Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 79
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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In this sonnet, which follows directly from s. 78, the poet laments the fact that another poet has taken his place. He urges the beloved to recognize that all of the beauty, grace, and virtue found in the rival’s praise is taken from the beloved, so that the rival deserves no thanks.
Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,
My verse alone had all thy gentle grace;
But now my gracious numbers are decayed,
4And my sick muse doth give another place.
I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument
Deserves the travail of a worthier pen;
Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent
8He robs thee of and pays it thee again.
He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word
From thy behavior; beauty doth he give
And found it in thy cheek. He can afford
12No praise to thee but what in thee doth live.
Then thank him not for that which he doth say,
Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay.