Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet LXXXII.

“I grant thou wert not married to my Muse”

I GRANT thou wert not married to my Muse 
And therefore mayst without attaint o’erlook 
The dedicated words which writers use 
Of their fair subject, blessing every book. 
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,         5
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise; 
And therefore art enforc’d to seek anew 
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days. 
And do so, love; yet when they have devis’d 
What strained touches rhetoric can lend,  10
Thou truly fair wert truly sympathized 
In true plain words by thy true-telling friend; 
  And their gross painting might be better used 
  Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abus’d. 



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