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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 118


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 118
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Sonnet 118



In this second sonnet of self-accusation, the poet uses analogies of eating and of purging to excuse his infidelities.

Like as to make our appetites more keen
With eager compounds we our palate urge;
As to prevent our maladies unseen
4We sicken to shun sickness when we purge;
Even so, being full of your ne’er-cloying sweetness,
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding;
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness
8To be diseased ere that there was true needing.
Thus policy in love, t’ anticipate
The ills that were not, grew to faults assured,
And brought to medicine a healthful state
12Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cured.
 But thence I learn, and find the lesson true:
 Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you.