Sonnet 129


  Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
  Is lust in action, and till action, lust
  Is perjured, murd'rous, bloody full of blame,
  Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
  Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight,
  Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
  Past reason hated as a swallowed bait,
  On purpose laid to make the taker mad.
  Mad in pursuit and in possession so,
  Had, having, and in quest, to have extreme,
  A bliss in proof and proved, a very woe,
  Before a joy proposed behind a dream.
    All this the world well knows yet none knows well,
    To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.


facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest

Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add Sonnet 129 to your own personal library.

Return to the William Shakespeare Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; Sonnet 13

Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson