The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 45

read by Oliver Ford Davies

The other two, slight air, and purging fire,

Are both with thee, wherever I abide:

The first my thought, the other my desire,

These, present absent, with swift motion slide;

5For when these quicker elements are gone

In tender embassy of love to thee,

My life being made of four, with two alone

Sinks down to death, oppressed with melancholy,

Until life’s composition be recured

10By those swift messengers returned from thee

Who even but now come back again assured

Of thy fair health, recounting it to me.

This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,

I send them back again and straight grow sad.

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