The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 119

read by Don Paterson

What potions have I drunk of siren tears

Distilled from limbecks foul as hell within,

Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears,

Still losing when I saw myself to win?

5What wretched errors hath my heart committed,

Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never?

How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted

In the distraction of this madding fever?

O benefit of ill: now I find true

10That better is by evil still made better,

And ruined love when it is built anew

Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater:

So I return rebuked to my content,

And gain by ills thrice more than I have spent.

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