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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare: Poems.  1914.

Sonnet XCIX.

“The forward violet thus did I chide”


THE FORWARD violet thus did I chide 
Sweet thief, whence didst 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 dy’d.         5
The lily I condemned for thy hand, 
And buds of marjoram had stol’n thy hair; 
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand, 
One blushing shame, another white despair; 
A third, nor red nor white, had stol’n of both,  10
And to his robbery had annex’d 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 colour it had stol’n from thee.  15


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