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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 78


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 78
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Sonnet 78



In this first of a series of three sonnets in which the poet expresses his concern that others are writing verses praising the beloved, the other poets are presented as learned and skillful and thus in no need of the beloved, in contrast to the poet speaking here.

So oft have I invoked thee for my muse
And found such fair assistance in my verse
As every alien pen hath got my use
4And under thee their poesy disperse.
Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,
Have added feathers to the learnèd’s wing
8And given grace a double majesty.
Yet be most proud of that which I compile,
Whose influence is thine and born of thee.
In others’ works thou dost but mend the style,
12And arts with thy sweet graces gracèd be.
 But thou art all my art and dost advance
 As high as learning my rude ignorance.