The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 118

read by Don Paterson

Like as, to make our appetites more keen,

With eager compounds we our palate urge;

As, to prevent our maladies unseen,

We sicken to shun sickness when we purge;

5Even so, being full of your ne’er-cloying sweetness,

To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding,

And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness

To be diseased ere that there was true needing.

Thus policy in love, t’anticipate

10The ills that were not, grew to faults assured,

And brought to medicine a healthful state

Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cured;

But thence I learn, and find the lesson true,

Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you.

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