William Shakespeare. 1564–1616


“How can my Muse want subject to invent”

HOW can my Muse want subject to invent  
While thou dost breathe, that pour’st into my verse  
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent  
For every vulgar paper to rehearse?  
O! give thyself the thanks, if aught in me    5
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;  
For who ’s so dumb that cannot write to thee,  
When thou thyself dost give invention light?  
Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth  
Than those old nine which rimers invocate;   10
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth  
Eternal numbers to outlive long date.  
  If my slight Muse do please these curious days,  
  The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.