Sonnet 23


  As an unperfect actor on the stage,
  Who with his fear is put beside his part,
  Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
  Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart;
  So I for fear of trust, forget to say,
  The perfect ceremony of love's rite,
  And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,
  O'ercharged with burthen of mine own love's might:
  O let my looks be then the eloquence,
  And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
  Who plead for love, and look for recompense,
  More than that tongue that more hath more expressed.
    O learn to read what silent love hath writ,
    To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.


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 23 to your own personal library.

Return to the William Shakespeare Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; Sonnet 24

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