Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sonnet CVIII (108)

What's in the brain that ink may character, 
Which hath not figur'd to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register, 
That may express my love or thy dear merit? 
Nothing sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must, each day say o'er the very same; 
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name. 
So that eternal love in love's fresh case 
Weighs not the dust and injury of age, 
Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place, 
But makes antiquity for aye his page, 
Finding the first conceit of love there bred

Where time and outward form would show it dead. 

3. What now to register. So Q., though "now" may possibly be a misprint for "new." 

5. Sweet boy. Notice the indication of youth, though the expression might be suitably employed of a young man of twenty-one, retaining his youthful freshness. Like prayers divine. Like prayers to the Deity. 

9. In love's fresh case. Though a change may have occurred in the appearance of the beloved one, placing the lover consequently in "a fresh case," a new position. 

10, 11. Love does not regard the injuries inflicted by age, or unavoidable wrinkles. These injuries are merely external, like dust on the surface. 

12. But makes antiquity for aye his page. Ever sets before him the appearance of the beloved one in that olden time when the attachment commenced. 

13, 14. Though the beauty of the beloved person may be decayed, yet imagination conceives of it as it was at first. "The first conceit of love" is still produced, where, to the ordinary eye, the power to charm is gone. 

No comments:

Post a Comment