William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet XXVI.

“Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage”

LORD of my love, to whom in vassalage  
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit,  
To thee I send this written ambassage,  
To witness duty, not to show my wit:  
Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine    5
May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it,  
But that I hope some good conceit of thine  
In thy soul’s thought, all naked, will bestow it;  
Till whatsoever star that guides my moving  
Points on me graciously with fair aspect,   10
And puts apparel on my tatter’d loving,  
To show me worthy of thy sweet respect:  
  Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee;  
  Till then not show my head where thou mayst prove me.