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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 120
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workShakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 120
In this fourth sonnet about his unkindness to the beloved, the poet comforts himself with the memory of the time the beloved was unkind to him.
That you were once unkind befriends me now,
And for that sorrow which I then did feel
Needs must I under my transgression bow,
4Unless my nerves were brass or hammered steel.
For if you were by my unkindness shaken
As I by yours, you’ve passed a hell of time,
And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken
8To weigh how once I suffered in your crime.
O, that our night of woe might have remembered
My deepest sense how hard true sorrow hits,
And soon to you as you to me then tendered
12The humble salve which wounded bosoms fits!
But that your trespass now becomes a fee;
Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me.