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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 21
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workShakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 21
The poet contrasts himself with poets who compare those they love to such rarities as the sun, the stars, or April flowers. His poetry will, he writes, show his beloved as a beautiful mortal instead of using the exaggerated terms of an advertisement.
So is it not with me as with that muse
Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse,
Who heaven itself for ornament doth use
4And every fair with his fair doth rehearse,
Making a couplement of proud compare
With sun and moon, with earth and sea’s rich gems,
With April’s firstborn flowers and all things rare
8That heaven’s air in this huge rondure hems.
O, let me, true in love, but truly write,
And then believe me, my love is as fair
As any mother’s child, though not so bright
12As those gold candles fixed in heaven’s air.
Let them say more that like of hearsay well;
I will not praise that purpose not to sell.