Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet IX.

“Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye”

IS it for fear to wet a widow’s eye 
That thou consum’st thyself in single life? 
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die, 
The world will wail thee, like a makeless wife; 
The world will be thy widow, and still weep         5
That thou no form of thee hast left behind, 
When every private widow well may keep 
By children’s eyes her husband’s shape in mind. 
Look! what an unthrift in the world doth spend 
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;  10
But beauty’s waste hath in the world an end, 
And kept unus’d, the user so destroys it. 
  No love toward others in that bosom sits 
  That on himself such murderous shame commits. 



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