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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 26


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 26
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Sonnet 26



The poet, assuming the role of a vassal owing feudal allegiance, offers his poems as a token of duty, apologizing for their lack of literary worth. He begs his liege lord to protect this expression of his duty until fortune allows him to boast openly of his love.

Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit,
To thee I send this written embassage
4To witness duty, not to show my wit;
Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine
May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it,
But that I hope some good conceit of thine
8In thy soul’s thought, all naked, will bestow it;
Till whatsoever star that guides my moving
Points on me graciously with fair aspect,
And puts apparel on my tattered loving
12To show me worthy of thy sweet respect.
 Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee;
 Till then, not show my head where thou mayst prove me.