The Sonnets

by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 53

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1609
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Source: Shakespeare, W. The sonnets. In R. G. White (Ed.), The complete works of William Shakespeare. New York: Sully and Kleinteich.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 11.0
  • Word Count: 115
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: 17th century literature, british literature, poetry, william shakespeare
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What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
Since every one, hath every one, one shade,
And you but one, can every shadow lend:
Describe Adonis and the counterfeit,
Is poorly imitated after you,
On Helen’s cheek all art of beauty set,
And you in Grecian tires are painted new:
Speak of the spring, and foison of the year,
The one doth shadow of your beauty show,
The other as your bounty doth appear,
And you in every blessed shape we know.
    In all external grace you have some part,
    But you like none, none you for constant heart.