Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 32
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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The poet imagines his poems being read and judged by his beloved after the poet’s death, and he asks that the poems, though not as excellent as those written by later writers, be kept and enjoyed because of the love expressed in them.
If thou survive my well-contented day
When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover,
And shalt by fortune once more resurvey
4These poor rude lines of thy deceasèd lover,
Compare them with the bett’ring of the time,
And though they be outstripped by every pen,
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
8Exceeded by the height of happier men.
O, then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
“Had my friend’s muse grown with this growing age,
A dearer birth than this his love had brought
12To march in ranks of better equipage.
But since he died and poets better prove,
Theirs for their style I’ll read, his for his love.”