Thursday, December 5, 2013

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. 

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