The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 129

read by Cicely Berry

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;

5Enjoyed 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,

10Had, 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.

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