The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 17

read by Diana Quick

Who will believe my verse in time to come,

If it were filled with your most high deserts?

Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb,

Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts:

5If I could write the beauty of your eyes,

And in fresh numbers number all your graces,

The age to come would say, ‘This poet lies;

Such heavenly touches ne’er touched earthly faces.’

So should my papers (yellowed with their age)

10Be scorned, like old men of less truth than tongue,

And your true rights be termed a poet’s rage,

And stretched metre of an antique song;

But were some child of yours alive that time,

You should live twice: in it, and in my rhyme.

The Sonnets for iPad

Enjoy, explore and understand these immortal works of literature as never before.

  • All 154 performances
  • 1609 facsimile
  • Detailed notes
  • Perspectives
More information

The Sonnets DVD

154 specially filmed performances by a stellar cast of actors, poets and scholars including Sir Patrick Stewart, David Tennant, Fiona Shaw, Dame Harriet Walter, Stephen Fry, and Sir Andrew Motion.

Shakespeare's Sonnets DVD More information

Produced in partnership by