William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet CXVII.

“Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all”

ACCUSE me thus: that I have scanted all  
Wherein I should your great deserts repay,  
Forgot upon your dearest love to call,  
Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day;  
That I have frequent been with unknown minds,    5
And given to time your own dear-purchas’d right;  
That I have hoisted sail to all the winds  
Which should transport me farthest from your sight.  
Book both my wilfulness and errors down,  
And on just proof surmise accumulate;   10
Bring me within the level of your frown,  
But shoot not at me in your waken’d hate;  
  Since my appeal says I did strive to prove  
  The constancy and virtue of your love.