Sonnet 86

Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,Bound for the prize of all too precious you,That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to writeAbove a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?No, neither he, nor his compeers by nightGiving him aid, my verse astonished.He, nor that affable familiar ghostWhich nightly gulls him with intelligenceAs victors of my silence cannot boast;I was not sick of any fear from thence: But when your countenance fill'd up his line, Then lack'd I matter; that enfeebled mine.
Please don't think I've been scared into quietby some rivals' fine verse; but here's why itdoes seem that's the case:his wry lines on your facecan still send my mind into a riot.