William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet LXXXII.

“I grant thou wert not married to my Muse”

I GRANT thou wert not married to my Muse  
And therefore mayst without attaint o’erlook  
The dedicated words which writers use  
Of their fair subject, blessing every book.  
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,    5
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise;  
And therefore art enforc’d to seek anew  
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days.  
And do so, love; yet when they have devis’d  
What strained touches rhetoric can lend,   10
Thou truly fair wert truly sympathized  
In true plain words by thy true-telling friend;  
  And their gross painting might be better used  
  Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abus’d.