Sweet love, renew thy
force; be it not said
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite,
Which but to-day by feeding is allayed,
To-morrow sharpened in his former might:
So, love, be thou, although to-day thou fill
Thy hungry eyes, even till they wink with fulness,
To-morrow see again, and do not kill
The spirit of love, with a perpetual dulness.
Let this sad interim like the ocean be
Which parts the shore, where two contracted new
Come daily to the banks, that when they see
Return of love, more blest may be the view;
As call it winter, which being full of care,
Makes summer's welcome, thrice more wished, more rare.
Perhaps the poet now takes stock and finds that as the weeks elapse the intensity of his love wanes. He meditates that it is not so with hunger, which renews itself with each passing day. 'Why cannot love be the same', he reasons. He urges himself, and the beloved friend also, to keep alive the spirit of love. Let them consider this time of separation as an interlude which divides lovers on different shores, making their reunion even more joyful. Or let it be as the starving winter which is alleviated at last by summer's return, a return which is all the more desired and precious because of the hardships of winter which have been endured.
The 1609 Quarto Version
SWeet loue renew thy force , be it not ſaid
Thy edge ſhould blunter be then apetite,
Which but too daie by feeding is alaied,
To morrow ſharpned in his former might.
So loue be thou,although too daie thou fill
Thy hungry eies,euen till they winck with fulneſſe,
Too morrow ſee againe,and doe not kill
The ſpirit of Loue,with a perpetual dulneſſe:
Let this ſad Intrim like the Ocean be
Which parts the ſhore,where two contracted new,
Come daily to the banckes,that when they ſee:
Returne of loue,more bleſt may be the view.
As cal it Winter,which being ful of care,
Makes Somers welcome,thrice more wiſh'd,more rare: