SONNET 10

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For shame deny that thou bear’st love to any,
Who for thyself art so unprovident.
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
But that thou none lovest is most evident;
For thou art so possess’d with murderous hate
That ‘gainst thyself thou stick’st not to conspire.
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
O, change thy thought, that I may change my mind!
Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?
Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind,
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove:
Make thee another self, for love of me,
That beauty still may live in thine or thee.

Notes

For shame (1): “For shame!”.

unprovident (2): lacking foresight.

Grant, if thou wilt (3): Granted, if you will.

thou stick’st not (6): you hesitate not.

that beauteous roof (7): (1) your body; (2) the house (family) to which you belong.

O, change…mind! (9): O, change your intentions (never to marry) so that I may change my opinion of you.

another self (13): a child.

in thine or thee (14): in your children or you. This is not the most powerful way to end the sonnet – with ‘thee’ – as the poet has built up the argument in the last nine sonnets that beauty will not live on in his friend (in ‘thee’) unless he has a child.