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Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Here you will find the text of each Shakespeare sonnet and an analysis and paraphrase of selected sonnets. The sonnets that currently do have commentary are marked with an asterisk (*).

Sonnet 1*From fairest creatures we desire increase
Sonnet 2*When forty winters shall beseige thy brow
Sonnet 3*Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest
Sonnet 4*Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
Sonnet 5*Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
Sonnet 6*Then let not winter’s ragged hand deface
Sonnet 7*Lo! in the orient when the gracious light
Sonnet 8*Music to hear, why hear’st thou music sadly?
Sonnet 9*Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye
Sonnet 10*For shame! deny that thou bear’st love to any,
Sonnet 11*As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou growest
Sonnet 12*When I do count the clock that tells the time,
Sonnet 13O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are
Sonnet 14*Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck
Sonnet 15*When I consider every thing that grows
Sonnet 16But wherefore do not you a mightier way
Sonnet 17Who will believe my verse in time to come,
Sonnet 18*Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Sonnet 19*Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws
Sonnet 20*A woman’s face with Nature’s own hand painted
Sonnet 21So is it not with me as with that Muse
Sonnet 22My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
Sonnet 23As an unperfect actor on the stage
Sonnet 24Mine eye hath play’d the painter and hath stell’d
Sonnet 25Let those who are in favour with their stars
Sonnet 26Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
Sonnet 27Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
Sonnet 28How can I then return in happy plight,
Sonnet 29*When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
Sonnet 30*When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
Sonnet 31Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
Sonnet 32If thou survive my well-contented day,
Sonnet 33*Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Sonnet 34Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,
Sonnet 35*No more be grieved at that which thou hast done
Sonnet 36Let me confess that we two must be twain,
Sonnet 37As a decrepit father takes delight
Sonnet 38How can my Muse want subject to invent,
Sonnet 39*O, how thy worth with manners may I sing
Sonnet 40Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all;
Sonnet 41Those petty wrongs that liberty commits,
Sonnet 42That thou hast her, it is not all my grief,
Sonnet 43When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
Sonnet 44*If the dull substance of my flesh were thought
Sonnet 45The other two, slight air and purging fire,
Sonnet 46*Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war
Sonnet 47*Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took
Sonnet 48How careful was I, when I took my way,
Sonnet 49Against that time, if ever that time come,
Sonnet 50How heavy do I journey on the way,
Sonnet 51Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Sonnet 52So am I as the rich, whose blessed key
Sonnet 53What is your substance, whereof are you made,
Sonnet 54O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
Sonnet 55*Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Sonnet 56*Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said
Sonnet 57*Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Sonnet 58*That god forbid that made me first your slave
Sonnet 59*If there be nothing new, but that which is
Sonnet 60Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
Sonnet 61*Is it thy will thy image should keep open
Sonnet 62Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
Sonnet 63Against my love shall be, as I am now,
Sonnet 64When I have seen by Time’s fell hand defaced
Sonnet 65*Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
Sonnet 66Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
Sonnet 67Ah! wherefore with infection should he live,
Sonnet 68Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn,
Sonnet 69Those parts of thee that the world’s eye doth view
Sonnet 70That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
Sonnet 71*No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Sonnet 72O, lest the world should task you to recite
Sonnet 73*That time of year thou mayst in me behold
Sonnet 74But be contented: when that fell arrest
Sonnet 75*So are you to my thoughts as food to life
Sonnet 76Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
Sonnet 77Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Sonnet 78So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse
Sonnet 79Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,
Sonnet 80*O, how I faint when I of you do write
Sonnet 81Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
Sonnet 82I grant thou wert not married to my Muse
Sonnet 83I never saw that you did painting need
Sonnet 84Who is it that says most? which can say more
Sonnet 85My tongue -tied Muse in manners holds her still,
Sonnet 86Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,
Sonnet 87Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
Sonnet 88When thou shalt be disposed to set me light,
Sonnet 89Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,
Sonnet 90Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;
Sonnet 91Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Sonnet 92But do thy worst to steal thyself away,
Sonnet 93So shall I live, supposing thou art true,
Sonnet 94They that have power to hurt and will do none,
Sonnet 95How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame
Sonnet 96Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness;
Sonnet 97How like a winter hath my absence been
Sonnet 98From you have I been absent in the spring,
Sonnet 99*The forward violet thus did I chide
Sonnet 100Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget’st so long
Sonnet 101O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
Sonnet 102My love is strengthen’d, though more weak in seeming;
Sonnet 103Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth,
Sonnet 104*To me, fair friend, you never can be old
Sonnet 105Let not my love be call’d idolatry,
Sonnet 106When in the chronicle of wasted time
Sonnet 107Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
Sonnet 108What’s in the brain that ink may character
Sonnet 109*O, never say that I was false of heart
Sonnet 110Alas, ’tis true I have gone here and there
Sonnet 111O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
Sonnet 112Your love and pity doth the impression fill
Sonnet 113Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind;
Sonnet 114Or whether doth my mind, being crown’d with you,
Sonnet 115Those lines that I before have writ do lie,
Sonnet 116*Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Sonnet 117Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all
Sonnet 118Like as, to make our appetites more keen,
Sonnet 119What potions have I drunk of Siren tears,
Sonnet 120That you were once unkind befriends me now,
Sonnet 121‘Tis better to be vile than vile esteem’d,
Sonnet 122Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain
Sonnet 123No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change:
Sonnet 124If my dear love were but the child of state,
Sonnet 125Were ‘t aught to me I bore the canopy,
Sonnet 126O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power
Sonnet 127if it were, it bore not beauty’s name;
Sonnet 128oft, when thou, my music, music play’st,
Sonnet 129The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Sonnet 130*My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun
Sonnet 131Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,
Sonnet 132Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me,
Sonnet 133Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan
Sonnet 134So, now I have confess’d that he is thine,
Sonnet 135Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy ‘Will,’
Sonnet 136If thy soul cheque thee that I come so near,
Sonnet 137Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,
Sonnet 138*When my love swears that she is made of truth
Sonnet 139*O, call not me to justify the wrong
Sonnet 140*Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press
Sonnet 141*In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes
Sonnet 142*Love is my sin and thy dear virtue hate
Sonnet 143*Lo! as a careful housewife runs to catch
Sonnet 144*Two loves I have of comfort and despair
Sonnet 145*Those lips that Love’s own hand did make
Sonnet 146Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
Sonnet 147*My love is as a fever, longing still
Sonnet 148O me, what eyes hath Love put in my head,
Sonnet 149Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not,
Sonnet 150O, from what power hast thou this powerful might
Sonnet 151Love is too young to know what conscience is;
Sonnet 152In loving thee thou know’st I am forsworn,
Sonnet 153Cupid laid by his brand, and fell asleep:
Sonnet 154The little Love-god lying once asleep