Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sonnet XCI (91)

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their body's force,
Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill;
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:
But these particulars are not my measure;
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost,
Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
And having thee, of all men's pride I boast:
Wretched in this alone, that thou may'st take
All this away, and me most wretched make.

XCI. Other men have various objects of supreme interest, or advantages in which they take pride; but the poet takes pride only in his friend. The possibility of losing him is the poet's only source of anxiety and wretchedness.

3. Though new-fangled ill. However unsuitable, though fashionable.

7, 8. But these particular pursuits and objects of interest do not concern me or apply to me. I have one object of interest better than all these, to me the best, yielding as much delight and pride as all the rest combined.

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