Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet XXVI.

“Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage”

LORD of my love, to whom in vassalage 
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit, 
To thee I send this written ambassage, 
To witness duty, not to show my wit: 
Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine         5
May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it, 
But that I hope some good conceit of thine 
In thy soul’s thought, all naked, will bestow it; 
Till whatsoever star that guides my moving 
Points on me graciously with fair aspect,  10
And puts apparel on my tatter’d loving, 
To show me worthy of thy sweet respect: 
  Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee; 
  Till then not show my head where thou mayst prove me. 



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