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Act I, Scene 54

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  • Shakespeare. O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
    By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
    The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem 745
    For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
    The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
    As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
    Hang on such thorns and play as wantonly
    When summer's breath their masked buds discloses: 750
    But, for their virtue only is their show,
    They live unwoo'd and unrespected fade,
    Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
    Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made:
    And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth, 755
    When that shall fade, my verse distills your truth.

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