Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Then Hate Me When Thou Wilt
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
THEN 1 hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;
Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross,
Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,
And do not drop in for an after-loss:
Ah! do not, when my heart hath ’scaped this sorrow,        5
Come in the rearward of a conquer’d woe; 2
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,
To linger out a purposed overthrow.
If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last,
When other petty griefs have done their spite,        10
But in the onset come: so shall I taste
At first the very worst of fortune’s might;
  And other strains of woe, which now seem woe, 3
  Compared with loss of thee will not seem so!
 
Note 1. Sonnet xc. Shake-speare’s Sonnettes, 1609. See Sonnet lxxxix., of which this sonnet takes up the last word, pleading pathetically for hatred; for the worst, speedily, if at all. (Dowden.) [back]
Note 2. The rearward of a conquer’d woe: cf. Much Ado about Nothing, act iv. sc. 1:
  Thought I thy spirit were stronger than thy flames,
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
Strike at thy life.
Note 3. And other strains of woe: cf. Much Ado about Nothing, act v. sc. 1:
  Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine
And let it answer every strain for strain.
 
 
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