The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 86

read by Don Paterson

Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,

Bound for the prize of all-too-precious you,

That did my ripe thoughts in my brain in-hearse,

Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?

5Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write

Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?

No, neither he, nor his compeers by night,

Giving him aid, my verse astonished.

He, nor that affable familiar ghost

10Which nightly gulls him with intelligence,

As victors of my silence cannot boast;

I was not sick of any fear from thence.

But when your countenance filled up his line,

Then lacked I matter, that enfeebled mine.

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