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Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,
As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel;
For well thou know’st, to my dear doting heart
Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel.
Yet in good faith some say, that thee behold,
Thy face hath not the pow'r to make love groan.
To say they err I dare not be so bold,
Although I swear it to myself alone;
And to be sure that is not false, I swear
A thousand groans but thinking on thy face;
One on another’s neck do witness bear
Thy black is fairest in my judgment’s place.
  In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds,
  And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds.
Even looking like you do, you’re as much of a tyrant as those women whose beauty makes them proud and cruel. For you know quite well that to me, who dotes on you, you’re the most beautiful and precious jewel. Yet some people say, in all honesty after looking at you, that your face simply does not have what it takes to make someone groan with love. I wouldn’t dare be so bold as to tell them they’re wrong, though to myself I swear they are. And to prove to myself that I’m right, I groan a thousand times just thinking about your face. These groans, coming one after the other, testify to the fact that your dark complexion is the most beautiful one to my eyes. There’s nothing black about you except your actions, and I think that’s the reason people spread this lie about your looks.

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets