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 prideWhich on thy soft cheek for complexion dwellsIn my love's veins thou hast too grossly dyed.The lily I condemned 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 bothAnd to his robbery had annex'd thy breath;But, for his theft, in pride of all his growthA vengeful canker eat him up to death. More flowers I noted, yet I none could see But sweet or colour it had stol'n from thee.
These flowers are fine, but think 'tismuch finer to stare at my love, viz.they've stolen their gracefrom my sweet thief's face,and these tulips are pale compared to his.