William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet CXL.

“Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press”

BE wise as thou art cruel; do not press  
My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain;  
Lest sorrow lend me words, and words express  
The manner of my pity-wanting pain.  
If I might teach thee wit, better it were,    5
Though not to love, yet, love, to tell me so;—  
As testy sick men, when their deaths be near,  
No news but health from their physicians know;—  
For, if I should despair, I should grow mad,  
And in my madness might speak ill of thee:   10
Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad,  
Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be.  
  That I may not be so, nor thou belied,  
  Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go wide.