Shakespeare's Sonnets: The forward violet thus did I chide

Sonnet 99

2Sweet thief, whence did'st thou steal thy sweet that smells
3If not from my love's breath? The purple pride
4Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells?
8The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
10A third nor red, nor white, had stol'n of both,
11And to his robb'ry had annex't thy breath,
12But for his theft in pride of all his growth
15    But sweet or colour it had stol'n from thee.


1] forward] early. Back to Line
5] This unexpected line increases the sonnet's length to 15 lines. Back to Line
6] condemnèd for] put down (demeaned) in defence of (the whiteness of). Back to Line
7] buds of marjoram] sometimes white. Back to Line
9] Our] Q; One Malone. Back to Line
13] canker] caterpillar; cancer. ate] eat Q. Back to Line
14] flow'rs] flowers Q. Back to Line
Publication Notes: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): g1v.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: