William Shakespeare Poems

  • 151.  
    Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
    Upon thy self thy beauty's legacy? Nature's bequest gives nothing, but doth lend,
  • 152.  
    Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest
    Now is the time that face should form another; Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,
  • 153.  
    When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
    And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field, Thy youth's proud livery so gazed on now,
  • 154.  
    From fairest creatures we desire increase,
    That thereby beauty's rose might never die, But as the riper should by time decease,
  • 155.  
    That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
    For slander's mark was ever yet the fair; The ornament of beauty is suspect,
  • 156.  
    Love is my sin and thy dear virtue hate,
    Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving: O, but with mine compare thou thine own state,
  • 157.  
    Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
    But sad mortality o'er-sways their power, How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
  • 158.  
    Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds,
  • 159.  
    Like as, to make our appetites more keen,
    With eager compounds we our palate urge, As, to prevent our maladies unseen,
  • 160.  
    In the old age black was not counted fair, Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name;
  • 161.  
    Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me,
    Knowing thy heart torments me with disdain, Have put on black and loving mourners be,
  • 162.  
    When my love swears that she is made of truth
    I do believe her, though I know she lies, That she might think me some untutor'd youth,
  • 163.  
    How heavy do I journey on the way,
    When what I seek, my weary travel's end, Doth teach that ease and that repose to say
  • 164.  
    When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
    I all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
  • 165.  
    THEN hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;
    Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross, Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,
  • 166.  
    Were 't aught to me I bore the canopy,
    With my extern the outward honouring, Or laid great bases for eternity,
  • 167.  
    So is it not with me as with that muse,
    Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse, Who heaven it self for ornament doth use
  • 168.  
    When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
    The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age; When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed
  • 169.  
    That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
    For slander's mark was ever yet the fair; The ornament of beauty is suspect,
  • 170.  
    So shall I live, supposing thou art true,
    Like a deceived husband; so love's face May still seem love to me, though alter'd new;
  • 171.  
    THEY that have power to hurt and will do none,
    That do not do the thing they most do show, Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
  • 172.  
    'Tis better to be vile than vile esteem'd,
    When not to be receives reproach of being, And the just pleasure lost which is so deem'd
  • 173.  
    Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
    As to behold desert a beggar born, And needy nothing trimmed in jollity,
  • 174.  
    Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;
    Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross, Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,
  • 175.  
    Farewell! Thou art too dear for my possessing,
    And like enough thou know'st thy estimate, The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
  • 176.  
    Lo! as a careful housewife runs to catch
    One of her feather'd creatures broke away, Sets down her babe and makes an swift dispatch
  • 177.  
    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
  • 178.  
    How can my muse want subject to invent,
    While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
  • 179.  
    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
  • 180.  
    As an unperfect actor on the stage
    Who with his fear is put beside his part, Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
  • 181.  
    So am I as the rich whose blessèd key
    Can bring him to his sweet up-lockèd treasure, The which he will not every hour survey,
  • 182.  
    Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,
    And make the earth devour her own sweet brood; Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws,
  • 183.  
    Mine eye hath played the painter and hath stelled
    Thy beauty's form in table of my heart; My body is the frame wherein 'tis held,
  • 184.  
    All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances,
  • 185.  
    Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
    Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed: From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
  • 186.  
    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?
  • 187.  
    TH' expense of Spirit in a waste of shame
    Is lust in action; and till action, lust Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
  • 188.  
    The forward violet thus did I chide:
    Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells, If not from my love's breath? The purple pride
  • 189.  
    WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
    But one ten thousand of those men in England That do no work to-day!
  • 190.  
    O, how I faint when I of you do write,
    Knowing a better spirit doth use your name, And in the praise thereof spends all his might
  • 191.  
    To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
    For as you were when first your eye I eyed, Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
  • 192.  
    Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war
    How to divide the conquest of thy sight; Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would bar,
  • 193.  
    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,
  • 194.  
    Let those who are in favour with their stars
    Of public honour and proud titles boast, Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
  • 195.  
    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,
  • 196.  
    Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
    The dear repose for limbs with travel tired; But then begins a journey in my head,
  • 197.  
    For shame, deny that thou bear'st love to any
    Who for thy self art so unprovident. Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
  • 198.  
    Against that time, if ever that time come,
    When I shall see thee frown on my defects, When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
  • 199.  
    That thou hast her, it is not all my grief,
    And yet it may be said I loved her dearly; That she hath thee is of my wailing chief,
  • 200.  
    That time of year thou mayst in me behold
    When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Total 667 poems written by William Shakespeare

Poem of the day

The Shoe Tying
 by Robert Herrick

Anthea bade me tie her shoe;
I did ; and kissed the instep too:
And would have kissed unto her knee,
Had not her blush rebuked me.


Read complete poem

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