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Shakespeare's Sonnets

Poems (sonnets)

SONNET 1

Caesar, when that the traitor of Egypt, With th' honorable head did him present, Covering his gladness, did represent Plaint with his tears outward, as it is writ; And Hannibal, eke, when fortune him shut Clean from his reign, and from all his intent Laughed to his folk, whom sorrow did torment, His cruel despite for to dis-gorge and quit. So chanceth it oft, that every passion The mind hideth, by colour contrary, With feigned visage, now sad, now merry: Whereby if I laughed, any time or season, It is for because I have n' other way To cloak my care, but under sport and play.
Cesar, when that the traytor of Egipt, With thonorable hed did him present, Covering his gladnes, did represent Playnt with his teres owteward, as it is writt ; And Hannyball, eke, when fortune him shitt Clene from his reign, and from all his intent Laught to his folke, whom sorrowe did torment, His cruel dispite for to dis-gorge and qwit. So chaunceth it oft, that every passion The mind hideth, by color contrary, With fayned visage, now sad, now mery : Whereby if I laught, any tyme or season, It is : for bicause I have nother way To cloke my care, but under sport and play.

NOTES

traitor of Egypt = Cleopatra. honourable head = the head of Pompey the Great? Plaint = sorrow. Hannibal = an African general in the Punic wars between Rome and Carthage. eke = also. for to dis-gorge and quit = in order to stifle and overcome. n' other = no other

SONNET 2

The long love that in my thought doth harbour And in my heart doth keep his residence Into my face presseth with bold pretence And therein campeth spreading his banner. She that me learneth to love and suffer And wills that my trust and lust's negligence Be reined by reason, shame, and reverence With his hardiness taketh displeasure. Where with all unto the heart's forest he fleeeth Leaving his enterprise with pain and cry, And there him hideth and not appeareth. What may I do when my master feareth ? But in the field with him to live and die ? For good is the life, ending faithfully.
The longe love that in my thought doeth harbar : And in my hert doeth keep his residence : Into my face preseth with bolde pretence : And therein campeth spreding his baner. She that me lerneth to love and suffre : And willes that my trust and lustes negligence Be rayned by reason, shame, and reverence : With his hardines taketh displeasur. Where with all unto the hertes forrest he fleith : Leving his enterprise with payn and cry : And ther him hideth and not appereth. What may I do when my maister fereth ? But in the feld with him to lyve and dye ? For goode is the liff, ending faithfully.

NOTES

learneth = teaches. lust's negligence = unbridled lust. his hardiness = his (lust's or love's) boldness. the heart's forest = the deep emotions and thickets of the heart. There is a pun on hart = deer. his enterprise = his, the heart's, wooing. my master = my heart. But in the field etc. this is a continuation of the military metaphor of ll. 3-4.

SONNET 3

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind, But, as for me: helas, I may no more. The vain travail hath wearied me so sore, I am of them, that farthest cometh behind. Yet may I by no means my wearied mind Draw from the deer; but as she fleeth afore Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore, Since in a net I seek to hold the wind. Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt, As well as I, may spend his time in vain. And, graven with Diamonds, in letters plain, There is written, her fair neck round about: Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am, And wild for to hold - though I seem tame.
Who so list to hount : I know where is an hynd, But, as for me : helas, I may no more. The vayne travail hath werid me so sore, I ame of theim, that farthest cometh behinde Yet, may I by no means, my weried mynde Drawe from the Der; but as she fleeth afore Faynting I folowe. I leve of therefore : Sins in a nett I seeke to hold the wynde. Who list her hount : I put him out of dowbte : As well as I : may spend his time in vain. And graven with Diamonds in letters plain : There is written, her faier neck rounde abowte : Noli me tangere for Cesars I ame And wylde for to hold : though I seme tame.

NOTES

Whoso = whoever. list = desires. hind = a female deer. helas = a variant form of 'Alas'. Noli me tangere = Do not touch me (Latin). For Caesar's I am = I belong to the King. Possibly the poem refers to Anne Boleyn, who was chased by Henry VIII. Wyatt is supposed to have warned the King against her as she was too free with her favours.

SONNET 4

Was I never yet of your love grieved, Nor never shall while that my life doth last; But of hating myself, that date is past, And tears continual sore have me wearied. I will not yet in my grave be buried ; Nor on my tomb, your name yfixed fast, As cruel cause that did the spirit soon haste From th'unhappy bones, by great sighs stirred. Then if an heart of amorous faith and will May content you, without doing grief, Please it you so to this to do relief If, otherwise, ye seek for to fulfil Your disdain: ye err, and shall not as ye ween, And you yourself the cause thereof hath been.
Was I never yet of your love greved, Nor never shall while that my liff doeth last ; But of hating myself that date is past, And teeres continuell sore have me weried. I will not yet in my grave be buried ; Nor on my tombe, your name yfixed fast, As cruell cause that did the sperit son haste Ffrom thunhappy bonys, by great sighes sterred. Then if an hert of amourous faith and will May content you, withoute doyng greiff, Please it you so to this to doo releiff Yf, othr wise, ye seke for to fulfill Your disdain : ye erre : and shall not as ye wene ; And you yourself the cause thereof hath bene.

NOTES

Was I never yet of your love grieved = I have never yet regretted having loved you. yfixed = fixed; an archaic form of the past tense. Please it you so to this to do relief = May it please you to relieve my aching heart. shall not as ye ween = you shall not succeed in what you think you are succeeding in. the cause thereof = the cause of my grief (and your own?).

SONNET 5

Each man me telleth I change most my device, And on my faith, me think it good reason To change propose like after the season, For in every case, to keep still one guise Is meet for them that would be taken wise; And I am not of such manner condition, But treated after a diverse fashion, And thereupon my diverseness doth rise. But you that blame this diverseness most, Change you no more, but still after one rate, Treat ye me well, and keep ye in the same state. And while with me doth dwell this wearied ghost, My word nor I shall not be variable, But always one, your own, both firm and stable.
Eche man me telleth I chaunge moost my devise : And on my faith, me thinck it goode reason, To chaunge propose like after the season : Ffor in every case, to kepe still oon gyse Ys mytt for theim that would be taken wyse ; And I am not of such maner condition : But treted after a dyvers fasshion : And thereupon my dyvernes doeth rise. But you that blame this dyvernes moost, Chaunge you no more, but still after oon rate, Trete ye me well, and kepe ye in the same state And while with me doeth dwell this weried goost, My word nor I shall not be variable, But alwaies oon your owne both ferme and stable.

NOTES

device = will, desire, fancy. (Oed 3). on my faith - a mild oath. propose = proposals, plans. meet = fitting. taken wise = considered to be wise. of such manner condition = of such a character. still after one rate = always in the same manner. this wearied ghost = my life, my spirit.

SONNET 6

If amour's faith, an heart unfeigned, A sweet languor, a great lovely desire, If honest will kindled in gentle fire, If long error in a blind maze chained, If in my visage, each thought depainted, Or else in my sparkling voice, lower or higher, Which now fear, now shame, woefully doth tire; If a pale colour which love hath stained, If to have another than myself more dear, If wailing and sighing continually, With sorrowfull anger feeding busily; If burning afar off, and freezing near, Are cause that by love my self I destroy, Yours is the fault and mine the great annoy.
If amours faith, an hert unfayned, A swete languor a great lovely desir : If honest will kyndelled in gentill fier : If long error in a blynde maze chayned : If in my visage, eche thought depaynted : Or els in my sperkling voyse lower or higher. Which nowe fere, nowe shame, wofully doth tyer : If a pale colour which love hath stayned : If to have an other then myself more dere : Yf wailing and sighting continuelly, With sorrowfull anger feding bissely : Yf burning a farr of : and fresing nere Ar cause that by love my self I destroye, Yours is the fault and myn the great annoye.

NOTES

amour's faith = love's faithfulness. depainted = depicted. semblable = like (noun). If to have another than myself more dear = If I value someone other than myself (i.e. you) more highly. annoy = annoyance, suffering.

SONNET 7

Farewell Love and all thy laws for ever, Thy baited hooks shall tangle me no more; Senec and Plato call me from thy lore To perfect wealth my wit for to endeavour. In blind error when I did persever, Thy sharp repulse, that pricketh ay so sore, Hath taught me to set in trifles no store, And scape forth, since liberty is liefer. Therefore farewell, go trouble younger hearts, And in me claim no more authority, With idle youth go use thy property, And thereon spend thy many brittle darts. For hitherto though I have lost all my time, Me lusteth no longer rotten boughs to climb.
Ffarewell Love and all thy lawes for ever, Thy bayted hookes shall tangill me no more : Senec and Plato call me from thy lore To perfaict welth my wit for to endevèr. In blynde error when I did persevèr ; Thy sherpe repulse, that pricketh ay so sore, Hath taught me to sett in tryfels no store : And scape fourth, syns libertie is levèr. Therefor farewell, goo trouble younger hertes : And in me clayme no more authoritie ; With idill yeuth goo use thy propertie ; And thereon spend thy many brittill dertes. For hitherto though I have lost all my tyme, Me lusteth no lenger rotten boughes to clyme.

NOTES

Senec and Plato = Seneca and Plato, philosophers of the ancient world who preached restraint and abstention from earthly pleasures. endeavour = strive for. that pricketh ay so sore = that is always so painful. to set in trifles no store = to attach no importance to trivialities. liefer = more desirable. property = power, capabilities. me lusteth no longer = I no longer wish.

SONNET 8

My heart I gave thee not to do it pain, But to preserve it was to thee taken; I served thee not to be forsaken, But that I should be rewarded again. I was content thy servant to remain, But not to be payed under this fashion. Now since in thee is none other reason, Displease thee not if that I do refrain, Unsatiate of my woe and thy desire. Assured be craft to excuse thy fault. But since it please thee to feign a default Farewell I say, parting from the fire. For he that believeth, bearing in hand, Plougheth in water and soweth in the sand.
My hert I gave the not to do it payn, But to preserve it was to the taken : I served the not to be forsaken, But that I should be rewarded again : I was content thy servaunt to remayn, But not to be payed under this fasshion : Nowe syns in the is none othr reason, Displease the not if that I do refrain : Unsaciat of my woo and thy desir : Assured be craft to excuse thy fault. But syns it please the to fain a default Ffarewell I say, parting from the fyer. For he that belevith bering in hand, Ploweth in water and soweth in the sand.

NOTES

to preserve it was to thee taken = it was given to you so that you might preserve it. Displease thee not = do not be displeased if. Unsatiate of = dissatisfied with. He is probably here describing himself, rather than her. Assured be craft = you will I am sure be crafty enough to. feign a default = pretend that there is a fault (in me?) bearing in hand = ??? Ploughing etc. = engaging in fruitless and useless labours.

SONNET 9

There was never file half so well filed, To file a file for every smith's intent, As I was made a filing instrument To frame others while I was beguiled. But reason hath at my folly smiled, And pardoned me sins that I me repent, Of my lost years, and time mispent. For youth did me lead and falshood guided, Yet this trust I have of full great appearance, Since that deceit is aye returneable, Of very force it is agreeable That therewithal be done the recompense. Then guile beguiled plained should be never, And the reward little trust for ever.
There was never ffile : half so well filed, To file a file for every smythes intent : As I was made a filing instrument : To frame othrs while I was begiled. But reason hath at my follie smyled : And pardond me sins that I me repent. Of my lost yeres, and tyme myspent : For yeuth did me lede and falshode guyded, Yet this trust I have of full great aperaunce : Syns that decept is aye retourneable, Of very force it is aggreable ; That therewithal be done the recompence. Then gile begiled plained should be never, And the reward litle trust for ever.

NOTES

Lines 1-4 = the metaphor is from the blacksmith's workshop, and the general meaning seems to be that the poet thinks he has been made use of and taken in. is aye returnable = may always be repaid. of very force = assuredly. That therewithal be done the recompense = that you be paid back for what you have done to me. guile beguiled = trickery that is in its turn tricked. plained = complained of.

SONNET 10

Some fowls there be that have so perfect sight Against the sun their eyes for to defend, And some because the light doth them offend, Do never peare but in the dark or night. Other rejoice that see the fire bright, And ween to play in it as they do pretend, And find the contrary of it that they intend; Alas of that sort I may be by right, For to withstand her look I am not able, And yet cannot I hide me in no dark place, Remembrance so followeth me of that face; So that with teary eyne, swollen and unstable, My destiny to behold her doth me lead, Yet do I know I run into the gleed.
Som fowles there be that have so perfaict sight Agayn the Sonne their Iyes for to defend, And som because the light doeth theim offend, Do never pere but in the darke or nyght. Other reioyse that se the fyer bright, And wene to play in it as they do pretend, And fynde the contrary of it that they intend ; Alas of that sort I may be by right, For to withstond her loke I ame not able, And yet can not I hide me in no darke place, Remembraunce so foloweth me of that face ; So that with tery yen, swolne and unstable, My destyne to behold her doeth me lede, Yet do I knowe I run into the glede.

NOTES

defend = protect. offend = injure. peare = appear. Other = others. ween to = think themselves to be. pretend = imagine, plan. teary eyne = tearful eye. gleed = hot coals.

SONNET 11

Because I have thee still kept from lies and blame And to my power always have I thee honoured; Unkind tongue! right ill hast thou me rendered, For such desert to do me wreck and shame. In need of succour most when that I am, To take reward, then stand'st thou like one afeared, Alway most cold, and if thou speak toward, It is as in dream, unperfect and lame. And ye salt tears, again my will each night That are with me, when fain I would be alone, Then are ye gone when I should make my moan. And you, so ready sighs to make me shright, Then are ye slake when that ye should outstart, And onely my look declareth my heart.
Bicause I have the still kept fro lyes and blame : And to my power alwaies have I the honoured ; Unkynd tong ! right ill hast thou me rendred ; For suche desert to do me wrek and shame, In nede of succor moost when that I ame, To take reward, then standest thou like oon aferd : Alway moost cold, and if thou spek towerd, It is as in dreme, unperfaict and lame. And ye salt teres, again my will eche nyght That are with me, when fayn I would be alone : Then are ye gone when I should make my mone. And you, so reddy sighes to make me shright, Then are ye slake when that ye shulde owtestert, And onely my loke declareth my hert.

NOTES

still = always. to my power = to the best of my ability. right ill hast thou me rendered = you have treated me abominably. In need of succor etc. = When I am most in need of hope, and desirous of reward. alway = always. toward = bold, haughty. again = against. shright = shriek. slake = slack, remiss. outstart = pour out of me. Lines 9-14 lament that his sighs and tears, which are always present when he does not want them, are never at hand when he needs them to plead with his beloved for a reward.

SONNET 12

I find no peace and all my war is done, I fear and hope, I burn and freeze like ice, I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise, And nought I have and all the world I seson; That loseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison; And holdeth me not; yet can I scape nowise, Nor letteth me live nor die at my devise, And yet of death it giveth me occasion. Without eyen I see; and without tongue I plain: I desire to perish, and yet I ask health; I love another: and thus I hate myself; I feed me in sorrow; and laugh in all my pain: Likewise displeaseth me both death and life, And my delight is causer of this strife.
I fynde no peace and all my warr is done, I fere and hope, I burn and freise like yse, I fley above the wynde, yet can I not arrise, And noght I have and all the worold I seson ; That loseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison ; And holdeth me not ; yet can I scape nowise : Nor letteth me live nor dye at my devise : And yet of deth it gyveth me occasion. Withoute Iyen I se ; and without tong I plain : I desire to perisshe, and yet I aske helthe ; I love an othr : and thus I hate myself ; I fede me in sorrowe : and laugh in all my pain : Likewise displeaseth me both deth and lyff : And my delite is causer of this stryff.

NOTES

seson = seize on ? That loseth nor locketh = she who neither releases me nor locks me up. die at my devise = die when I myself wish it. eyen = eye(s). plain = complain, lament. Likewise displeaseth me etc. = both death and life are equally hateful to me. my delight = i.e. my mistress. this strife = all the contrarieties and pains descibed above.

SONNET 13

Though I my self be bridled of my mind, Returning me backward by force express; If thou seek honour to keep thy promise, Who may thee hold my heart but thou thyself unbind. Sigh thou no more, since no way man may find Thy virtue to let : though that frowardness Of fortune me holdeth; and yet, as I may guess, Though other be present, thou art not all behind. Suffice it then that thou be ready there At all hours: still under the defence Of time, truth, and love, to save thee from offence: Crying "I burn in a lovely desire With my mistress", that may not follow, Whereby his absence turneth him to sorrow.
Though I my self be bridilled of my mynde, Retorning me backeward by force expresse ; If thou seke honour to kepe thy promes, Who may thee hold my hert but thou thyself unbind. Sigh thou no more, syns no way man may fynde Thy vertue to let : though that frowerdnes Of ffortune me holdeth ; and yet, as I may gesse, Though other be present, thou art not all behinde. Suffice it then that thou be redy there At all howres : still under the defence Of tyme, trouth, and love, to save thee from offence : Cryeng "I burne in a lovely desire With my maisteres", that may not followe ; Whereby his absence torneth him to sorrowe.

NOTES

bridled of my mind = self-controlled. force express = determined effort. to let = to hinder N.B. The editor cannot offer a satisfactory explanation of this poem and must leave it to readers to make what meaning they can out of it.

SONNET 14

My galley charged with forgetfulness, Thorough sharp seas, in winter nights doth pass, 'Tween rock and rock, and eke mine enemy, alas, That is my Lord, steereth with cruelness. And every oar a thought in readiness, As though that death were light in such a case; An endless wind doth tear the sail apace, Of forced sighes and trusty fearfulness. A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain, Hath done the wearied cords great hindrance. Wreathed with error and eke with ignorance, The stars be hid that led me to this pain; Drowned is reason that should me comfort, And I remain despairing of the port.
My galy charged with forgetfulnes, Thorrough sharpe sees, in wynter nyghtes doeth pas, Twene Rock and Rock : and eke myn enemy, alas, That is my Lorde, sterith with cruelnes. And every owre a thought in redines : As tho that deth were light in such a case ; An endles wynd doeth tere the sayll a pase, Of forced sightes and trusty ferefulnes. A rayn of teris : a clowde of derk disdain, Hath done the wered cordes great hinderaunce : Wrethed with error and eke with ignoraunce. The starres be hid that led me to this pain : Drowned is reason that should me comfort : And I remain dispering of the port.

NOTES

charged = laden. The lover is so preoccupied with his love that he is forgetful of all else. thorough = through. rock and rock = these stand for hazards such as the Scylla and Charibdis of Homeric legend. eke =also. my Lord = Cupid. oar - following Petrarch, the ship is oared by the lover's thoughts. wearied - possibly weared, i.e. worn. cords = the ropes which tie the sails. great hindrance = great damage. stars = his mistress' eyes, which in sonneteering convention are often compared to stars. despairing of the port = losing hope that I shall ever reach shelter. This is a typical 'Galley Sonnet' of a type which most Italian and French sonneteers eventually wrote. The original Petrarchan one is given below. The lover compares himself to a ship (galley) on a storm tossed sea. He fears that he will never reach harbour safely. The source of this sonnet is an Italian one by Petrarch: No. 189 (156) (Mestica, 268-69): Passa la nave mia colma d' oblio Per aspro mare, a mezza notte, il verno E 'nfra Scilla e Cariddi; ed al governo Siede 'l signore, anzi 'l nimico mio: A ciascun remo un penser pronto e rio, Che la tempesta e 'l fin par ch' abbi a' scherno: La vela rompe un vento, umido, eterno, Di sospir, di speranze e di desio: Pioggia li lagrimar, nebbia di sdegni Bagna e rallenta le già stanche sarte, Che son d' error con ignoranzia attorto: Celansi i duo mei dolci usati segni; Morta fra l' onde è la ragion e l' arte: Tal ch' i' 'ncomincio a desperar del porto.

SONNET 15

Avising the bright beams of these fair eyes, Where he is that mine oft moisteth and washeth, The wearied mind straight from the heart departeth, For to rest in his worldly paradise; And find the sweet bitter under this guise. What webs he hath wrought well he perceiveth, Whereby with himself on love he plaineth, That spurreth with fire and bridleth with ice. Thus is it in such extremity brought; In frozen thought now, and now it standeth in flame, Twixt misery and wealth, twixt earnest and game; But few glad, and many a divers thought. With sore repentaunce of his hardiness; Of such a root cometh fruit fruitless.
Avysing the bright bemes of these fayre Iyes, Where he is that myn oft moisteth and wassheth, The weirde mynde streght from the hert departeth, For to rest in his woroldly paradise ; And fynde the swete bitter under this gyse. What webbes he hath wrought well he perceveth : Whereby with himself on love he playneth : That spurreth with fyer and bridilleth with Ise. Thus is it in suche extremitie brought; In frossen though nowe, and nowe it stondeth in flame : Twyst misery and welth twyst ernest and game ; But few glad, and many a dyvers thought. With sore repentaunce of his hardines : Of such a rote cometh ffruyte fruytles.

NOTES

avising = seeing, viewing. these fair eyes = the eyes of his beloved. where he is = wherein love (Cupid) dwells. his worldly paradise = Cupid's garden of delights. under this guise = in this manner, through this experience. webs = nets, tangles. on love he plaineth = he complains of love. That spurreth etc. - i.e Love spurs the lover on with fire, and restrains him with ice. Thus is it - 'it' refers to the mind of line 3. twixt earnest and game = between seriousness and frivolity. hardiness = boldness, foolishness.

SONNET 16

Ever mine hap is slack and slow in coming, Desire increasing, mine hope uncertain, That leave it or wait, it doth me like pain, And Tiger like, swift it is in parting. Alas, the snow shall be black and scalding; The sea waterless; fish in the mountain; The Thames shall return back into his fountain; And where he rose the sun shall take lodging; Ere that I in this find peace or quietness, Or that love, or my lady rightwisely, Leave to conspire again me wrongfully; And if that I have after such bitterness Any thing sweet my mouth is out of taste, And all my trust and travail is but waste.
Ever myn happ is slack and slo in comyng Desir encresing, myn hope uncertain : That leve it or wayt, it doeth me like pain ; And Tigre like, swift it is in parting. Alas, the snow shalbe black and scalding ; The See waterles : fisshe in the montaine ; The Tamys shall retorn back into his fontain ; And where he rose the sonne shall take lodging ; Ere that I in this fynde peace or quyetenis, Or that love, or my lady rightwisely, Leve to conspire again me wrongfully ; And if that I have after such bitternis Any thing swete ; my mouth is owte of tast : And all my trust and travaill is but wast.

NOTES

hap = luck, happiness, fortune. slack = slow, remiss. That leave it or wait = whether I abandon my hope, or wait for it to be fulfilled. Ere that I in this = before I, in my love for you etc. love = Cupid. rightwisely = honestly, truthfully, justly. leave = cease again = against. my mouth is out of taste = my mouth is unable to enjoy it, or unable to taste things as they are.

SONNET 17

Love and fortune and my mind, rememberer Of that that is now, with that that hath been, Do torment me so that I very often Envy them beyond all measure. Love slayeth mine heart; fortune is depriver Of all my comfort; the foolish mind then Burneth and plaineth, as one that seldom Liveth in rest, still in displeasure. My pleasant days they fleet away and pass, But daily yet the ill doth change into the worse, And more than the half is run of my course. Alas, not of steel, but of brickle glass, I see that from mine hand falleth my trust, And all my thoughts are dashèd into dust.
Love and fortune and my mynde, remembr Of that that is nowe, with that, that hath ben, Do torment me so that I very often Envy theim beyonde all mesure. Love sleith myn hert ; fortune is depriver Of all my comfort ; the folisshe mynde then Burneth and plaineth, as one that sildam Lyveth in rest still in displeasure. My pleasaunt dayes they flete away and passe, But daily yet the ill doeth chaunge into the wours ; And more than the half is run of my cours. Alas, not of steill, but of brickell glasse, I see that from myn hand falleth my trust : And all my thoughtes are dasshed into dust.

NOTES

rememberer = (my mind) which is the rememberer (and comparer of that which is now with that which has been). envy them - he envies love, fortune, and his mind, because thay have seen better times, whereas he must live in the present. plaineth = complains, laments. still in displeasure = (but) is constantly in pain the ill doth change into the worse = my bad situation continues to deteriorate. my course = my life. brickle = brittle, breakable (an archaic word). from mine hand falleth - i.e. is cast aside as useless.

SONNET 18

How oft have I, my dear and cruel foe, With those your eyes, for to get peace and truce, Proffered you mine heart, but you do not use Among so high things to cast your mind so low. If any other look for it, as ye trow, Their vain weak hope doth greatly them abuse, And thus I disdain that ye refuse. It was once mine, it can no more be so. If I then it chase, nor it in you can find In this exile no manner of comfort; Nor live alone nor where he is called resort; He may wander from his natural kind. So shall it be great hurt unto us twain, And your's the loss and mine the deadly pain.
How oft have I, my dere and cruell foo, With those your Iyes, for to get peace and truyse, Profferd you myn herte but you do not use Emong so high thinges to cast your mynde so lowe. Yf any othr loke for it, as ye trowe, There vayn weke hope doth greatly them abuse : And thus I disdain that ye refuse : It was ons myn it can no more be so. Yf I then it chase, nor it in you can fynde In this exile no manner of comfort : Nor lyve alone nor where he is called resort ; He may wander from his natural kynd. So shall it be great hurt unto us twayn, And yowres the losse and myn the dedly pain.

NOTES

you do not use = you are not accustomed to. among so high things = in the company of those high thoughts which your mind dwells upon. If any other look for it - peace and truce? as ye trow = as you know. abuse = deceive. And thus I disdain that ye refuse = thus I have contempt for your refusal (to accept my heart?). It was once mine - i.e. my heart was once my own. nor it in you can find / In this exile = if my heart, being exiled from me and you, can find no comfort. nor where he is called resort = nor be permitted to go where he (the heart) is summoned or invited. He may wander from his natural kind = he (the heart) may become unnatural and vicious.

SONNET 19

Like to these unmeasurable mountains, Is my painfull life, the burden of ire, For of great height be they, and high is my desire; And I of tears, and they be full of fountains. Under craggy rocks they have full barren plains: Hard thoughts in me my woeful mind doth tire; Small fruit and many leaves their tops do attire: Small effect with great trust in me remains. The boistrous winds oft their high boughs do blast Hot sighs from me continually be shed; Cattle in them: and in me love is fed; Immoveable am I: and they are full steadfast ; Of that restless birds they have the tune and note: And I always plaints that pass through my throat.
Like to these unmesurable montayns, Is my painfull lyff the burden of Ire, For of great height be they, and high is my desire ; And I of teres, and they be full of fontayns ; Under craggy rockes they have full barren playns ; Hard thoughtes in me, my woefull mynde doeth tyre ; Small fruyt and many leves their toppes do atyre : Small effect with great trust in me remayns. The boyseus wyndes oft their high bowghes do blast : Hote sighes from me continuelly be shed ; Cattell in theim : and in me love is fed ; Immoveable ame I : and they are full stedfast ; Of that restles birdes they have the tune and note : And I alwayes plaintes that passe thorough my throte.

NOTES

the burden of ire = (which is troubled with) the burden of anger and sorrow. full barren = extremely infertile attire = dress, cover. of that restless birds = of various restless birds. And I always = I always have ready plaints = complains, laments. brickle = brittle, breakable (an archaic word). from mine hand falleth - i.e. is cast aside as useless.

SONNET 20

The lively sparks that issue from those eyes, Against the which ne vaileth no defence, Have pressed mine heart and done it none offence, With quaking pleasure more than once or twice. Was never man could anything devise The sun beams to turn with so great vehemence To daze man's sight, as by their bright presence. Dazed am I, much like unto the guise Of one ystricken with dint of lightning, Blinded with the stroke, erring here and there, So call I for help, I not when ne where, The pain of my fault patiently bearing. For after the blaze, as is no wonder Of deadly 'Nay' hear I the fearful thunder.
The lyvely sperkes that issue from those Iyes, Against the which ne vaileth no defence, Have prest myn hert and done it none offence, With quaking pleasur more than ons or twise. Was never man could anything devise The sonne bemes to torn with so great vehemence, To dase mans sight, as by their bright presence. Dased ame I, muche like unto the gyse Of one ystricken with dint of lightening : Blynded with the stroke, erryng here and there, So call I for helpe, I not when ne where, The pain of my falt patiently bering. For after the blase, as is no wounder Of dedly nay here I the ferefull thounder.

NOTES

ne vaileth = does not avail, cannot help. pressed = attacked, caused difficulties to. done it none offence = not damaged it. Was never man = there was never a man who. As by their bright presence = as, by the brightness of your eyes (I am dazzled) ystricken = struck, (an archaic past participle). dint = blast, blow. erring = wandering. after the blaze = after the blaze from your sparkling eyes, which is like the lightning. deadly 'Nay' - i.e. your refusal to gratify me.