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
  
163. Sonnets
xix
  
TH' expense of Spirit in a waste of shame 
Is lust in action; and till action, lust 
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame, 
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust; 
Enjoy'd no sooner but despisèd straight;         5
Past reason hunted; and, no sooner had, 
Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait 
On purpose laid to make the taker mad: 
Mad in pursuit, and in possession so; 
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;  10
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe; 
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream. 
  All this the world well knows; yet none knows well 
  To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell. 
 
 
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