List of Shakespearean Sonnets

Sonnets by Shakespeare

Shakespeare Writing
Shakespeare Writing.

Shakespeare left behind 154 of the most wonderfully written sonnets. This list of Shakespearean Sonnets indexes them all with links to study guides and original texts.

The list is broken down into three sections: The Fair Youth Sonnets, Dark Lady Sonnets and the so-called Greek Sonnets.

Fair Youth Sonnets (Sonnets 1 – 126)

The first segment of Shakespeare’s sonnets have become known as the fair youth sonnets.

The poet dotes on an attractive young man and believes that his beauty can be preserved through poetry. When the fair youth ages and eventually dies, his beauty will still be captured in the words of the sonnets listed below.

This deep, loving friendship sometimes verges on a sexual infatuation, and the nature of the doting is open to debate. Perhaps it is a female speaker, evidence of Shakespeare’s homosexuality, or simply a close friendship. 

  • 81: Or I Shall Live Your Epitaph To Make
  • 82: I Grant Thou Wert Not Married To My Muse
  • 83: I Never Saw That You Did Painting Need
  • 84: Who Is It That Says Most, Which Can Say More
  • 85: My Tongue-Tied Muse In Manners Holds Her Still
  • 86: Farewell! Thou Art Too Dear For My Possessing
  • 87: Farewell! Thou Art Too Dear For My Possessing
  • 88: When Thou Shalt Be Dispos'd To Set Me Light
  • 89: Say That Thou Didst Forsake Me For Some Fault
  • 90: Then Hate Me When Thou Wilt; If Ever, Now
  • 91: Some Glory In Ttheir Birth, Some In Their Skill
  • 92: But Do Thy Worst To Steal Thyself Away
  • 93: So Shall I Live, Supposing Thou Art True
  • 94: They That Have Power To Hurt, And Will Do None
  • 95: How Sweet And Lovely Dost Thou Make The Shame
  • 96: Some Say Thy Fault Is Youth, Some Wantonness
  • 97: How Like A Winter Hath My Absence Been
  • 98: From You Have I Been Absent In The Spring
  • 99: The Forward Violet Thus Did I Chide
  • 100: Where Art Thou, Muse, That Thou Forget'st So Long
  • 101: O Truant Muse, What Shall Be Thy Amends
  • 102: My Love Is Strengthen'd, Though More Weak In Seeming
  • 103: Alack, What Poverty My Muse Brings Forth
  • 104: To Me,Fair Friend, You Never Can Be Old
  • 105: Let Not My Love Be Called Idolatry
  • 106: When In The Chronicle Of Wasted Time
  • 107: Not Mine Own Fears, Nor The Prophetic Soul
  • 108: What's In The Brain That Ink May Character
  • 109: O! Never Say That I Was False Of Heart
  • 110: Alas! 'Tis True, I Have Gone Here And There
  • 111: O For My Sake Do You With Fortune Chide
  • 112: Your Love And Pity Doth Th' Impression Fill
  • 113: Since I Left You, Mine Eye Is In My Mind
  • 114: Or Whether Doth My Mind, Being Crowned With You
  • 115: Those Lines That I Before Have Writ Do Lie
  • 116: Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds
  • 117: Accuse Me Thus: That I Have Scanted All
  • 118: Like As To Make Our Appetites More Keen
  • 119: What Potions Have I Drunk Of Siren Tears
  • 120: That You Were Once Unkind Befriends Me Now
  • 121: 'Tis Better To Be Vile Than Vile Esteemed
  • 122: Thy Gift, Thy Tables, Are Within My Brain
  • 123: Thy Pyramids Built Up With Newer Might
  • 124: If My Dear Love Were But The Child Of State
  • 125: Were't Ought To Me I Bore The Canopy
  • 126: O Thou, My Lovely Boy, Who In Thy Pow'r

Dark Lady Sonnets (Sonnets 127 - 152)

The second segment of Shakespeare’s sonnets have become known as the Dark Lady Sonnets. A mysterious woman enters the narrative in Sonnet 127, and immediately attracts the poet’s attention. 

Unlike the fair youth, this woman is not physically beautiful. Her eyes are “raven black” and she is “not born fair”. She is described as evil, a temptress and a bad angel. All good reasons to earn a reputation as the dark lady.

She is perhaps having an illicit affair with the fair youth, perhaps explaining the poet’s jealousy.

  • Sonnet 127: In The Old Age Black Was Not Counted Fair
  • Sonnet 128: How Oft When Thou, My Music, Music Play'st
  • Sonnet 129: Th' Expense Of Spirit In A Waste Of Shame
  • Sonnet 130: My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun
  • Sonnet 131: Thou Art As Tyrannous, So As Thou Art
  • Sonnet 132: Thine Eyes I Love, And They, As Pitying Me
  • Sonnet 133: Beshrew That Heart That Makes My Heart To Groan
  • Sonnet 134: So Now I Have Confessed That He Is Thine
  • Sonnet 135: Whoever Hath Her Wish, Thou Hast Thy Will
  • Sonnet 136: If Thy Soul Check Thee That I Come So Near
  • Sonnet 137: Thou Blind Fool, Love, What Dost Thou To Mine Eyes
  • Sonnet 138: When My Love Swears That She Is Made Of Truth
  • Sonnet 139: O! Call Not Me To Justify The Wrong
  • Sonnet 140: Be Wise As Thou Art Cruel
  • Sonnet 141: In Faith I Do Not Love You With Mine Eyes
  • Sonnet 142: Love Is My Sin, And Thy Dear Virtue Hate
  • Sonnet 143: Lo, As A Careful Housewife Runs To Catch
  • Sonnet 144: Two Loves I Have Of Comfort And Despair
  • Sonnet 145: Those Lips That Love's Own Hand Did Make
  • Sonnet 146: Poor Soul, The Centre Of My Sinful Earth
  • Sonnet 147: My Love Is As A Fever Longing Still
  • Sonnet 148: O Me! What Eyes Hath Love Put In My Head
  • Sonnet 149: Canst Thou, O Cruel! Say I Love Thee Not
  • Sonnet 150: O! From What Power Hast Thou This Powerful Might
  • Sonnet 151: Love Is Too Young To Know What Conscience Is
  • Sonnet 152:In Loving Thee Thou Kow'st I Am Forsworn

The Greek Sonnets (Sonnets 153 and 154)

The final two sonnets of the sequence are very different to the others. They move away from the narrative described above and instead draw upon ancient Greek myths.

  • Sonnet 153:Cupid Laid by his Brand, and Fell Asleep
  • Sonnet 154:The Little Love-God Lying Once Asleep