Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sonnet LXXXVIII (88)

When thou shalt be disposed to set me light,
And place my merit in the eye of scorn,
Upon thy side against myself I'll fight,
And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn.
With mine own weakness being best acquainted,
Upon thy part I can set down a story
Of faults conceal'd, wherein I am attainted,
That thou in losing me shalt win much glory:
And I by this will be a gainer too;
For bending all my loving thoughts on thee,
The injuries that to myself I do,
Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me.
   Such is my love, to thee I so belong,
   That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.

Soneto de amor LXXXVIII

El día en que decidas denostarme
y expongas mis virtudes al escarnio,
litigaré en mi contra y, por salvarte,
diré que eres virtuoso aunque sea falso.
Habiendo convenido mis flaquezas,
inventaré una historia que silencie
cualquier agravio que me produjeras;
tú ganarás más gloria así, al perderme,
y yo también saldré ganando de ello:
al invertir en ti mis emociones,
si tú de cada ofensa que me infiero
te llevas algo, yo me llevo el doble.
Tal es mi amor y tal mi lealtad:
si es por tu bien, asumo todo el mal.

Sonnet LXXXVII (87)

Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate:
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gavest, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgment making.
   Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter,
   In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.


2. Thy estimate. The value at which thou art to be appraised.

3. The charter of thy worth. The charter by which thy worth was ceded to me.

4. Determinate. Cf. xiii. 5, 6.

6. That riches. Cf. cette richesse.

6-12. The cause of the release and revocation is, that the grant had been made in error. Patent in line 8, instead of "charter" in line 3.

11. Upon misprision growing. Upon its becoming clear that you had made a mistake. Cf. old French mesprison, which Cotgrave explains by "misprision," "error," &c.

12. Comes home again. Returns to you.

Soneto de amor LXXXVII (87)

¡Adiós! Tú sabes bien que lo que vales
es más de lo que puedo permitirme;
tu cédula te otorga libertades:
según nuestros contratos eres libre.
Pues ¿cómo conservarte sin tu venia?
¿Acaso me merezco tu riqueza?
Sin más aval que el ansia que me alienta,
entiendo que caduque mi licencia.
Tú te entregaste sin haber tasado
ni tu valor ni el mío, que es escaso;
tu don, tras el error, es aún más caro
y vuelve a ti, que puedes sopesarlo.
Te tuve así como se tiene un sueño:
te sueñas rey y te despiertas yermo.

Sonnet LXXXVI (86)

Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,
Bound for the prize of all too precious you,
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?
No, neither he, nor his compeers by night
Giving him aid, my verse astonished.
He, nor that affable familiar ghost
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence
As victors of my silence cannot boast;
I was not sick of any fear from thence:
But when your countenance fill'd up his line,
Then lack'd I matter; that enfeebled mine.


1. The proud full sail of his great verse. Suiting well the grand fourteen-syllable lines of Chapman's Iliad, as pointed out by Professor Minto. 

3. Inhearse. Entomb, so that Shakespeare could say nothing. 

5, 6. By spirits taught to write, &c. Cf. the quotation given below, line 9. 

7. His compeers by night. Cf. Chapman's Shadow of Night, quoted by Professor Minto,Characteristics of English Poets, p. 291:
"All you possessed with indepressed spirits,
Endued with nimble and aspiring wits,
Come consecrate with me to sacred Night
Your whole endeavours and detest the light."
9. Nor that affable familiar ghost, &c. Cf. Dedication to Shadow of Night, also quoted by Minto:
"Now what a supererogation in wit this is, to think Skill so mightily pierced with their loves that she should prostitutely show them her secrets, when she will scarcely be looked upon by others but with invocation, fasting, watching, yea, not without having drops of their souls like a heavenly familiar."
13. Fil'd. is perhaps doubtful whether the "fild" of Q. should be represented by "til'd" or "fill'd." The latter would suit very well the "lacking matter" of line 14. 14. Then lack'd I matter. Cf. Troilus and Cressida, Act ii. sc. 3, lines 103, 104, "Then will Ajax lack matter, if he have lost his argument."

Soneto de amor LXXXVI

¿Fue que su verso henchido a toda vela,
sediento del botín de tu persona,
hizo que naufragaran mis ideas
y allí donde nacieron, hoy reposan?
¿O acaso su estro insigne, que fraguaron
maestros espectrales, me fulmina?
No, ni él ni sus noctámbulos aliados
harían enmudecer a mi poesía.
No, ni él ni ese fantasma complaciente
que le estiba el ingenio por las noches
tiene razón para enorgullecerse:
son de muy otro signo mis temores.
Fue al ver cómo llenabas sus estrofas
cuando las mías se volvieron flojas.

Sonnet LXXXV (85)

My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still,
While comments of your praise, richly compil'd,
[Rehearse thy] character with golden quill, 
And precious phrase by all the Muses fil'd.
I think good thoughts while others write good words,
And, like unletter'd clerk, still cry 'Amen'
To every hymn that able spirit affords
In polish'd form of well-refined pen.
Hearing you praised, I say "'Tis so, 'tis true,"
And to the most of praise add something more;
But that is in my thought, whose love to you,
Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before.
   Then others for the breath of words respect,
   Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect. 


1. My tongue-tied Muse. The poet might be regarded as "tongue-tied," because his thoughts transcend the power of words (cf. lines 11-14). In manners. With decorous respect. Notice, however, the different explanation of the silence given in the next Sonnet (lines 3, 13, 14). 
3. [Rehearse thycharacter. Q. has "Reserue their character," which is unintelligible. Probably "their," as elsewhere, represents "thy." "Rehearse," suggested by an anonymous critic, is not an improbable emendation. With the spelling "reherse," it comes near to "reserve." "Character" must be taken, as in some other places, to denote "face," "appearance." Cf. Twelfth Night, Act i. so. 2, lines 50, 51: Reserve their.
"I will believe thou hast a mind that suits
With this thy fair and outward character"
a very good example. See also Coriolanus, Act ii. sc. i, lines 70, 71, "What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this character?" 

4. Fil'd. Polished and elaborated. Cf. line 8. 

6. Unlettered clerk, &c. Fully admitting at once what is said. 

7. That able spirit. That great poet, though there is possibly an allusion to Chapman's special claim to inspiration. 

14. Speaking in effect. Speaking in thought and purpose. Cf. xxiii and notes. 

Soneto de amor LXXXV

Mi Musa, por educación, se muerde
la lengua y calla mientras se compilan
elogios que te visten de oropeles
y frases que las otras Musas liman.
Lo que otros apalabran, yo lo pienso,
y digo, como un clérigo iletrado,
"Amén" ante esos himnos que el ingenio,
con refinada pluma, va lustrando.
"Pues claro, es cierto", digo si te alaban
y añado algún elogio de mi parte,
mas sólo en pensamiento, no en palagras,
que así mi amor irá siempre delante.
Si a otros por sus dichos los respetas,
a mí, por lo que pienso, que es mi letra.

Sonnet LXXXIV (84)

Who is it that says most? which can say more
Than this rich praise, that you alone are you?
In whose confine immured is the store
Which should example where your equal grew.
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell
That to his subject lends not some small glory;
But he that writes of you, if he can tell
That you are you, so dignifies his story,
Let him but copy what in you is writ,
Not making worse what nature made so clear,
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit,
Making his style admired every where.
You to your beauteous blessings add a curse,
Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse.


1. Who is it that says most? Which of the two, the describer, or the eulogist? 

3, 4. In whose confine, &c. You are unparalleled: you yourself furnish the only example with which you can be compared.

8. So dignifies. With a full stop at the end of the line, as in Q., "so dignifies" is equivalent to "thus dignifies," "thus gives the greatest dignity to." 
10. So clear. So manifest, and of such shining beauty. 

11. Such a counter-part. A description answering so perfectly to the truth. 

13. Your beauteous blessings. The beauties with which Nature has blessed you. Add a curse, by accepting poetical eulogies. 

14. Being fond on praise. Being fond of praise. Which makes your praises. By which "your praise," the praise due to you, is really lessened and deteriorated. 

Soneto de amor LXXXIV

¿Quién que hable bien podrá alabarte más
que aquel que dice: sólo tú eres tú?
¿En qué recinto amurallado está
la réplica que iguala tu virtud?
Malhaya aquella pluma que escatima
la gloria que concede a su modelo;
en cambio, el que te escribe, con que diga
que tú eres tú, ya dignifica el verso.
Le basta con calcar, sin empañarlo,
lo que natura ha escrito en ti sin tacha,
pues esa copia hará que sea admirado
y por doquier su estilo cobre fama.
Ansiando elogios, todo lo que vales
se empaña, pues cosechas falsedades.

Sonnet LXXXIII (83)

I never saw that you did painting need
And therefore to your fair no painting set;
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed
The barren tender of a poet's debt;
And therefore have I slept in your report,
That you yourself being extant well might show
How far a modern quill doth come too short,
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow.
This silence for my sin you did impute,
Which shall be most my glory, being dumb;
For I impair not beauty being mute,
When others would give life and bring a tomb.
There lives more life in one of your fair eyes
Than both your poets can in praise devise.


2. Your fair. Your beauty. 

4. The barren tender of a poet's debt. Whatever a poet might offer to pay in the way of praise would be "barren," as not coming up to your deserts. 

5. Therefore have I slept in your report. So that you might speak therein for yourself, or, rather, that your beauty might speak. 

6. Being extant. Being present in person to manifest your beauty. 

7. A modern quill. The pen, most probably, of the rival-poet, the "fresher stamp of the time-bettering days" of lxxxii. To take "modern" in the sense of "trivial" seems to me unsatisfactory both in this place and in Antony and Cleopatra, Act v. sc. 2, lines 166, 167,
"Immoment toys, things of such dignity
As we greet modern friends withal."
The idea, as I take it, is that Mr. W. H. himself, being extant in Shakespeare's verse, proved how unsuitable and injurious was the "gross painting" of his rival. 
8. Grow. This word may possibly mean "doth grow as a poet contemplates, and attempts to describe your worth," or the word may allude to Mr. W. H.'s still immature youth. The punctuation I have given is perhaps, on the whole, most probable. 

9. Did impute. Probably, by showing favour to the rival-poet. 

12. Bring a tomb. Concealing you from view by their lavish eulogies. 

14. Both your poets may be taken to imply that Shakespeare had two rivals. But this is perhaps doubtful. More probably the two poets are Shakespeare and his rival.

Soneto de amor LXXXIII

A ti pintura nunca te hizo falta,
por tanto no me he puesto a retocarte,
pues siempre presumí que sobrepasas
la oferta ineficaz que adeuda un vate.
Por eso me dormí con tu pintura,
pensando que está en ti la prueba viva
de que se queda corta cualquier pluma
que trate de añadir donde ya había.
Tú crees que es pecado mi silencio
y yo me vanaglorio de ser mudo:
callando, ni malogro lo que es bello
ni, en vez de darte vida, te sepulto.
Un ojo tuyo encierra más viveza
que los elogios de tus dos poetas.

Sonnet LXXXII (82)

I grant thou wert not married to my Muse
And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook
The dedicated words which writers use
Of their fair subject, blessing every book
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise,
And therefore art enforced to seek anew
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days
And do so, love; yet when they have devised
What strained touches rhetoric can lend,
Thou truly fair wert truly sympathized
In true plain words by thy true-telling friend;
And their gross painting might be better used
Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abused.


1. Not married to my Muse. Dowden suggests, "His friend had perhaps alleged in playful self-justification that he had not married Shakspere's Muse, vowing to forsake all other, and keep only unto her." 

3. Dedicated words. Taking into account the next line, which speaks, apparently, of "blessing" a book by lines in praise of Mr. W. H., the "fair subject," there is possibly reference to a dedication either actual or proposed. 
5. On this line Professor Dowden says, "Shakespeare had celebrated his friend's beauty (hue); perhaps his learned rival had celebrated the patron's knowledge; such excellence reached 'a limit past the praise' of Shakespeare, who knew small Latin and less Greek." Subsequently, in the title to a Sonnet accompanying his translation of the Iliad, Chapman addressed Pembroke as "the Learned and Most Noble Patron of Learning," and the Sonnet celebrates Pembroke's "god-like learning." 

6. Finding thy worth. If the view just given of the last line be accepted, then "finding thy worth" will be equivalent to "and thus findest thy worth." 

8. Some fresher stamp, &c. Some poet whose method and diction are in better accord with the more advanced ideas of the times. 

10. The verses of the rival-poet in praise of Mr. W. H. not being extant, it is impossible to say whether they surpassed those of Shakespeare in flattery and inflated praise, the "strained touches" of "rhetorick." 

11. Sympathis'd. Implying that Shakespeare's verse came from the heart. Similarly the lines inLucrece which have been compared,
"True sorrow then is feelingly suffic'd
When with like semblance it is sympathis'd."

Soneto de amor LXXXII

Tú nunca te casaste con mi Musa;
eres, por tanto, libre de fijarte
en las dedicatorias cuya hechura
bendice cada libro de otros vates.
Tan grandes son tu encanto y tu saber
que su valor excede mis lisonjas;
si el tiempo te mejora, busca quien
sepa estampar mejor esas mejoras.
Haz eso, amor; pero cuando combinen
con trazos afectados sus ornatos
verás que quien de veras te describe
es sencillo y veraz: tu amigo honrado.
Las burdas pinceladas tienen uso
en rostros macilentos, no en el tuyo.

Sonnet LXXXI (81)

Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten;
From hence your memory death cannot take,
Although in me each part will be forgotten.
Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie.
Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read,
And tongues to be your being shall rehearse
When all the breathers of this world are dead;
You still shall live -- such virtue hath my pen --
Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.


3. From hence. From these poems. 

4. In me each part. Every part of me. 

11. Your being shall rehearse. Shall tell of what you were. 

12. The breathers of this world. This present generation. 

14. Where breath most breathes. Though those who at present breathe must die, you shall still live in the intensity of life, in the very breath, of those who are yet unborn. 

Soneto de amor LXXXI

O vivo para hacerme el epitafio
o vives tú y se pudrirá mi carne.
Si mueres, tu recuerdo estará a salvo;
de mí habrán olvidado cada parte.
Tendrá tu nombre vida para siempre
y a mí no habrá en el mundo quien me llore;
la tierra me reserva un hoyo inerte:
tú yaces en los ojos de los hombres.
Mi verso fiel será tu monumento,
lectura de los ojos que aún no existen;
y cuando estén, los que hoy suspiran, muertos
no faltarán las lenguas que te imiten.
Tú vivirás -mi pluma es garantía-
en tanto haya una boca que respira.

Sonnet LXXX (80)

O, how I faint when I of you do write,
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name,
And in the praise thereof spends all his might,
To make me tongue-tied, speaking of your fame!
But since your worth, wide as the ocean is,
The humble as the proudest sail doth bear,
My saucy bark inferior far to his
On your broad main doth wilfully appear.
Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat,
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride;
Or being wreck'd, I am a worthless boat,
He of tall building and of goodly pride:
   Then if he thrive and I be cast away,
   The worst was this; my love was my decay.

Soneto de amor LXXX

Ay, cómo dudo cuando de ti escribo
sabiendo que otro espíritu te alaba
mejor que yo y con tan potente estilo
que es como si con él me amordazara.
Mas como tu caudal, que es noble y ancho,
se deja atravesar por toda vela,
también mi basto y pertinaz balandro,
menor que el suyo, surca tu grandeza.
Si yo con tu somera ayuda floto,
él sabe hollar tu piélago profundo;
o soy un barco náufrago, sin fondo,
y él, uno levantado con orgullo.
Lo peor de que yo encalle y él prosiga
es que mi propio amor sea una ruina.

Sonnet LXXIX (79)

Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,
My verse alone had all thy gentle grace,
But now my gracious numbers are decay'd
And my sick Muse doth give another place.
I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument
Deserves the travail of a worthier pen,
Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent
He robs thee of and pays it thee again.
He lends thee virtue and he stole that word
From thy behavior; beauty doth he give
And found it in thy cheek; he can afford
No praise to thee but what in thee doth live.
Then thank him not for that which he doth say,
Since what he owes thee thou thyself dost pay.


2. Thy gentle grace. Thy gentle and gracious influence. 

5. Thy lovely argument. The subject of thy beauty. 

7. Thy poet. That is, the rival of Shakespeare. What of thee. What concerning thee. 

8-10. Notice the derogatory expressions robs and stoleVirtue -- behaviour. Cf. lxx., especially lines 8-10, as to Mr. W. H.'s "virtue."

Soneto de amor LXXIX

Cuando era sólo yo quien te invocaba,
tu gracia era exclusiva de mi verso;
ahora que mis líneas pierden gracia,
mi musa ha dado paso a otro más diestro.
No dudo, amor, que tu argumento vale
que una pluma mejor haga el trabajo;
mas toda la invención con que tu vate
te retribuye ya te la ha robado,
así como robó de tu conducta
la idea de virtud con que te colma
o de tu dulce rostro, la hermosura:
ya estaba en ti todo lo que él te otorga.
Así, pues, no agradezcas sus lindezas
ya que has de pagar tú lo que él te adeuda.

Sonnet LXXVIII (78)

So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse
And found such fair assistance in my verse
As every alien pen hath got my use
And under thee their poesy disperse.
Thine eyes that taught the dumb on high to sing
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly
Have added feathers to the learned's wing
And given grace a double majesty.
Yet be most proud of that which I compile,
Whose influence is thine and born of thee:
In others' works thou dost but mend the style,
And arts with thy sweet graces graced be;
But thou art all my art and dost advance
As high as learning my rude ignorance.


3. As. -- That. It may be doubted whether the words "every alien pen" require us to suppose that Shakespeare had more than one rival in the favour of Mr. W. H. See lxxix. 4Got my use. -- "Acquired my habit [of writing verse to you]." -- DOWDEN. 

4. Under thee. -- Under thy auspices. 

7. The learned's wing. -- To the wing of the poet's "learned" rival. The word "learned" suits very well the Greek scholar, Chapman. 

8. A double majesty. An expression quite suitable if Shakespeare has in view Chapman's Homeric translation. 

9. Compile. -- Compose. 

10. Born of thee. -- Q. has "borne," and it is just possible that this may mean "supported and borne aloft by thee." 

12, 13. Arts -- art. -- Maybe understood of "learning." Cf. lxvi. 9. But there is reference here to poetical style. 

Soneto de amor LXXVIII

Yo tanto te invoqué como mi Musa
y fuiste en mis poemas tan benigno
que al fin cogió mi juego cualquier pluma
y se valió de ti para esparcirlo.
Con tus ojos el mudo se hizo vate
y la ignorancia plúmbea cobró vuelo,
en las alas del sabio hay más plumaje
y la gracia redobla su abolengo;
mas no hay mayor orgullo que haber sido
padre y señor de la obra que yo acopio.
A otros mejorarás en el estilo
y harás que su arte sea digno de encomio:
tú en cambio representas todo mi arte;
ilustra con tu encanto a este ignorante.

Sonnet LXXVII (77)

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
Time's thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory can not contain
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find
Those children nursed, deliver'd from thy brain,
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.
These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
Shall profit thee and much enrich thy book.


1. Wear. Q. "were." 

3. The vacant leaves. That is, as I think, the whole of the leaves of the manuscript-book. I do not feel able to accept the view of Dowden that Shakespeare sent to Mr. W. H. a manuscript-bookpartially vacant, as an intimation of unwillingness to write any more Sonnets, on account of the favour shown to the rival-poet. 

4. This learning may'st thou taste. This lesson may'st thou derive. 

5-12. The lesson is, that while wrinkles seen in the mirror foretoken the approach of Death and the shadow stealing round the dial, the "thievish progress of Time," security against oblivion may be found by committing thought to writing. 

6. Mouthed graves. A stronger expression than the "lines," "parallels," and "trenches," which had been previously used of wrinkles; and this is in accordance with the deeper melancholy of these later Sonnets. 
10. Blanks. I have adopted the emendation of Theobald. Q. has "blacks," which could only be defended on the supposition of a note-book whose leaves were prepared with some black substance. Waste will equal the "vacant" of l.3. 

11. Notice that literary children, "children of the brain," have taken the place of the natural children of the first Sonnets. This is in accord with the deepened melancholy. 

12. To take a new acquaintance. They will become "objective," and objects of great interest. 

13. These offices. "The delivery from the brain," and "nursing" or moulding into due form of these literary children, will, as often as you look at them with parental care and affection.

Soneto de amor LXXVII

Tu espejo te hará ver cómo te eclipsas
y tu reloj, que los minutos vuelan;
pon tu impresión en páginas vacías
y aprenderás del libro esas certezas.
Al ver en el espejo tus arrugas
recordarás las tumbas desdentadas
y en tu reloj, la sombra que lo surca,
te hará saber que el Tiempo siempre avanza.
Lo que desborde tu memoria, ponlo
en estas hojas hueras y tu mente
verá volver un día a los retoños,
ya grandes, que salieron de su vientre.
Aplícate y verás que el ejercicio
te hará mejor a ti y, contigo, al libro.

Sonnet LXXVI (76)

Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth and where they did proceed?
O, know, sweet love, I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument;
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent:
For as the sun is daily new and old,
So is my love still telling what is told.


1. So barren of new pride. -- So destitute of novel imagery, diction, &c. 

2-4. These lines may allude to Shakespeare's unwillingness to adopt the mode of expression and the poetical form employed by his rivals. 

4. The new-found methods and the compounds strange may very well refer to the novel compound words employed by Chapman to express Homeric epithets. In the Address "To the Understander" prefixed to the Shield of Achilles (1598), Chapman defends himself against the charge of introducing new words without propriety, and cites the example of Chaucer. Chapman's critics are like a brood of frogs from a ditch, desiring "to have the ceaseless flowing river of our tongue turned into their frog-pool." 

6. Keep invention in a noted weed. -- Express and clothe my thoughts in the same familiar dress.

7. Tell -- Q. has "fel." 

11. My best is dressing old words new. -- Making but a slight difference in the expressions. The poet, no doubt, means thus to imply the constancy of his affection. 

Soneto de amor LXXVI

¿Por qué carecerá mi verso tanto
de cambios, variaciones, novedades?
¿Cómo es que, con el tiempo, no me lanzo
a practicar con métodos flamantes?
¿Por qué son ropa vieja mis creaciones
y es tan común mi estilo que parece
que todas las palabras dan mi nombre
y enseñan el lugar de donde vienen?
Oh, dulce amor, te escribo siempre a ti
u tú mi amor sois mi único argumento,
y gasto lo gastado, así, sin fin,
para vestir lo viejo con lo nuevo:
Si el sol es nuevo y viejo cada día,
también mi amor. Da igual cómo lo diga.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sonnet LXXV (75)

So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found;
Now proud as an enjoyer and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure,
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then better'd that the world may see my pleasure;
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight
And by and by clean starved for a look;
Possessing or pursuing no delight,
Save what is had or must from you be took.
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all, or all away.

Soneto de amor LXXV

De ti mi pensamiento se alimenta
igual que la llovizna nutre el suelo;
sentir tu paz me turba y me deleita
así como el dinero al usurero.
Ni bien se enorgullece de su gozo
ya teme que le roben la fortuna,
y duda entre tenerte para él solo
o proclamar al mundo su ventura;
a veces está ahíto de extasiarse
o siente hambre voraz de una mirada,
sin otra posesión más que esa parte
que tú le das o que él a ti te saca.
Y así, hambriento y harto cada día,
o me lo como todo o no hay comida.

Sonnet LXXIV (74)

But be contented: when that fell arrest
Without all bail shall carry me away,
My life hath in this line some interest,
Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.
When thou reviewest this, thou dost review
The very part was consecrate to thee:
The earth can have but earth, which is his due;
My spirit is thine, the better part of me:
So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,
The prey of worms, my body being dead,
The coward conquest of a wretch's knife,
Too base of thee to be remembered.
The worth of that is that which it contains,
And that is this, and this with thee remains.


1. But be contented. -- Looks back to the last line of lxxiii. That fell arrest. Cf. Hamlet, Act v. sc. 2, lines 347, 348:-
Had I but time (as this fell serjeant Death
Is strict in his arrest), O, I could tell you."
"Fell" means "harsh," "inexorable." 

2. Without all bail. Accepting no bail. 

3. My living powers will still express themselves in these poems. Interest. -- Property. Cf. XXXI. 7. 

6. Cf. Martial, Ep. vii. 84, "Certior in nostro carmine vultus erit." The language of our text is stronger, speaking of the inner man, which is thoroughly identified with the written verse (line 8). 

11. The coward conquest of a wretch's knife. -- There is no reason whatever for supposing from this line that Shakespeare had encountered highwaymen or assassins to whose violence he had succumbed, and who had left him half-dead. The meaning is, that what of him had not been treasured up in his verse was mean and base, liable to succumb to the assassin's knife. 

13. The worth of that. -- Of the body. Is that which it contains, i.e., the spirit (line 8). 

14. And that is this. Identified and incorporated with my verse. 

Soneto de amor LXXIV

Mas no te abatas cuando al fin el cruel
arresto inapelable me reclame,
pues si algo hubo en mi vida de interés
te ayudará esta línea a recordarme.
Y cuando la repases, busca en ella
la parte que te haya sido consagrada:
la tierra que se quede con la tierra
y tú, con lo mejor de mí, con mi alma.
Tú sólo habrás perdido mi cadáver,
el poso, lo que apuran los gusanos,
la vil conquista de un cuchillo infame,
indigno de que debas recordarlo.
Lo bueno de eso es que contiene,
que es esto, y que contigo permanece.

Sonnet LXXIII (73)

That time of year thou may'st in me behold 
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, 
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. 
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day, 
As after sunset fadeth in the west, 
Which by-and-by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. 
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire 
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, 
As the death-bed whereon it must expire 
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by. 
   This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
   To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Soneto de amor LXXIII

En mí tú ves esa época del año
en que las ramas trémulas, desnudas,
no albergan coros de aves con sus cantos
sino tres hojas secas, dos, ninguna.
En mí ves el crepúsculo del día
que, cuando el sol se apaga en el poniente,
se suma en el descanso a que lo invita
la negra noche, hermana de la muerte.
Y ves que aún arde un poco de ese fuego
en las cenizas del pasado, lumbre
que acabará espirando en ese lecho
pues lo que la avivaba la consume.
Que entiendas esto es lo que te dará
la fuerza para amar lo que se va.

Sonnet LXXII (72)

O, lest the world should task you to recite
What merit lived in me, that you should love
After my death, -- dear love, forget me quite,
For you in me can nothing worthy prove;
Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,
To do more for me than mine own desert,
And hang more praise upon deceased I
Than niggard truth would willingly impart:
O, lest your true love may seem false in this,
That you for love speak well of me untrue, 
My name be buried where my body is,
And live no more to shame nor me nor you.
   For I am sham'd by that which I bring forth,
   And so should you, to love things nothing worth. 

8Than niggard truth. -- Than strict truth. 

9, 10. Lest your true love, &c. -- Lest the reality of your love for me should be questioned or denied, when the falsity of your eulogies has been detected. 

10. Untrue. Untruly. 

12. And live no more, &c. Since the poet's name would recall the poet's works. 

Soneto de amor LXXII

Olvídame, no vaya a ser que el mundo
te pida que recites lo que en vida
mostré de bueno para que, difunto,
me quieras aún, pues nada encontrarías,
a menos que repares mis carencias
y, a fuerza de mentir virtuosamente,
me otorgues los halagos que me niega
la cruda realidad hasta en la muerte.
Mi nombre ha de yacer junto a mi cuerpo
en vez de seguir vivo y mancillarnos,
no vaya a ser que al fin tu amor sincero,
si ha de mentir por mí, parezca falso.
Mi oprobio es lo que pongo por delante;
el tuyo, amar aquello que no vale.

Sonnet LXXI (71)

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled 
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not 
The hand that writ it; for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe. 
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
But let your love even with my life decay,
   Lest the wise world should look into your moan
   And mock you with me after I am gone.

Soneto de amor LXXI

Cuando haya muerto, llórame tan sólo
mientras escuches la campana triste,
anunciadora al mundo de mi fuga
del mundo vil hacia el gusano infame.
Y no evoques, si lees esta rima,
la mano que la escribe, pues te quiero
tanto que hasta tu olvido prefiriera
a saber que te amarga mi memoria.
Pero si acaso miras estos versos
cuando del barro nada me separe,
ni siquiera mi pobre nombre digas
y que tu amor conmigo se marchite,
para que el sabio en tu llorar no indague
y se burle de ti por el ausente.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sonnet LXX (70)

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.


1. Blame is no proof of blameworthiness. 

3. Suspicion is so usually associated with beauty that it may be regarded as its wonted ornament. 

5. So thou be good -- If thou be good. 

6. Being woo'd of time. This must be taken, it would seem, with "slander" of line 5. The sense will then be that "slander coming under the soothing influence of time will show thy worth to be greater;" or, "slander will turn to praise in course of time, and your true character will shine forth." Thy at beginning of this line is in Q. "Their." 

For canker vice, &c. This line has been illustrated by "As the most forward bud is eaten by the canker ere it blow," &c., Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act i. sc. I, lines 45, 46. But the "canker vice" of our text is slander or envy. 

9. The ambush of young days. The vices to which youth is prone. 

10. Charg'd. Attacked, assailed. 

11, 12. Yet this praise of thine cannot have such efficacy as to restrain envy, which is ever busy. 

13, 14. If the influence of thy beauty were not abated by evil suspicion all would be devoted to thee. Owe -- Possess, as elsewhere. 

Soneto de amor LXX

Que se hable mal de ti no es tu defecto.
Lo bello siempre es blanco de la insidia
que, como un cuervo en el azul del cielo,
recela del ornato y lo mancilla.
Así, que te difamen es indicio
de tu virtud, que incluso el tiempo anhela:
el chancro adora el brote más tiernito
y tú fuiste una intacta primavera.
Salvaste las primeras emboscadas
incólume o acaso victorioso,
mas no te amparará de la amenaza
creciente de la envidia tanto encomio.
Si mal no suscitase resquemores
caerían a tus pies mil corazones.

Sonnet LXIX (69)

Those parts of thee that the world's eye doth view
Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend;
All tongues, the voice of souls, give thee that due,
Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend.
Thy outward thus with outward praise is crown'd;
But those same tongues that give thee so thine own
In other accents do this praise confound
By seeing farther than the eye hath shown.
They look into the beauty of thy mind,
And that, in guess, they measure by thy deeds;
Then, churls, their thoughts, although their eyes were kind,
To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds:
But why thy odour matcheth not thy show,
The solve is this, that thou dost common grow.


4. Even so as foes commend. Meaning, apparently, "for in like manner even foes commend, stinting their praise as much as possible." 

5. Thy. Q. has "Their." 

7. Confound. Abate and nullify. 

8. By seeing farther. As they pretend. 

9. The beauty of thy mind. Said possibly not without a shade of irony. 
10. Thy deeds. As to the general nature of these we can form a probable guess from what had occurred with regard to Shakespeare's mistress. Cf. xlal

11. Their thoughts. The conclusions they formed. 

13. Odour, of course, is "reputation." 

14. The solve, i.e., the solution, the explanation. Q. has "solye," but there can be little doubt that the emendation "solve" is right.