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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 139


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 139
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Sonnet 139



The poet, after refusing to make excuses for the mistress’s wrongs, begs her not to flirt with others in his presence. He then excuses that wrong, only to ask her to direct her eyes against him as if they were mortal weapons.

O, call not me to justify the wrong
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart;
Wound me not with thine eye but with thy tongue;
4Use power with power, and slay me not by art.
Tell me thou lov’st elsewhere; but in my sight,
Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside.
What need’st thou wound with cunning when thy might
8Is more than my o’erpressed defense can bide?
Let me excuse thee: ah, my love well knows
Her pretty looks have been mine enemies;
And therefore from my face she turns my foes,
12That they elsewhere might dart their injuries.
 Yet do not so; but since I am near slain,
 Kill me outright with looks, and rid my pain.