Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
I. Admiration
“The forward violet thus did I chide”
William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
Sonnet XCIX.

THE FORWARD violet thus did I chide:—
Sweet thief, whence did thou steal thy sweet that smells,
If not from my love’s breath? the purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells,
In my love’s veins thou hast too grossly dyed.        5
The lily I condemnèd for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stolen thy hair:
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another white despair;
A third, nor red nor white, had stolen of both,        10
And to this robbery had annexed thy breath;
But, for his theft, in pride of all his growth
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
  More flowers I noted, yet I none could see,
  But sweet or color it had stolen from thee.        15
 
 
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