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O, lest the world should task you to recite
What merit lived in me, that you should love
After my death, -- dear love, forget me quite,
For you in me can nothing worthy prove;
Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,
To do more for me than mine own desert,
And hang more praise upon deceased I
Than niggard truth would willingly impart:
O, lest your true love may seem false in this,
That you for love speak well of me untrue,
My name be buried where my body is,
And live no more to shame nor me nor you.
   For I am sham'd by that which I bring forth,
   And so should you, to love things nothing worth.


Continues the subject of the preceding Sonnet. The poet has no merits worthy of deep grief or prolonged remembrance. He feels ashamed of his productions; and his friend ought to have the same feeling.

8. Than niggard truth. -- Than strict truth.

9, 10. Lest your true love, &c. -- Lest the reality of your love for me should be questioned or denied, when the falsity of your eulogies has been detected.

10. Untrue. Untruly.

12. And live no more, &c. Since the poet's name would recall the poet's works.

How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. Ed. Thomas Tyler. London: D. Nutt, 1890. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2013. < >.

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