Union Jack

     English Wordplay ~ Listen and Enjoy

Previous Sonnet: 16

Sonnet 17

One of the best books ever written about acting
Read by Claire Marchionne
Click here to
listen to reading

Acting notes from Playing Shakespeare by John Barton: It is easy to overlook the hidden ingredients of wit and humour. Here the speaker is partly mocking his own poetry and partly the person he loves. Imagine it is yourself, not Shakespeare in the situation.

The tomb of Mary Queen of Scots
The tomb of Mary
Queen of Scots
Who will believe my verse in time to come,
If it were fill'd with your most high deserts?
Though yet heaven knows it is but as a tomb
Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts. 
If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say 'This poet lies;
Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.'
So should my papers, yellow'd with their age,
Be scorn'd, like old men of less truth than tongue,
And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage
And stretched metre of an antique song:
  But were some child of yours alive that time,
  You should live twice, - in it, and in my rhyme.

Next Sonnet: 18

Introduction to the Sonnets

Home Page