Sonnet 103

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Sonnet 103

Alack! what poverty my Muse brings forth,
That having such a scope to show her pride,
The argument all bare is of more worth
Than when it hath my added praise beside!
O! blame me not, if I no more can write!
Look in your glass, and there appears a face
That over-goes my blunt invention quite,
Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.
Were it not sinful then, striving to mend,
To mar the subject that before was well?
For to no other pass my verses tend
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;
And more, much more, than in my verse can sit,
Your own glass shows you when you look in it.

–William Shakespeare

Sonnet 103 is one of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It's a member of the Fair Youth sequence, in which the poet expresses his love towards a young man.

Synopsis[edit]

The poet says that his feeble lines cannot do justice to the subject's beauty, but merely mar it with their own inadequacy. The poet's only achievements are the result of that beauty, which is much more clearly visible simply by looking in a mirror.