The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 70

read by Prasanna Puwanarajah

That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,

For slander’s mark was ever yet the fair;

The ornament of beauty is suspect,

A crow that flies in heaven’s sweetest air.

5So thou be good, slander doth but approve

Thy worth the greater, being wooed of time;

For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,

And thou present’st a pure unstained prime.

Thou hast passed by the ambush of young days,

10Either not assailed, or victor, being charged;

Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,

To tie up envy, evermore enlarged:

If some suspect of ill masked not thy show

Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.

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