Sonnet XCIX -- Sonnet 99

The forward violet thus did I chide:
“Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,
If not from my love's breath? The purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dyed.”
The lily I condemnèd for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair:
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another white despair;
A third, nor red nor white, had stol'n of both
And to his robb’ry had annexed thy breath;
But for his theft, in pride of all his growth
A vengeful canker ate him up to death.
   More flow’rs I noted, yet I none could see
   But sweet or colour it had stol'n from thee.
Larry Gleason, reader
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