Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet CXX.

“That you were once unkind befriends me now”

THAT you were once unkind befriends me now 
And for that sorrow, which I then did feel, 
Needs must I under my transgression bow, 
Unless my nerves were brass or hammer’d steel. 
For if you were by my unkindness shaken,         5
As I by yours, you ’ve pass’d a hell of time; 
And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken 
To weigh how once I suffer’d in your crime. 
O! that our night of woe might have remember’d 
My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits,  10
And soon to you, as you to me, then tender’d 
The humble salve which wounded bosoms fits! 
  But that your trespass now becomes a fee; 
  Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me. 



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