with like weight of pain,
      As much or more we should ourselves complain:
        So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
          With urging helpless patience wouldst relieve me;
            But if thou live to see like right bereft,
              This fool-begged patience in thee will be left.
      - The Comedy of Errors (Adriana at I, ii)

He that commends me to mine own content,
  Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
      - The Comedy of Errors
         (Antipholus of Syracuse at I, ii)

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