William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet XLI.

“Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits”

THOSE pretty wrongs that liberty commits  
When I am sometimes absent from thy heart,  
Thy beauty and thy years full well befits,  
For still temptation follows where thou art.  
Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won,    5
Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assail’d;  
And when a woman woos, what woman’s son  
Will sourly leave her till she have prevail’d?  
Ay me! but yet thou mightst my seat forbear,  
And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth,   10
Who lead thee in their riot even there  
Where thou art forc’d to break a twofold truth;—  
  Hers, by thy beauty tempting her to thee,  
  Thine, by thy beauty being false to me.