Sonnet 1 By Edmund Spenser
Happy ye leaves when as those lily hands,
Which hold my life in their dead doing might,
Shall handle you and hold in love’s soft bands,
Like captives trembling at the victor’s sight,
& happy lines, on which with starry light,
Those lamping eyes will deign sometimes to look
& read the sorrows of my dying spright,
Written with tears in heart’s close bleeding book.
And happy rhymes bathed in the sacred brook
Of Helicon whence she derived is,
When ye behold that angel’s blessed look,
My soul’s long lacked food, my heaven’s bliss.
Leaves, lines, and rhymes, seek her to please alone,
Whom if ye please, I care for other none.
Sonnet 35 By Edmund Spenser
My hungry eyes through greedy covetize,With no contentment can themselves suffice:
But having pine and having not complain.
5For lacking it they cannot life sustain,
And having it they gaze on it the more:
In their amazement like Narcissus vain
Whose eyes him starved: so plenty makes me poor.
Yet are mine eyes so fillèd with the store
Of that fair sight, that nothing else they brook,
But loathe the things which they did like before,
And can no more endure on them to look.
All this world’s glory seemeth vain to me,Sonnet 35 By Edmund Spenser
And all their shows but shadows, saving she.
Sonnet 75 By Edmund Spenser
One day I wrote her name upon the strand,1
But came the waves and washèd it away:
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.
“Vain man,” said she, “that dost in vain assay,
A mortal thing so to immortalize,
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eek my name be wipèd out likewise.”
“Not so,” quod I, “let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name.
Where whenas death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.”
Sonnet 31 By Sir Philip Sidney
With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb’st the skies!
How silently, and with how wan a face!
What, may it be that even in heavenly place
That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?
Sure, if that long-with-love-acquainted eyes
Can judge of love, thou feel’st a lover’s case.
I read it in thy looks, thy languished grace,
To me, that feel the like, thy state descries.
Then even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me
Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
Do they call virtue there ungratefulness?
Sonnet 39 By Sir Philip Sidney
Come sleep! O sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release,
The indifferent judge between the high and low;
With shield of proof shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw:
O make in me those civil wars to cease;
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,
A chamber deaf to noise, and blind to light,
A rose garland, and a weary head:
And if these things, as being thine by right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
Livelier than elsewhere, Stella’s image see.
Sonnet 29 By William Shakespeare
When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless1 cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least.
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply2 I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings
Sonnet 106 By William Shakespeare
When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme,
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights,
Then in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have express’d
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And, for they look’d but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.
Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare
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.
5O, no! It is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
10Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved
Sonnet 130 By William Shakespeare
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 are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
5I have seen roses damasked, 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
10That 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.