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Nor that full star that ushers in the even

Doth half that glory to the sober west

As those two mourning eyes become thy face (Sonn. 132).

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The Sonnets were first published in 1609, with the following title-page (as given in the fac-simile of 1870):

SHAKE-SPEARES | SONNETS. | Neuer before Imprinted. AT LONDON | By G. Eld for T. T. and are to be solde by William Aspley. | 1609.

In some copies the latter part of the imprint reads: "to be solde by John Wright, dwelling | at Christ Church gate. [ 1609."

At the end of the volume A Lover's Complaint was printed. In 1640 the Sonnets (except Nos. 18, 19, 43, 56, 75, 76, 96, and 126), re-arranged under various titles, with the pieces in The Passionate Pilgrim, A Lover's Complaint, The Phoenix and the Turtle, the lines "Why should this a desert be,” etc. (A. Y. L. iii. 2. 133 fol.), "Take, O take those lips away," etc. (M. for M. iv. 1. 1 fol.), and sundry translations from Ovid, evidently not Shakespeare's (see our ed. of V. and A. p. 215), were published with the following title:

POEMS: | WRITTEN BY WIL. SHAKE-SPEARE. | Gent. | Printed at London by Tho. Cotes, and are to be sold by John Benson, dwelling in | St Dunstans Church-yard. 1640.

There is an introductory address "To the Reader" by Benson, in which he asserts that the poems are “of the same purity the Authour himselfe then living avouched," and that they will be found "seren, cleere and eligantly plaine." He adds that by bringing them "to the perfect view of all men" he is "glad to be serviceable for the continuance of glory to the deserved Author."

The order of the poems in this volume is followed in the editions of Gildon (1710) and of Sewell (1725 and 1728); also in those published by Ewing (1771) and Evans (1775). In all these editions the sonnets mentioned above (18, 19, etc.) are omitted, and 138 and 144 are given in the form in which they appear in The Passionate Pilgrim.

The first complete reprint of the Sonnets, after the edition of 1609, appears to have been in the collected edition of Shakespeare's Poems, published by Lintott in 1709 (see our ed. of Venus and Adonis, etc., p. 13).

The earliest known reference to the Sonnets is in the Palladis Tamia of Meres (cf. M. N. D. p. 9, and C. of E. p. 101), who speaks of them as "his sugred Sonnets among

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