Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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


“How can my Muse want subject to invent”

HOW can my Muse want subject to invent 
While thou dost breathe, that pour’st into my verse 
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent 
For every vulgar paper to rehearse? 
O! give thyself the thanks, if aught in me         5
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight; 
For who ’s so dumb that cannot write to thee, 
When thou thyself dost give invention light? 
Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth 
Than those old nine which rimers invocate;  10
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth 
Eternal numbers to outlive long date. 
  If my slight Muse do please these curious days, 
  The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise. 



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