Rival Poet Sonnets 78-81

Yes, there are five more, but the human attention span can only last so long and Shakespeare was a wordy dude.

78

So oft have I invoked thee for my muse,
And found such fair assistance in my verse,
As every alien pen hath got my use,
And under thee their poesy disperse.
Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing,
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,
Have added feathers to the learned’s wing,
And given grace a double majesty.
Yet be most proud of that which I compile,
Whose influence is thine, and born of thee,
In others’ works thou dost but mend the style,
And arts with thy sweet graces graced be.
But thou art all my art, and dost advance
as high as learning, my rude ignorance.

79

Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,
My verse alone had all thy gentle grace,
But now my gracious numbers are decayed,
And my sick muse doth give an other place.
I grant (sweet love) thy lovely argument
deserves the travail of a worthier pen,
yet what of thee thy poet doth invent,
He robs thee of, and pays it thee again,
He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word,
From thy behvious, beauty doth he give
and found it in thy cheek: he can afford
no praise to thee, but what in thee doth live.
Then thank him not for that which he doth say,
Since what he owes thee, thou self dost pay.

 80

O how I faint when I of you do write,
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name,
And in the praise thereof spends all his might,
To make me tongue tied speaking of your fame.
But since your worth (wide as the ocean is)
The humble as the proudest sail doth bear,
My saucy bark (inferior far to his)
On your broad main doth willfully appear.
Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat,
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride,
Or (being wrecked) I am a worthless boat,
He of tall building, and of goodly pride.
The if he thrive and I be cast away,
The worst was this, my love was my decay.

 81

Or I shall live your epitaph to make.
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten,
From hence your memory death cannot take,
Although in me each part will be forgotten.
You name from hence immortal life shall have,
Though I (once gone) to all the world must die
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
When you entombed in men’s eyes shall lie,
your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Which eyes not yet created shall o’er read,
And tongues to be, your being shall rehearse,
When all the breathers of this world are dead,
You still shall live (such virtue hath my pen)
Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.

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