William Shakespeare's Best Poems1
A Fairy Song
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
"From You Have I Been Absent..."
(From "Sonnets", XCVIII)
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April , dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn lough'd and leap'd with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
Nor did I wonder at the lilies white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those,
Yet seem'd it winter still, and you, away,
As with your shadow I with these did play:
"Like As the Waves..."
(From "Sonnets", LX)
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to the end;
Each changing place with that which goes before.
In sequent toil all forward do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity , wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his story fight,
And Time, that gave, doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,
And delves the parallels in beauties brow;
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow.
And yet, to times in hope, my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.