Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness;
Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport.
Both grace and faults are loved of more and less;
Thou makest faults graces that to thee resort.
As on the finger of a thronèd queen
The basest jewel will be well esteemed,
So are those errors that in thee are seen
To truths translated and for true things deemed.
How many lambs might the stem wolf betray
If like a lamb he could his looks translate!
How many gazers mightst thou lead away
If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state!
But do not so. I love thee in such sort
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report.
Reading of Sonnet 96
The images in the YouTube video are from an original 1609 edition of Shake-speares Sonnets held by the British Library. It is one of only thirteen copies in existence. Images courtesy of the Octavo Corporation.
Text from Original 1609 Quarto
Transcription courtesy of University of Virginia Library:
Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonesse,
Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport,
Both grace and faults are lou’d of more and lesse:
Thou makst faults graces, that to thee resort:
As on the finger of a throned Queene,
The basest Iewell wil be well esteem’d:
So are those errors that in thee are seene,
To truths translated, and for true things deem’d.
How many Lambs might the sterne Wolfe betray,
If like a Lambe he could his lookes translate.
How many gazers mightst thou lead away,
If thou wouldst vse the strength of all thy state?
But doe not so, I loue thee in such sort,
As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.