Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sonnet XXXI (31)

Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts, 
Which I by lacking have supposed dead; 
And there reigns love and all love's loving parts, 
And all those friends which I thought buried. 
How many a holy and obsequious tear 
Hath dear religious love stolen from mine eye,
As interest of the dead, which now appear 
But things remov'd, that hidden in thee lie! 
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live, 
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone, 
Who all their parts of me to thee did give; 
That due of many now is thine alone: 
Their images I lov'd I view in thee, 
And thou (all they) hast all the all of me. 

1. Thy bosom is endeared to me by its having within it all hearts. 

2. There they are alive, though they had been regarded as dead. 

3. All love's loving parts. Alluding to the varied manifestations of affection displayed by the poet's deceased friends. 

5, 6. Describe the sacred and reverent character of the poet's affection for his departed friends.Obsequious. Dutiful; cf. "obsequious sorrow." Hamlet, Act 1. sc. 2, line 92

7. As interest of the dead. As that to which the dead had a rightful claim. Cf. "interest" in XXIV.3. 

8. But things remov'd. They had but gone to take up their abode in his friend's breast. Thee. Q. "there."

9. Thou art the grave, &c. The imagery is suddenly changed, and if the poet's deceased friends are still alive, they live, as it were, in the grave. 
10. Hung with the trophies. As in a church or cathedral, above the tombs of the dead. 

11. Represents the greatness of his present affection as comprising all the separate parts due respectively to his former friends. 

14. Emphasises 12. Thou art (all they), and hast all the all of me. Notice the strength of "all the all," instead of "all their parts of me." 

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