William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet CXXIX.

“The expense of spirit in a waste of shame”

THE EXPENSE of spirit in a waste of shame  
Is lust in action; and till action, lust  
Is perjur’d, murderous, bloody, full of blame,  
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;  
Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight;    5
Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,  
Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait,  
On purpose laid to make the taker mad:  
Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;  
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;   10
A bliss in proof,—and prov’d, a very woe;  
Before, a joy propos’d; behind, a dream.  
  All this the world well knows; yet none knows well  
  To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.