Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet CXVIII.

“Like as, to make our appetites more keen”

LIKE as, to make our appetites more keen 
With eager compounds we our palate urge; 
As, to prevent our maladies unseen, 
We sicken to shun sickness when we purge; 
Even so, being full of your ne’er-cloying sweetness,         5
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding; 
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness 
To be diseas’d, ere that there was true needing. 
Thus policy in love, to anticipate 
The ills that were not, grew to faults assur’d,  10
And brought to medicine a healthful state, 
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cur’d; 
  But thence I learn, and find the lesson true, 
  Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you. 



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