William Shakespeare. 1564–1616


“So oft have I invok’d thee for my Muse”

SO oft have I invok’d thee for my Muse  
And found such fair assistance in my verse  
As every alien pen hath got my use  
And under thee their poesy disperse.  
Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing    5
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,  
Have added feathers to the learned’s wing  
And given grace a double majesty.  
Yet be most proud of that which I compile,  
Whose influence is thine, and born of thee:   10
In others’ works thou dost but mend the style,  
And arts with thy sweet graces graced be;  
  But thou art all my art, and dost advance  
  As high as learning my rude ignorance.