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.
 
Forget
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
NO 1 longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell 2
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not        5
The hand that writ it; for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O if, I say, you look upon this verse,
When I perhaps compounded am with clay, 3        10
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay;
  Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
  And mock you with me after I am gone.
 
Note 1. Sonnet lxxi. Shake-speare’s Sonnettes, 1609. Shakespeare goes back to the thought of his own death, from which he was led away by Sonnet lxvi., ending “To die, I leave my love alone.” The world in this sonnet is the “vile world” described in lxvi. (Dowden.) [back]
Note 2. The surly sullen bell: Cf. 2 King Henry IV., act i. sc. 1:
                          a sullen bell,
Remember’d knolling a departed friend.
Note 3. Compounded am with clay: Cf. 2 King Henry IV., act iv. sc. 5: “Only compound me with forgotten dust.” [back]
 
 
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