Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
William Shakespeare. 1564–1616
  
160. Sonnets
xvi
  
WHEN in the chronicle of wasted time 
I see descriptions of the fairest wights, 
And beauty making beautiful old rime 
In praise of Ladies dead and lovely Knights; 
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,         5
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow, 
I see their antique pen would have exprest 
Even such a beauty as you master now. 
So all their praises are but prophecies 
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;  10
And for they look'd but with divining eyes, 
They had not skill enough your worth to sing: 
  For we, which now behold these present days, 
  Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise. 
 
 
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