Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sonnet XL (40)

Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all;
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?
No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;
All mine was thine before thou hadst this more.
Then if for my love thou my love receivest,
I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest;
But yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest
By wilful taste of what thyself refusest.
I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief,
Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief
To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury.
Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows,
Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes.

4. This more. This addition. 

5. "If thou for my love (personal affection) receivest my love (loved mistress)" -- a line quite suitable to the idea that Shakespeare was away in the country at the time. 

6. Still playing on the double sense of "love." 

7. Thyself. Q. "this selfe." Deceivest. Mr. W. H., it is suggested, may be committing a fraud on himself. 

8. By wilful taste of what thyself refusest. This has been explained of Mr. "W. H.'s not having accepted the advice of i-xvii. 

10. All my poverty. Instead of "all my wealth," and implying the scantiness of the poet's possessions. 

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