Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare: Poems.  1914.

Sonnet XCV.

“How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame”

HOW sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame 
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose, 
Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name! 
O! in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose. 
That tongue that tells the story of thy days,         5
Making lascivious comments on thy sport, 
Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise; 
Naming thy name blesses an ill report. 
O! what a mansion have those vices got 
Which for their habitation chose out thee,  10
Where beauty’s veil doth cover every blot 
And all things turn to fair that eyes can see! 
  Take heed, dear heart, of this large privilege; 
  The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge. 



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