Shakespeare's Sonnets: My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun

Sonnet 130

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): h4r.
1My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun.
2Coral is far more red, than her lips' red.
6But no such roses see I in her cheeks,
7And in some perfumes is there more delight
9I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
10That music hath a far more pleasing sound.
12My mistress when she walks treads on the ground;


3] dun] "dull greyish brown" (OED, "dun," a. 1). Back to Line
4] "Ladies' hair was often compared to golden wire in Elizabethan poetry" (F. D. Hoeniger). Back to Line
5] damask't] carnation-coloured. "Apparently, originally the Rosa gallica var. damascena, a tall shrub with semi-double pink or light-red (rarely white) flowers, cultivated in the East for attar of roses; but this underwent many changes under cultivation in the West, and the name has been very variously applied by English authors" (OED, "damask," n. and a.). Back to Line
8] reeks] exhales (like smoke). Back to Line
11] go] walk. Back to Line
13] heav'n] heauen Q. Back to Line
14] she] her. belied] beli'd Q ("lied about"). compare] comparison. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: