William Shakespeare's Best Poems2
"When Daffodils Begin To Peer..."
(From "The Winter's Tale")
When daffodils begin to peer, --
With hey! The doxy over the dale, --
Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year;
For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.
The white sheet bleaching on the hedge, --
With hey! the sweet birds, O, how they sing! --
Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
The lark, that tirra-lirra chants, --
With hey! with hey! the thrush and the jay, --
Are summer songs for me and for my aunts,
While we lie tumbling in the hay.
"Let Me Not To the Marriage Of..."
(From "Sonnets", CXVI)
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alternations finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks at 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
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hour and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.
"Let Those Who Are In..."
(From "Sonnets", XXV)
Let those who are in favour with their stars,
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun's eye;
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil'd,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd:
Then happy I, that love and am belov'd
Where I may not remove, nor be remov'd.