Sonnet LXX -- Sonnet 70
That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
For slander's mark was ever yet the fair;
The ornament of beauty is suspéct,
A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air.
So thou be good, slander doth but approve
Thy worth the greater, being wooed of time,
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,
And thou present'st a pure unstainèd prime.
Thou hast passed by the ambush of young days,
Either not assailed or victor being charged;
Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,
To tie up envy evermore enlarged:
If some suspéct of ill masked not thy show,
Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.
Larry Gleason, reader