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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 119


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 119
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Sonnet 119



Filled with self-disgust at having subjected himself to so many evils in the course of his infidelity, the poet nevertheless finds an excuse in discovering that his now reconstructed love is stronger than it was before.

What potions have I drunk of siren tears
Distilled from limbecks foul as hell within,
Applying fears to hopes and hopes to fears,
4Still losing when I saw myself to win!
What wretched errors hath my heart committed,
Whilst it hath thought itself so blessèd never!
How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted
8In the distraction of this madding fever!
O, benefit of ill! Now I find true
That better is by evil still made better;
And ruined love, when it is built anew,
12Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater.
 So I return rebuked to my content,
 And gain by ills thrice more than I have spent.