Sonnet 129: Th'expense of spirit in a waste of shame

By William Shakespeare 1564–1616 William Shakespeare
Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murd'rous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoyed no sooner but despisèd straight,
Past reason hunted; and, no sooner had
Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so,
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
    All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
    To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.


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Poet William Shakespeare 1564–1616


SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Disappointment & Failure, Living, Relationships, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Sonnet