Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!
Four hundred and fifty-five years after William Shakespeare’s birth, his work remains the nearest thing we have to universality.
“In the old age black was not counted fair…”
In the old age black was not counted fair,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty’s name;
But now is black beauty’s successive heir,
And beauty slandered with a bastard shame:
For since each hand hath put on Nature’s power,
Fairing the foul with Art’s false borrowed face,
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower,
But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
Therefore my mistress’ eyes are raven black,
Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem
At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
Sland’ring creation with a false esteem:
Yet so they mourn becoming of their woe,
That every tongue says beauty should look so.
BOOK: SHAKESPEARE’S COMPLETE WORKS
The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition: The Complete Works eBook: William Shakespeare