Sonnet 070

That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,

For slander's mark was ever yet the fair;

The ornament of beauty is suspect,

A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air.

So thou be good, slander doth but approve

Thy worth the greater, being woo'd of time;

For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,

And thou present'st a pure unstained prime.

Thou hast pass'd by the ambush of young days,

Either not assail'd or victor being charged;

Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,

To tie up envy evermore enlarged:

If some suspect of ill mask'd not thy show,

Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.