Margaret Cable and André

Margaret Cable with husband
John Fletcher (1968)

Program for the Sonnets - 1968

Program for the Sonnets - 2007

Pianist - Maciej Grzybowski

Mezzo-soprano - Marta Wryk

Mezzo-soprano - Urszula Kryger

Mezzo-soprano - Anna Zawisza

Mezzo-soprano - Eleanor McGechie

Mezzo-soprano - Barbara Paterson

Mezzo-soprano - Agata Zubel

- Margaret Cable

- Rosanna Cooper

- Judit Rajk

- Clare McCaldin

From October 27, 2010 performance in Warsaw

Urszula Kryger

6th Krakow Festival of Polish Music, November 6, 2010 review by Malgorzata Czech (in Polish)

The Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare purchased on an eBay auction

1 - Sonnet 104

2 - Sonnet 75

3 - Sonnet 49

4- Sonnet 61

5- Sonnet 89

6- Sonnet 90

7- Sonnet 146

Program for 1965 Dartington Hall Summer School

Dorota Szwarcman
Music Critic for Polityka
(Polish newsmagazine)

Maciej Grzybowski and Urszula Kryger take a bow after the 2013 Bregenz performance

Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare (1967)
This webpage provides information about the André Tchaikowsky composition, Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare (1967). This includes text from the book, The Other Tchaikowsky - A Biographical Sketch of André Tchaikowsky. There were three performances with André Tchaikowsky and Margaret Cable consisting of the world premiere performance on June 18, 1968 via a BBC broadcast, then a second performance on June 22, 1968 at the Royal Festival Hall, London, Purcell Room, and several months later in Amsterdam in the small Concertgebouw concert hall.

(2019) Seven Shakespeare Sonnets in Concert / Warsaw, Poland
The extraordinary Polish Mezzosoprano, Marta Wryk, sang portions of the Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare on November 24, 2019 at the Big Book Cafe in Warsaw, Poland. This was a "Voice and Words" event, with "words" being from a book of correspondence between Andrzej Czajkowski and Halina Janowska, which Halina titled, My Guardian Demon. Players were Andrzej, Andrzej's Grandmother, and Halina.

Marta Wryk - Sung a capella, Sonnets
61 (Is it thy will, thy image should...)
89 (Then hate me when thou wilt...)
146 (Poor soul, centre of my sinful...)

(l to r) Tomasz Nosinski (Andrzej), Maria Maj (Andrzej's Grandmother), Magdalena Czerwinska (Halina), and Marta Wryk. Director - Tomasz Cyz

(2019) Seven Shakespeare Sonnets in Concert / Warsaw, Poland
The TRZY–CZTE–RY Music Festival in Warsaw, Poland, presented the Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare in concert on June 13, 2019. The performers were:
Anna Zawisza– mezzo-soprano and Maciej Grzybowski - piano. Concert Review in Polish.

(2018) Seven Shakespeare Sonnets in Concert / Krakow, Poland
The September 2018 concerts of the Music Salon of the Polish Radio Choir at the Villa Decius included a performance of the Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare on September 23, 2018. The performers were Urszula Kryger – mezzo-soprano and Maciej Grzybowski - piano.

(2018) Seven Shakespeare Sonnets in Concert / Wellington, New Zealand
As part of her PhD requirements at the Victoria University of Wellington/New Zealand School of Music, Polish piansit Gabriela Glapska included Seven Shakespeare Sonnets on her PhD recital program number 3. Performers were (Sonnets 1, 2, 3, 4) Eleanor McGechie, mezzo-soprano, and (Sonnets 5, 6, 7) Barbara Paterson, mezzo-soprano, with Gabrielal Glapska on piano.

Gabriela Glapska and Eleanor McGechie
Sample Sonnet 49

Gabriela Glapska and Barbara Paterson
Sample Sonnet 89

(2017) Seven Shakespeare Sonnets in Concert / London, UK
A portion of the André Tchaikowsky documentary, Rebel of the Keys, is scheduled for a showing on March 24, 2017, at the Ognisko Polskie, 55 Princes Gate, South Kensington, London, SW7 2PN. The time will be 7 pm. This program includes an introduction to the life of André Tchaikowsky by Dr. Anastasia Belina-Johnson, author of "A Musician Divided - André Tchaikowsky in his own words." Live music of André Tchaikowsky's Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare (1967) will be performed by Nico de Villiers (piano) and Rosanna Cooper (mezzo). Click Here for details from the Ognisko Polskie website.

(2017) Seven Shakespeare Sonnets in Concert / Polish Radio
Polish Radio featured a broadcast of the Seven Sonnets (with Zubel and Ahonen) on February 17, 2017. This was part of a larger program called Fantazja Polska. Click Here for the Polskie Radio link (the Sonnets are from 24:50 to 48:25).

(2016) Seven Shakespeare Sonnets/ Polish Institute (Vienna)
The Polish Institute of Vienna (Polnisches Institut Wien) presented a concert of the Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare on April 21, 2016. The artists were Agata Zubel, a Polish award-wining composer and singer, and pianist Joonas Ahonen, a Vienna-based Finnish pianist. They repeated the program featured on their CD, Dream Lake. Samples from the CD appear further down on this webpage.

(2016) Seven Sonnets CD nominated for Best Chamber Music Album
Nominations for the Fryderyk 2016 awards (Polish Grammy) have been announced by the National Photographic Academy (website) (PDF File). The Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare CD is in the category Best Chamber Music Album (Album Roku Muzyka Kameralna). Congratulations to Agata Zubel, a Polish award-wining composer and singer, and pianist Joonas Ahonen, a Vienna-based Finnish pianist. (The Meccore String Quartet, also nominated for this award, play the Andrzej Czajkowski String Quartet No. 2 and there is a music sample on VIMEO.) [Winner was Ravel Piano Duo.]

(2016) Seven Sonnets in Concert / The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music
The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw presented the concert, "In the context of André Tchaikowsky" on March 23, 2016 that featured the Seven Sonnets. The performers were Agata Zubel, voice (see more below about her excellent CD of the Seven Sonnets) and Maciej Grzybowski, piano. The other André Tchaikowsky work on the program was the Sonata for Viola and Piano. Click Here to learn more about this concert from the university website.

(2015) Seven Shakespeare Sonnets in Concert / RCM "André Tchaikowsky" Day
The 80th anniversary of André Tchaikowsky’s birth was celebrated with Dr. Anastasia Belina as she introduced the man and his music in an afternoon of talks and performances at the Royal College of Music. Performances included Ariel and Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare. Read more (PDF file).

(2015) Seven Shakespeare Sonnets in Concert / Polish Institute of Rome
The Polish Institute of Rome, Italy, has announced for the Corso Poland Festival of 2015, that the inauguration concert on June 9, 2015, at 20:30, will feature the Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare. Click Here to read the Polish Institute of Rome press release for the festival and additional concert information. This is a repeat of the "Dream Lake" concert from May 2015 (see below).

(2015) Seven Shakespeare Sonnets in Concert / History of the Polish Jews
Agata Zubel, a Polish award-wining composer and singer, with pianist Joonas Ahonen, a Vienna-based Finnish pianist, performed the Seven Sonnets in Warsaw on May 6, 2015, at the History of the Polish Jews Museum. This was both a concert and a CD release party, celebrating the first CD of The Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare. The CD (Dream Lake) is available on Amazon (Click Here) and other websites. For a Polskie radio broadcast featuring Agata Zubel (mp3 format), Click Here (in Polish).


Click Here for a review of the Dream Lake CD (in Polish). Click Here for a review of the Dream Lake CD (in English). Click Here for a review in Finnish. Click Here for the Naxos website about the CD. Click Here to hear Agata Zubel speak about the Sonnets (Polish).

6-sonnet-90 (version 1)
6-sonnet-90 (version 2)


(2014) Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare in Concert / Qaartsiluni Ensemble
Hungarian contralto Judit Rajk (website) scheduled a performance of the Seven Sonnets on November 17, 2014 7 pm as part of a Qaartsiluni Ensemble concert (website). The pianist for this performance of the Seven Sonnets was László Borbély (website). The venue was the Óbudai Társaskör (website). This concert was presented with the kind cooperation of Josef Weinberger (website). Click Here or below for a YouTube performance of Sonnet 146 recorded live at this concert.

(2014) Seven Shakespeare Sonnets in Concert / Teatr Wielki
A performance of the Seven Sonnets took place on October 23, 2014 at the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera in Warsaw, Poland. This is first in the 2014-2015 series of concerts called "Concerts of Composers - Premieres." Click Here to learn more about the concert from the Teatr Wielki website. The performers were Mezzo-soprano Urszula Kryger (website), and Pianist Maciej Grzybowski (website).

Click Here for a PDF of the concert (24 pages).

Concert Program Back

Concert Program Front

(2013) Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare in Concert / Leeds Symposium/Concert
André's biographer, Dr. Anastasia Belina-Johnson, who is also a Head of Classical Music department at Leeds College of Music and a member of LUCOS (Leeds University Centre for Opera Studies), organized a concert on André Tchaikowsky's birthday (November 1st, 2013) dedicated to his compositions (he would have been 78 years old). One concert event was a performance of the Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare (1967) with Clare McCaldin mezzo-soprano and Nico de Villiers piano. Read about Nico de Villiers in the Volksblad (Click Here - in Afrikaans).

Clare McCaldin - November 2013
(Photo: Aaron Collett)

Click Here (pdf) to read Nico de Villiers' interview with Clare McCaldin.

Click Here (pdf) to read Nico de Villers' comments on André Tchaikowsky.

Click Here (jpg) to read Clare McCaldin's comments on André Tchaikowsky

Click Here to learn more about the symposium and concert.

Click Here for Clare's blog posting.

In addition, Mr. de Villiers wrote personal blog entries for each sonnet:
Sonnet 104 - Click Here (Blog) or Click Here (pdf)
Sonnet 75 - Click Here (Blog) or Click Here (pdf)
Sonnet 49 - Click Here (Blog) or Click Here (pdf)
Sonnet 61 - Click Here (Blog) or Click Here (pdf)
Sonnet 89 - Click Here (Blog) or Click Here (pdf) [in preparation]
Sonnet 90 - Click Here (Blog) or Click Here (pdf) [in preparation]
Sonnet 146 - Click Here (Blog) or Click Here (pdf) [in preparation]

Prepared Piano for Sonnet 89
André choose to pluck the piano strings in Sonnet 89, "Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault..." instead of using the keyboard. This presents some serious problems for the pianist in preparation for the performance. Pianist Nico de Villiers (with Clare McCaldin mezzo-soprano) used colored dots in both the score and the dampers in the piano to correlate what piano strings should be played for his performance (image below).

(2013) Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare in Concert / Bregenz Festival
The 1st of the "Music and Poetry" concerts for the 2013 Bregenz Festival featured pianist Maciej Grzybowski and Mezzo-Soprano Urszula Kryger playing the Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare. Prior to the sonnets performance, David Pountney read each sonnet in his sterling "theatre" voice (in English) and actress Laura Louisa Garde (in German), creating the "Poetry" portion of the concert. The combination of the poetry and music was stunning and wonderfully performed.

Kulture Online Internet Link - Click Here (German)
PDF File - Click Here (German)
E-teatr (Polish)
"Inny Czajkowski"
Internet Link - Click Here
As PDF File - Click Here
E-teatr (English)
"The Other Tchaikowsky"
As PDF File - Click Here

Maciej Grzybowski and Urszula Kryger
Performing Sonnet 89

Laura Louisa Garde and David Pountney reading each Sonnet

(2007, 2010) Seven Sonnets in Concert / Additional performances

Additional performances were given at the Festiwal Muzyki Polskiej (Polish Music Festival) in Kraków, Poland on November 8, 2007, featuring Maciej Grzybowski on piano and mezzo-soprano Urszula Kryger. And again on October 27, 2010 in Warsaw, Poland.

(2007) Seven Sonnets in Concert / 3rd Krakow Festival of Polish Music
Fortunately, a recording was made of the excellent Sonnets performance from the 3rd Krakow Festival of Polish Music - 2007 in a concert given on November 8, 2007 with mezzo-soprano Urszula Kryger and pianist (and champion of André Tchaikowsky's music), Maciej Grzybowski.

Maciej Grzybowski, Piano - Urszula Kryger, Mezzo-soprano

Sonnet 104 / 01-sonnet104_krakow.mp3
Sonnet  75 / 02-sonnet75_krakow.mp3
Sonnet  49 / 03-sonnet49_krakow.mp3
Sonnet  61 / 04-sonnet61_krakow.mp3
Sonnet  89 / 05-sonnet89_krakow.mp3
Sonnet  90 / 06-sonnet90_krakow.mp3
Sonnet 146 / 07-sonnet146_krakow.mp3

This performance is on YouTube. Click Here (opens new window)

(1967) Recording on Sound News Productions
While there are no professional recordings available for the Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare (1967), the original BBC broadcast with André Tchaikowsky and Margaret Cable is available via a Long Playing (LP) record made by Sound News Productions. I bought this LP in an eBay auction and it is thought that André made somewhere between 10 and 20 copies of this record to hand out to friends. Oddly, in the record cover, there was a letter from Judy Arnold (whose home André was living in at the time) to pianist John Ogdon. To read this letter as a pdf file, Click Here. The other side of the record features André's composition, The Inventions.

André Tchaikowsky, Piano - Margaret Cable, Mezzo-soprano

Sonnet 104 / 01-sonnet104.mp3
Sonnet  75 / 02-sonnet75.mp3
Sonnet  49 / 03-sonnet49.mp3
Sonnet  61 / 04-sonnet61.mp3
Sonnet  89 / 05-sonnet89.mp3
Sonnet  90 / 06-sonnet90.mp3
Sonnet 146 / 07-sonnet146.mp3

"Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare" and Dartington Hall Summer School
1965 was the third year running for André to attend the Dartington Hall Summer School, which offered a multi-week program of concerts, training, and a festival of music. André performed in three concerts:

Thursday, August 5, 1965
Violin: Orrea Pernel
Piano: André Tchaikowsky
Mozart Sonata in G K.379
Bartok Sonata No. 1 (1922)
Szymanowski The Fountain of Arethusa
Webern 4 Pieces Opus 7
Beethoven Sonata in G, Opus 96

Wednesday August 18, 1965
Piano: André Tchaikowsky
Bach Toccata in C Minor
Beethoven "Hammerslavier" Sonata in B Flat Opus 106
Schumann Davidsbündlertänze

Thursday August 26, 1965
Piano: André Tchaikowsky
Prokofiev Visions Fugitives
Szymanowski Masques
Ravel Valses nobles et sentimentales
Stravinsky Petrushka

As an aside, journalist and writer John Amis was at the concert with Orrea Pernel and André on August 5th, writing:

[Pernel] spent five summers at the Summer School at Dartington, Devon, teaching, playing solos and chamber music with Joyce Rathbone, André Tchaikowsky and Sir William Glock. Her playing was passionate but her stance was calm, no histrionics. Only once did I see that calm disturbed; she had played a big Mozart and a tough Bartok sonata with no loss of cool but the concentration required for Webern's minuscule Four Pieces Opus 7 brought her out in a profuse sweat.

At Dartington in 1965 was the wonderful mezzo-soprano Margaret Cable, who sang in two programs:

Thursday, August 24, 1965
Voice: Margaret Cable contralto
Stockhausen Refrain and
Gerhard Catalan Songs

Friday, August 27, 1965
Voice: Margaret Cable contralto
Palestrina Magnificat
Schönberg Das Buch der hängenden Gärten,
Carissimi Jephtha

The friendship formed between André and Margaret at Dartington lead to the composition Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare.

As a further aside, André's last program included the Stravinsky Petrushka suite. While relaxing the afternoon before the concert on the Dartington grounds, a student, Michael Menaugh had a conversation with André. Michael remembers:

André said that he had added a number of notes and he also inserted the Bear Dance in the last movement. André said he was going to make an announcement about the fact before he played it and he didn't quite know what to say. I said, why don't you say 'This performance is entirely authentic, only the notes have been changed to protect the innocent.' He loved that!

André had been so impressed with Menaugh's "protect the innocent" comment that he had taken the trouble to search out Menaugh and then invite him to London. Michael Menaugh:

About a week after I had returned home from Dartington, a letter arrived and it was from André:

Dear Michael,
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I've been doing a lot of detective work and people say that the young man I spoke to on the grass on Saturday is you. I'm writing to say that I have dined out for the last two weeks on your introduction, the introduction you gave me to Petrushka. Since it appears to have been the best thing about my performance, I feel I owe you some of my fee! Thank you very much, and if you're ever in London, please give me a ring or write to me at 64 Wood Vale, London, N.lO. I would very much like to see you.
Yours, André Tchaikowsky

I was knocked out by this and wrote back immediately. I said I was a student in Oxford and if he were anywhere near Oxford, I'd be happy to show him around, and if he was going to play in London, I would go to his concert. He then wrote to me that he was going to play a Chopin Recital for Finchden Manor and would like to see me afterwards as he was giving a tea for some of the Finchden boys and friends. That was the beginning of our friendship.

You can view all images of the Dartington Hall Summer Program for 1965 using the links in the left column.

Music Publisher
This work is published by Josef Weinberger and appears in their catalog of André Tchaikowsky published works. Click Here for a PDF copy of the André Tchaikowsky Weinberger catalog.

From the biography The Other Tchaikowsky
At the Dartington Summer School in 1965, André had met singer Margaret Cable, whose abilities impressed him greatly and he promised to write a song cycle for her. The result was the "Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare," completed in October 1967 and dedicated to Margaret Cable. Margaret Cable recalls André and the Sonnets:

"I first met André in 1965 at Dartington. We were both there in the days when William Glock was running Dartington Summer School. Mr. Glock was a very enterprising man and had lots of unusual artists doing all sorts of unusual things. I remember one occasion when André was playing Pictures at an Exhibition at Dartington, in the original piano version. Fantastic.

"We became really good friends. He hadn't been in England that long, and had nobody, really, and he valued his friends enormously and took his friendships very seriously. André also met John [Margaret's husband-to-be, tuba virtuoso John Fletcher]. John and I weren't married then -- we didn't marry until 1967. So John was around and knew André and we all got along very well. Judy Arnold knew him best back then. Judy was marvelous, in a way. She's a great organizer, but she is also very dominant, to the point of being slightly overpowering. I think André felt a little constricted by her sometimes, but she did a lot for André.

"André was terribly well-read and made me feel totally ignorant. He knew English literature, French literature, Russian literature, all in the original languages. He put seven Shakespeare sonnets to music and I did them. We also broadcast them, he and I."

The Sonnets were first heard on a BBC broadcast on June 18, 1968. The first public performance was June 22,1968, at the Purcell Room. Music critic, Robert Henderson, wrote in The Musical Times:

Chamber Music

Although composers must obviously be free to set whatever texts they like, it is doubtful whether music could ever add anything of much significance to the Shakespeare sonnets which André Tchaikovsky chose for his song-cycle "Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare," performed for the first time by Margaret Cable with the composer (PR, June 22). The concentrated imagery of the poems, the balanced rhythms and already intensely musical character of the language, for instance, made the not particularly distinctive vocal lines sound rather perfunctory, and it was the beautifully written, often strikingly inventive piano accompaniments which seemed to distill much more accurately the passion and intensity implicit in the words.

Music critic, Stephen Walsh, wrote in Music and Musicians:

Unfortunately, Tchaikowsky's own work was rather a disappointment. In a way this might have been expected, since the work was a cycle of Shakespeare sonnets, the sort of poetic ground which even the most inspired composers are apt to find pretty daunting. Tchaikowsky's settings, for contralto and piano, showed clearly enough why this is true. Shakespeare's poems are so intense, so imbued with a musical quality of their own, that there is really nothing that music can add, and in this case the vocal line was of noticeable poverty, much too dependent on devices like unaccompanied recitative, and hardly beginning to match the poems in linguistic or psychological subtlety. The accompaniment was less shackled, but it was nevertheless seldom prepossessing and seldom memorable. The total impression was one of dryness, of music hopelessly circumscribed by its subject matter. I am sure Tchaikowsky is capable of better things.

Margaret Cable gave what seemed a useful performance, not always completely accurate, but rich in tone and sensitive in inflection. She was accompanied by the composer, so clearly the performance could not be blamed for the impression left by the music.

Margaret Cable remembers another aspect of the BBC and Purcell Room performances:

"I remember in the Purcell Room André made terrible noises when he played. He would groan and make such noise. He would moan and make problems for the recording studios at the BBC and we had to do things over and over."

There was another performance of the Sonnets some months later in Amsterdam, in the small Concertgebouw concert hall. Margaret Cable describes this performance:

"After this concert in Amsterdam, we had an American friend with us, Donald Blakesley, who was the tuba player in the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Donald and his wife came to the concert and sent me a very nice bunch of red roses backstage. After the concert they took us out for a meal, and then said, since we were only in Amsterdam for one night, they will drive us around and show us everything. Inevitably, part of the tour was through the beautiful red-light district. It all looks so exquisite with all the windows and the girls and so on.

"André sat back in the car with me and got terribly quiet. He was obviously terribly upset. We were going along, when outside one of the houses was a very young girl. She looked about 12 years old, probably older, but she looked about 12. She was standing on the pavement. André insisted that the car be stopped. He threw open the door, grabbed my bunch of roses, and gave them to this little girl."

André reported the Sonnets concert in a letter to Halina Wahlmann-Janowska, written on June 29, 1968:

A week ago there was the first performance of my song cycle, Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare. There were quite a few musicians there: Andrzej Panufnik and his wife [Camilla Jessel], Daniel Barenboim and his wife [Jacqueline du Pre], Gervase dePeyer, and Fou Ts'ong's wife. Fou Ts'ong was playing somewhere that evening. It turned out the cycle is first class, undoubtedly better than anything I've written so far. As a result, Andrzej Panufnik's wife gave birth to a child two weeks prematurely, but the baby seems to be normal. The cycle went like a bomb. The audience was delighted, the reviews were terrible, so everything was as it should be, and I'm happy with one and the other.

At Dartington Summer School in 1968, André was to meet composer David Lord who had also finished a song cycle, "The Wife of Winter." David's and André's song cycles were similar in that each had a beautiful piano accompaniment. André suggested David write a piano concerto, which André would play. He agreed, and André boldly added the work to his repertoire list. They met again at a party in London at the home of Judy Arnold (at which Alfred Brendel appeared wearing only a bath towel) and discussed the project further. André and David were friends for several years, playing piano duets, discussing composition, but David started writing more and more slowly, and the friendship faded away. The concerto was never written.

André dismissed the Sonnets after a few years. They were never published and at this writing, received only the BBC, Purcell Room, and Amsterdam performances, plus the 2007 and 2010 performances in Warsaw and Krakow.

André selected the following seven sonnets for this cycle:

Sonnet 104

To me fair friend you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still: three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned,
Since first I saw you fresh which yet are green.
Ah yet doth beauty like a dial hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived,
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived.
For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred,
Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.

Sonnet 75

So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-seasoned showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found.
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure,
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then bettered that the world may see my pleasure,
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight,
And by and by clean starved for a look,
Possessing or pursuing no delight
Save what is had, or must from you be took.
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all, or all away.

Sonnet 49

Against that time (if ever that time come)
When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
Called to that audit by advised respects,
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass,
And scarcely greet me with that sun thine eye,
When love converted from the thing it was
Shall reasons find of settled gravity;
Against that time do I ensconce me here
Within the knowledge of mine own desert,
And this my hand, against my self uprear,
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part,
To leave poor me, thou hast the strength of laws,
Since why to love, I can allege no cause.

Sonnet 61

Is it thy will, thy image should keep open
My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
So far from home into my deeds to pry,
To find out shames and idle hours in me,
The scope and tenure of thy jealousy?
O no, thy love though much, is not so great,
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake,
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
To play the watchman ever for thy sake.
For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
From me far off, with others all too near.

Sonnet 89

Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,
And I will comment upon that offence,
Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt:
Against thy reasons making no defence.
Thou canst not (love) disgrace me half so ill,
To set a form upon desired change,
As I'll my self disgrace, knowing thy will,
I will acquaintance strangle and look strange:
Be absent from thy walks and in my tongue,
Thy sweet beloved name no more shall dwell,
Lest I (too much profane) should do it wronk:
And haply of our old acquaintance tell.
For thee, against my self I'll vow debate,
For I must ne'er love him whom thou dost hate.

Sonnet 90

Then hate me when thou wilt, if ever, now,
Now while the world is bent my deeds to cross,
join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,
And do not drop in for an after-loss:
Ah do not, when my heart hath 'scaped this sorrow,
Come in the rearward of a conquered woe,
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,
To linger out a purposed overthrow.
If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last,
When other petty griefs have done their spite,
But in the onset come, so shall I taste
At first the very worst of fortune's might.
And other strains of woe, which now seem woe,
Compared with loss of thee, will not seem so.

Sonnet 146

Poor soul the centre of my sinful earth,
My sinful earth these rebel powers array,
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms inheritors of this excess
Eat up thy charge? is this thy body's end?
Then soul live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more,
So shall thou feed on death, that feeds on men,
And death once dead, there's no more dying then.