Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet CXLIII.

“Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch”

LO, as a careful housewife runs to catch 
One of her feather’d creatures broke away, 
Sets down her babe, and makes all quick dispatch 
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay; 
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,         5
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent 
To follow that which flies before her face, 
Not prizing her poor infant’s discontent: 
So runn’st thou after that which flies from thee, 
Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind;  10
But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me, 
And play the mother’s part, kiss me, be kind; 
  So will I pray that thou mayst have thy Will, 
  If thou turn back and my loud crying still. 



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