How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,
Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!
O, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose!
That tongue that tells the story of thy days,
Making lascivious comments on thy sport,
Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise;
Naming thy name blesses an ill report.
O, what a mansion have those vices got
Which for their habitation chose out thee,
Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot,
And all things turn to fair that eyes can see!
Take heed, dear heart, of this large privilege;
The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge.
XCV. The scandal in relation to his friend, which the poet had previously mentioned and treated as slander, seems (if it be the same) now to have become too obviously true to admit of being rebutted or extenuated. But Mr. W. H.'s grace and beauty adorn and transfigure even his vices. Still there is danger, lest the consequence of vicious indulgence should be felt at last.
2. Canker. A worm preying upon and defacing the blossom.
3. Thy budding name. An expression which seems to agree very well
with the youth of William Herbert, now about nineteen.
8. Naming thy name, &c. In consequence of Mr. W. H.'s well-known
grace and attractiveness.
12. Turns. So Q. "turnes." "Beauty's veil turns all things to
14. The hardest knife, &c. Alluding to the result of excessive indulgence.
How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. Ed. Thomas Tyler. London: D. Nutt, 1890. Shakespeare Online. 28 Dec. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/95.html >.
Did You Know? ... For over 400 years The Reign of King Edward III has been classified as an anonymous play by everyone but a handful of renegade critics.
First printed in 1596 by the London bookseller and publisher, Cuthbert Burby, the play's title page told Elizabethan readers that "it hath bin sundrie times plaied about the Citie of London", but Burby credited no author. The play likely was very successful at the time, for Burby published another edition in 1599, again without naming an author.
Sonnet Theories ... "All now agree that the Sonnets are a collection of almost matchless interest, a legacy from Shakespeare at once strange and precious, -- nothing less, in fact, than a preserved series of metrical condensations, weighty and compact as so many gold nuggets, of thoughts and feelings that were once in his mind. The interpretations of them collectively, however, the theories of their nature and purport collectively, differ widely." David Masson. Read on...