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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 72


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 72
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Sonnet 72



Continuing from s. 71, this sonnet explains that the beloved can defend loving the poet only by speaking falsely, by giving the poet more credit than he deserves. The beloved is urged instead to forget the poet once he is dead.

O, lest the world should task you to recite
What merit lived in me that you should love,
After my death, dear love, forget me quite,
4For you in me can nothing worthy prove;
Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,
To do more for me than mine own desert,
And hang more praise upon deceasèd I
8Than niggard truth would willingly impart.
O, lest your true love may seem false in this,
That you for love speak well of me untrue,
My name be buried where my body is
12And live no more to shame nor me nor you.
 For I am shamed by that which I bring forth,
 And so should you, to love things nothing worth.