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Sonnet  XVII

by William Shakespeare

Who will believe my verse in time to come,

If it were fill'd with your most high deserts?

Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb

Which hides your life and shows not half your parts.

If I could write the beauty of your eyes

And in fresh numbers number all your graces,

The age to come would say 'This poet lies:

Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.'

So should my papers yellow'd with their age

Be scorn'd like old men of less truth than tongue,

And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage

And stretched metre of an antique song:

But were some child of yours alive that time,

You should live twice; in it and in my rhyme.

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Sonnet 17

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