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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 145


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 145
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Sonnet 145



In this sonnet, perhaps written when Shakespeare was very young, the poet plays with the difference between the words “I hate” and “I hate not you.” (Note that the lines of the sonnet are in tetrameter instead of pentameter.)

Those lips that Love’s own hand did make
Breathed forth the sound that said “I hate”
To me that languished for her sake;
4But when she saw my woeful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom,
8And taught it thus anew to greet:
“I hate” she altered with an end
That followed it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who, like a fiend,
12From heaven to hell is flown away.
 “I hate” from hate away she threw,
 And saved my life, saying “not you.”