Category Archives: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Fear no More

Fear no more the heat o’the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task has done,
Home art gone and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o’the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic must
All follow this and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finish’d joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee and come to dust.

From Twelfth Night, a Dirge

Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid,
Fly away, fly away breath,
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white all stuck with yew
O prepare it.
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse where my bones shall be thrown.
A thousand, a thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O where
Sad true lover never find my grave
To weep there.

Sonnets by Shakespeare to his young friend

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove:
Oh no! It is an ever fixéd mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bear it out even to the edge of doom:—
.     If this be error and upon me be proved,
.     I never writ, no nor man ever loved.

Being I your servant, what could I do but tend
Upon the times and hours of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do ’till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sov’reign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think I the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu.
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of naught
Save where you are, how happy you make those!
.     So true a fool is love that in your will,
.     Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill.

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon these boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
.     This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
.     To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.

Sonnets by Shakespeare to his dark lady

How oft, when thou, my music, music play’st
Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds
With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently sway’st
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds.
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,
Whilst my poor lips, which would that harvest reap,
At the wood’s boldness by thee blushing stand.
To be so tickl’d they would gladly change their state
And situation with those dancing chips,
O’er whom thy fingers walk, with nimble gait,
Making dead wood more blest than living lips.
.     Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
.     Give them thy fingers, and me thy lips to kiss.

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts be dun;
If hair be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
.     And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
.     As any she belied with false compare.