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

Sonnet CXL.

“Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press”


BE wise as thou art cruel; do not press 
My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain; 
Lest sorrow lend me words, and words express 
The manner of my pity-wanting pain. 
If I might teach thee wit, better it were,         5
Though not to love, yet, love, to tell me so;— 
As testy sick men, when their deaths be near, 
No news but health from their physicians know;— 
For, if I should despair, I should grow mad, 
And in my madness might speak ill of thee:  10
Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad, 
Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be. 
  That I may not be so, nor thou belied, 
  Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go wide. 


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