Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sonnet XCII (92)

But do thy worst to steal thyself away,
For term of life thou art assured mine;

And life no longer than thy love will stay,
For it depends upon that love of thine. 
Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs,
When in the least of them my life hath end. 
I see a better state to me belongs 
Than that which on thy humour doth depend;
Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind, 
Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie. 
O, what a happy title do I find, 
Happy to have thy love, happy to die!
   But what's so blessed-fair that fears no blot?
   Thou mayst be false, and yet I know it not. 

XCII. Closely connected with the preceding Sonnet, in the two last lines of which the poet speaks of his having only one cause of wretchedness, that he may lose his friend. Now he can find comfort even in this respect. His friend's love is assured to him for life; for the loss of that love will involve the loss of life. Still there is a possibility that his friend's heart may be alienated, though an outward seeming of affection may be continued. 

5-10. The poet cannot fear that continued wretchedness which he had dreaded, since the loss of his friend's affection will entail immediately the loss of life. The "worst of wrongs" will thus be the continued misery of living alienated. The "least of them" will allude to the loss of his friend's affection, and the loss of life is so closely linked therewith that the poet will feel no wretchedness. This is the "better state" which fears no continued "vexation." The pain caused by the loss of the friend's affection is the "least of wrongs" on account of its immediate termination. 

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