Shakespeare's Sonnets: Be wise as thou art cruel, do not press

Sonnet 140

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): i2r.
1Be wise as thou art cruel, do not press
2My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain
3Lest sorrow lend me words and words express
4The manner of my pity-wanting pain.
5If I might teach thee wit, better it were,
6Though not to love, yet love to tell me so,
8No news but health from their physicians know.
9For if I should despair I should grow mad
10And in my madness might speak ill of thee.
12Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be.


7] testy] irritable. Back to Line
11] ill-wresting world] a world that puts the worst face on things. Back to Line
13] belied] be lyde Q ("lied about, slandered"). Back to Line
14] go wide] see things far from how they are. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: