Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet CXLIV.

“Two loves I have of comfort and despair”

TWO loves I have of comfort and despair 
Which like two spirits do suggest me still: 
The better angel is a man right fair, 
The worser spirit a woman, colour’d ill. 
To win me soon to hell, my female evil         5
Tempteth my better angel from my side, 
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil, 
Wooing his purity with her foul pride. 
And whether that my angel be turn’d fiend 
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell;  10
But being both from me, both to each friend, 
I guess one angel in another’s hell: 
  Yet this shall I ne’er know, but live in doubt, 
  Till my bad angel fire my good one out. 



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