Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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


“I never saw that you did painting need”

I NEVER saw that you did painting need 
And therefore to your fair no painting set; 
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed 
That barren tender of a poet’s debt: 
And therefore have I slept in your report,         5
That you yourself, being extant, well might show 
How far a modern quill doth come too short, 
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow. 
This silence for my sin you did impute, 
Which shall be most my glory, being dumb;  10
For I impair not beauty being mute, 
When others would give life, and bring a tomb. 
  There lives more life in one of your fair eyes 
  Than both your poets can in praise devise. 



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