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Download Shakespeare's Sonnets
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workShakespeare's Sonnets
The poet tells the young man that the attacks on his reputation do not mean that he is flawed, since beauty always provokes such attacks. (This sonnet may contradict s. 69, or may simply elaborate on it.)
That thou ⌜art⌝ blamed shall not be thy defect,
For slander’s mark was ever yet the fair.
The ornament of beauty is suspect,
4A crow that flies in heaven’s sweetest air.
So thou be good, slander doth but approve
⌜Thy⌝ worth the greater, being wooed of time,
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,
8And thou present’st a pure unstainèd prime.
Thou hast passed by the ambush of young days,
Either not assailed, or victor being charged;
Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise
12To tie up envy, evermore enlarged.
If some suspect of ill masked not thy show,
Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.