Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet CXXXIX.

“O! call not me to justify the wrong”

O! CALL not me to justify the wrong 
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart; 
Wound me not with thine eye, but with thy tongue: 
Use power with power, and slay me not by art. 
Tell me thou lovest elsewhere; but in my sight,         5
Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside: 
What need’st thou wound with cunning, when thy might 
Is more than my o’erpress’d defence can bide? 
Let me excuse thee: ah! my love well knows 
Her pretty looks have been my enemies;  10
And therefore from my face she turns my foes, 
That they elsewhere might dart their injuries: 
  Yet do not so; but since I am near slain, 
  Kill me outright with looks, and rid my pain. 



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