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Download Shakespeare's Sonnets
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workShakespeare's Sonnets
This sonnet continues from s. 82, but the poet has learned to his dismay that his plain speaking (and/or his silence) has offended the beloved. He argues that no words can match the beloved’s beauty.
I never saw that you did painting need
And therefore to your fair no painting set.
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed
4The barren tender of a poet’s debt.
And therefore have I slept in your report,
That you yourself, being extant, well might show
How far a modern quill doth come too short,
8Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow.
This silence for my sin you did impute,
Which shall be most my glory, being dumb,
For I impair not beauty, being mute,
12When others would give life and bring a tomb.
There lives more life in one of your fair eyes
Than both your poets can in praise devise.