Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sonnet CXXXII (132)


Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me,
Knowing thy heart torments me with disdain,
Have put on black and loving mourners be, 
Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain. 
And truly not the morning sun of heaven 
Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east, 
Nor that full star that ushers in the even, 
Doth half that glory to the sober west, 
As those two mourning eyes become thy face: 
O, let it then as well beseem thy heart 
To mourn for me, since mourning doth thee grace,
And suit thy pity like in every part. 
Then will I swear beauty herself is black 
And all they foul that thy complexion lack. 


It was his mistress's eyes which fascinated the poet, though they were black; and he fancies that their blackness betokened pity for the torments he suffered from her pride and disdain. And so becoming did they seem in her face that neither morning sun nor evening star was so beautiful; and they made her face itself the type of beauty. 

2. Torments. Q. has "torment;" but to make the eyes torment is opposed to the general sense and aim of the Sonnet. 

4. Ruth. Pity. 

9. Mourning eyes. Q. has "morning eyes." 

12. Suit thy pity like in every part. "Suit" must here be taken in the sense of "dress," "attire." And the meaning would appear to be, "Let every part of thee, and not merely thy eyes, pity me, and let every part wear a similar garb of mourning."

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