Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet CI.

“O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends”

O TRUANT Muse, what shall be thy amends 
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy’d? 
Both truth and beauty on my love depends; 
So dost thou too, and therein dignified. 
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say,         5
‘Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix’d; 
Beauty no pencil, beauty’s truth to lay; 
But best is best, if never intermix’d?’ 
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb? 
Excuse not silence so; for ’t lies in thee  10
To make him much outlive a gilded tomb 
And to be prais’d of ages yet to be. 
  Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how 
  To make him seem long hence as he shows now. 



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