Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sonnet CV (105)


Let not my love be called idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idol show,
Since all alike my songs and praises be
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence;
Therefore my verse to constancy confin'd,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument,
Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent,
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.
   Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone,
   Which three, till now, never kept seat in one. 

CV. The poet defends himself against the possible charge, that he idolised his friend, by ever repeating the same eulogies. He replies that he has a wide theme of discourse, since there is in his friend a threefold excellence, beauty, kindness, and truth, which never before were to be found united. 

1. Idolatry. Dowden quotes W. S. Walker, "Because the continual repetition of the same praises seemed like a form of worship." 

2. As an idol show. As an idol exhibited to be worshipped. 

8. Leaves out difference, which, in the particulars referred to, is not supposed to exist. 

9. Argument. Subject, as frequently.

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