Shakespeare's Sonnets (1883)

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SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS.

EDITED BY

WILLIAM J. ROLFE.


 

 
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Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy (Sonn. 33).

 

 

SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS.


Edited, with Notes,

BY

WILLIAM J. ROLFE, A.M.,

FORMERLY HEAD MASTER OF THE HIGH SCHOOL, CAMBRIDGE, MASS.


WITH ENGRAVINGS.


Harper & Brothers logo, ca 1880.png


NEW YORK:
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
FRANKLIN SQUARE.
1883.

 

 


ENGLISH CLASSICS.

Edited by WM. J. ROLFE, A.M.

Illustrated. 16mo, Cloth, 56 cents per volume; Paper, 40 cents per volume.


Shakespeare's Works.

Sonnets.


Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.

Any of the above works will he sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.



Copyright, 1883, by Harper & Brothers.

 

 

PREFACE.


In this volume, as almost every page of the Introduction and the Notes bears witness, I have been under special obligations to Professor Dowden's excellent editions of the Sonnets. I have not, however, drawn at all from Part II. of the Introduction to his larger edition (see the footnote on p. 11), which condenses into some seventy-five pages the entire literature of the Sonnets. For the critical student this careful résumé answers a double purpose: as a bibliography of the subject, directing him to the many books and papers that have been written upon the Sonnets, if he is moved to read any or all of them; and as a compact and convenient substitute for these books and papers, if he wants to know their gist and substance without the drudgery of wading through them. I doubt not that the majority of students will be thankful that Professor Dowden has relieved them of this drudgery by compressing many a dull volume or magazine article into a page or a paragraph.

I have said on page 11 that I am not fully satisfied with the theory that the Sonnets are all autobiographical, and that 1–126 form a regular series: but the more I study them the more I am inclined to that theory. The work I have done since the Introduction was sent to the printer, in revising the Notes and seeing them through the press, has steadily forced me towards an agreement with Dowden and the many poets and critics (see page 22) who believe that Shakespeare "unlocked his heart" in the Sonnets. But I still see difficulties in this theory, and still doubt whether Shakespeare had anything to do with bringing out the edition of 1609. If "Mr. W. H." was the person who collected and arranged the poems for the press, he seems to have known enough of their origin and their meaning to enable him to get them nearly in their proper order; but I suspect that if Shakespeare had read the proof-sheets, he might have made some transpositions. If he could only have prefixed the "argument" of them, as in the case of the Lucrece!

I will only add that the text of the Sonnets, like that of the Poems, is given without omission or expurgation.


Cambridge, March 1, 1883.

 

 
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in her maiden hand
The fairest votary took up that fire
Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd (Sonn. 154)

 

 

CONTENTS.



PAGE
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9
I.
Their History
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9
II.
Critical Comments on the Sonnets
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12
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45
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125

 

 
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Nor that full star that ushers in the even
Doth half that glory to the sober west
As those two mourning eyes become thy face (Sonn. 132).

 

 

SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS.

 

 

TO . THE . ONLIE . BEGETTER . OF .
THESE . INSVING . SONNETS .
Mr . W. H. ALL . HAPPINESSE .
AND . THAT . ETERNITIE .
PROMISED .
BY .
OVR . EVER-LIVING . POET .
WISHETH .
THE . WELL-WISHING .
ADVENTVRER . IN .
SETTING .
FORTH .

T. T.

 

 
Chapters(not individually listed)

Sonnets 1–10

  • Sonnet 1From fairest creatures we desire increase
  • Sonnet 2When forty winters shall besiege thy brow
  • Sonnet 3Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest
  • Sonnet 4Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
  • Sonnet 5Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
  • Sonnet 6Then let not winter's ragged hand deface
  • Sonnet 7Lo! in the orient when the gracious light
  • Sonnet 8Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
  • Sonnet 9Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye
  • Sonnet 10For shame! deny that thou bear'st love to any

Sonnets 11–20

  • Sonnet 11As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou grow'st
  • Sonnet 12When I do count the clock that tells the time
  • Sonnet 13O! that you were your self; but, love you are
  • Sonnet 14Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck
  • Sonnet 15When I consider every thing that grows
  • Sonnet 16But wherefore do not you a mightier way
  • Sonnet 17Who will believe my verse in time to come
  • Sonnet 18Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
  • Sonnet 19Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws
  • Sonnet 20A woman's face with nature's own hand painted

Sonnets 21–30

  • Sonnet 21So is it not with me as with that Muse
  • Sonnet 22My glass shall not persuade me I am old
  • Sonnet 23As an unperfect actor on the stage
  • Sonnet 24Mine eye hath play'd the painter and hath steel'd
  • Sonnet 25Let those who are in favour with their stars
  • Sonnet 26Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
  • Sonnet 27Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed
  • Sonnet 28How can I then return in happy plight
  • Sonnet 29When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
  • Sonnet 30When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

Sonnets 31–40

  • Sonnet 31Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts
  • Sonnet 32If thou survive my well-contented day
  • Sonnet 33Full many a glorious morning have I seen
  • Sonnet 34Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day
  • Sonnet 35No more be griev'd at that which thou hast done
  • Sonnet 36Let me confess that we two must be twain
  • Sonnet 37As a decrepit father takes delight
  • Sonnet 38How can my muse want subject to invent
  • Sonnet 39O! how thy worth with manners may I sing
  • Sonnet 40Take all my loves, my love, yea take them all

Sonnets 41–50

  • Sonnet 41Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits
  • Sonnet 42That thou hast her it is not all my grief
  • Sonnet 43When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see
  • Sonnet 44If the dull substance of my flesh were thought
  • Sonnet 45The other two, slight air, and purging fire
  • Sonnet 46Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war
  • Sonnet 47Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took
  • Sonnet 48How careful was I when I took my way
  • Sonnet 49Against that time, if ever that time come
  • Sonnet 50How heavy do I journey on the way

Sonnets 51–60

  • Sonnet 51Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
  • Sonnet 52So am I as the rich, whose blessed key
  • Sonnet 53What is your substance, whereof are you made
  • Sonnet 54O! how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
  • Sonnet 55Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
  • Sonnet 56Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said
  • Sonnet 57Being your slave what should I do but tend
  • Sonnet 58That god forbid, that made me first your slave
  • Sonnet 59If there be nothing new, but that which is
  • Sonnet 60Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore

Sonnets 61–70

  • Sonnet 61Is it thy will, thy image should keep open
  • Sonnet 62Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
  • Sonnet 63Against my love shall be as I am now
  • Sonnet 64When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd
  • Sonnet 65Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
  • Sonnet 66Tired with all these, for restful death I cry
  • Sonnet 67Ah! wherefore with infection should he live
  • Sonnet 68Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn
  • Sonnet 69Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth view
  • Sonnet 70That thou art blam'd shall not be thy defect

Sonnets 71–80

  • Sonnet 71No longer mourn for me when I am dead
  • Sonnet 72O! lest the world should task you to recite
  • Sonnet 73That time of year thou mayst in me behold
  • Sonnet 74But be contented: when that fell arrest
  • Sonnet 75So are you to my thoughts as food to life
  • Sonnet 76Why is my verse so barren of new pride
  • Sonnet 77Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear
  • Sonnet 78So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse
  • Sonnet 79Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid
  • Sonnet 80O! how I faint when I of you do write

Sonnets 81–90

  • Sonnet 81Or I shall live your epitaph to make
  • Sonnet 82I grant thou wert not married to my Muse
  • Sonnet 83I never saw that you did painting need
  • Sonnet 84Who is it that says most, which can say more
  • Sonnet 85My tongue–tied Muse in manners holds her still
  • Sonnet 86Was it the proud full sail of his great verse
  • Sonnet 87Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing
  • Sonnet 88When thou shalt be dispos'd to set me light
  • Sonnet 89Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault
  • Sonnet 90Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now

Sonnets 91–100

  • Sonnet 91Some glory in their birth, some in their skill
  • Sonnet 92But do thy worst to steal thyself away
  • Sonnet 93So shall I live, supposing thou art true
  • Sonnet 94They that have power to hurt, and will do none
  • Sonnet 95How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame
  • Sonnet 96Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness
  • Sonnet 97How like a winter hath my absence been
  • Sonnet 98From you have I been absent in the spring
  • Sonnet 99The forward violet thus did I chide
  • Sonnet 100Where art thou Muse that thou forget'st so long

Sonnets 101–110

  • Sonnet 101O truant Muse what shall be thy amends
  • Sonnet 102My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seeming
  • Sonnet 103Alack! what poverty my Muse brings forth
  • Sonnet 104To me, fair friend, you never can be old
  • Sonnet 105Let not my love be call'd idolatry
  • Sonnet 106When in the chronicle of wasted time
  • Sonnet 107Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
  • Sonnet 108What's in the brain, that ink may character
  • Sonnet 109O! never say that I was false of heart
  • Sonnet 110Alas! 'tis true, I have gone here and there

Sonnets 111–120

  • Sonnet 111O! for my sake do you with Fortune chide
  • Sonnet 112Your love and pity doth the impression fill
  • Sonnet 113Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind
  • Sonnet 114Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you
  • Sonnet 115Those lines that I before have writ do lie
  • Sonnet 116Let me not to the marriage of true minds
  • Sonnet 117Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all
  • Sonnet 118Like as, to make our appetite more keen
  • Sonnet 119What potions have I drunk of Siren tears
  • Sonnet 120That you were once unkind befriends me now

Sonnets 121–130

  • Sonnet 121 'Tis better to be vile than vile esteem'd
  • Sonnet 122Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain
  • Sonnet 123No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change
  • Sonnet 124If my dear love were but the child of state
  • Sonnet 125Were't aught to me I bore the canopy
  • Sonnet 126O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power
  • Sonnet 127In the old age black was not counted fair
  • Sonnet 128How oft when thou, my music, music play'st
  • Sonnet 129The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
  • Sonnet 130My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun

Sonnets 131–140

  • Sonnet 131Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art
  • Sonnet 132Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me
  • Sonnet 133Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan
  • Sonnet 134So, now I have confess'd that he is thine
  • Sonnet 135Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy 'Will'
  • Sonnet 136If thy soul check thee that I come so near
  • Sonnet 137Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes
  • Sonnet 138When my love swears that she is made of truth
  • Sonnet 139O! call not me to justify the wrong
  • Sonnet 140Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press

Sonnets 141–150

  • Sonnet 141In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes
  • Sonnet 142Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate
  • Sonnet 143Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch
  • Sonnet 144Two loves I have of comfort and despair
  • Sonnet 145Those lips that Love's own hand did make
  • Sonnet 146Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth
  • Sonnet 147My love is as a fever longing still
  • Sonnet 148O me! what eyes hath Love put in my head
  • Sonnet 149Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not
  • Sonnet 150O! from what power hast thou this powerful might

Sonnets 151–154

  • Sonnet 151Love is too young to know what conscience is
  • Sonnet 152In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn
  • Sonnet 153Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep
  • Sonnet 154The little Love-god lying once asleep
 

 
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Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end (Sonn. 60).



This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.