The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 142

read by Andrew Motion

Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,

Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving;

O but with mine compare thou thine own state,

And thou shalt find it merits not reproving;

5Or if it do, not from those lips of thine,

That have profaned their scarlet ornaments,

And sealed false bonds of love as oft as mine,

Robbed others’ beds’ revenues of their rents.

Be it lawful I love thee as thou lov’st those

10Whom thine eyes woo, as mine importune thee,

Root pity in thy heart, that when it grows,

Thy pity may deserve to pitied be.

If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide,

By self-example mayst thou be denied.

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