Shakespeare's Sonnets: As an unperfect actor on the stage

Sonnet 23

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): c1v.
1As an unperfect actor on the stage,
4Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart,
7And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,
8O'er-charg'd with burthen of mine own love's might:
9O let my books be then the eloquence
11Who plead for love and look for recompence
12More than that tongue that more hath more express't.
13    O learn to read what silent love hath writ,


2] put besides] deprived of. part] lines, speech. Back to Line
3] replete] filled. Back to Line
5] for fear of trust] in fear of not being believed. Back to Line
6] right] justified expectation, and rite. Back to Line
10] presagers] precursors (first used in 1591). Back to Line
14] with] wit Q. wit] wiht Q. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: