poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

poetic forms


About this Poem 

Shakespeare's own marriage took place in 1582 when he married Anne Hathaway. He was eighteen at the time, and she was seven or eight years older than him.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds (Sonnet 116)

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616

Let me not to the marriage of true minds   
Admit impediments. Love is not love   
Which alters when it alteration finds,   
Or bends with the remover to remove:   
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark, 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;   
It is the star to every wandering bark,   
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.   
Love ’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks   
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,   
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.   
  If this be error, and upon me prov’d,   
  I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, regarded as the foremost dramatist of his time, wrote more than thirty plays and more than one hundred sonnets, all written in the form of three quatrains and a couplet that is now recognized as Shakespearean.

by this poet

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
But sad mortality o'er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout
Come unto these yellow sands,
   And then take hands:
Court'sied when you have, and kiss'd,--
   The wild waves whist--
Foot it featly here and there;
And, sweet sprites, the burthen bear.
   Hark, hark!
      Bow, wow,
   The watch-dogs bark:
      Bow, wow.
Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting
When that I was and a little tiny boy,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man's estate,
    With hey, ho, . . .
'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate
    For the rain, . . .

But when I came, alas! to wive