William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet LXXIX.

“Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid”

WHILST I alone did call upon thy aid  
My verse alone had all thy gentle grace;  
But now my gracious numbers are decay’d,  
And my sick muse doth give an other place.  
I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument    5
Deserves the travail of a worthier pen;  
Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent  
He robs thee of, and pays it thee again.  
He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word  
From thy behaviour; beauty doth he give,   10
And found it in thy cheek; he can afford  
No praise to thee but what in thee doth live.  
  Then thank him not for that which he doth say,  
  Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay.