William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet CI.

“O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends”

O TRUANT Muse, what shall be thy amends  
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy’d?  
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;  
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.  
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say,    5
‘Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix’d;  
Beauty no pencil, beauty’s truth to lay;  
But best is best, if never intermix’d?’  
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?  
Excuse not silence so; for ’t lies in thee   10
To make him much outlive a gilded tomb  
And to be prais’d of ages yet to be.  
  Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how  
  To make him seem long hence as he shows now.