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Download Shakespeare's Sonnets
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workShakespeare's Sonnets
In this first of three linked sonnets in which the poet has been (or imagines himself someday to be) repudiated by the beloved, the poet offers to sacrifice himself and his reputation in order to make the now-estranged beloved look better.
When thou shalt be disposed to set me light
And place my merit in the eye of scorn,
Upon thy side against myself I’ll fight
4And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn.
With mine own weakness being best acquainted,
Upon thy part I can set down a story
Of faults concealed wherein I am attainted,
8That thou, in losing me, shall win much glory;
And I by this will be a gainer too;
For bending all my loving thoughts on thee,
The injuries that to myself I do,
12Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me.
Such is my love, to thee I so belong,
That, for thy right, myself will bear all wrong.