[ xcix << ] [ >> ci ] [ Change line numbering ]

William Shakespeare, Sonnet c

Where art thou, muse, that thou forgett'st so long [*]
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power, to lend base subjects light?
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, resty Muse, my love's sweet face survey,
If Time have any wrinkle graven there;
If any, be a satire to decay,
And make Time's spoils despised everywhere.
Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life;
So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife.


line 1: [The Charles Knight edition has "so so long", but this is almost certainly the sort of printer's error that he rebukes in his comment on Sonnet lxix.] [ Back to text ]

Most notes to Shakespeare's sonnets are from Charles Knight's edition, but those in square brackets are mine.