Sonnet 23: As an unperfect actor on the stage

William Shakespeare 1564 (Stratford-upon-Avon) – 1616 (Stratford-upon-Avon)

As an unperfect actor on the stage
Who with his fear is put beside his part,
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart,
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
The perfect ceremony of love's rite,
And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,
O'ercharged with burden of mine own love's might.
O, let my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love, and look for recompense
More than that tongue that more hath more expressed.
  O, learn to read what silent love hath writ,
  To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Shakespeare

Wing Commander William Harold Nelson Shakespeare OBE MC AFC was an English cricketer, and pilot in the Royal Flying Corps and its successor the Royal Air Force. more…

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