Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet CXLII.

“Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate”

LOVE is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate 
Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving: 
O! but with mine compare thou thine own state, 
And thou shalt find it merits not reproving; 
Or, if it do, not from those lips of thine,         5
That have profan’d their scarlet ornaments 
And seal’d false bonds of love as oft as mine, 
Robb’d others’ beds’ revenues of their rents. 
Be it lawful I love thee, as thou lov’st those 
Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee:  10
Root pity in thy heart, that when it grows, 
Thy pity may deserve to pitied be. 
  If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide, 
  By self-example mayst thou be denied! 



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