• Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
    So far from variation or quick change?
    Why with the time do I not glance aside
    To new-found methods and to compounds strange?
    Why write I still all one, ever the same,
    And keep invention in a noted weed,
    That every word doth almost tell my name,
    Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?
    O know, sweet love, I always write of you,
    And you and love are still my argument.
    So all my best is dressing old words new,
    Spending again what is already spent:
      For as the sun is daily new and old,
      So is my love still telling what is told.
  • Why is my poetry so lacking in new ornaments, so determined in avoiding variation and change? Why don’t I, like everyone else these days, take a look at the new literary styles and weird combinations of other writers? Why do I always write the same thing, always the same, and always in the same distinctive style, so that almost every word I write tells you who wrote it, where it was born, and where it comes from? Oh, you should know, sweet love, I always write about you, and you and love are continually my subjects. So the best I can do is find new words to say the same thing, spending again what I’ve already spent: Just as the sun is new and old every day, my love for you keeps making me tell what I’ve already told.