Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet LVIII.

“That god forbid that made me first your slave”

THAT god forbid that made me first your slave 
I should in thought control your times of pleasure, 
Or at your hand the account of hours to crave, 
Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure! 
O! let me suffer, being at your beck,         5
The imprison’d absence of your liberty; 
And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check, 
Without accusing you of injury. 
Be where you list, your charter is so strong 
That you yourself may privilege your time  10
To what you will; to you it doth belong 
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime. 
  I am to wait, though waiting so be hell, 
  Not blame your pleasure, be it ill or well. 



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