The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 127

read by Patrick Stewart

In the old age black was not counted fair,

Or if it were, it bore not beauty’s name;

But now is black beauty’s successive heir,

And beauty slandered with a bastard shame:

5For since each hand hath put on nature’s power,

Fairing the foul with art’s false borrowed face,

Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower,

But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.

Therefore my mistress’ eyes are raven black,

10Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem

At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,

Sland’ring creation with a false esteem;

Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe,

That every tongue says beauty should look so.

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