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That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
Left the wife world should look into your moan,
would devise some virtuous lie,
For I am sham’d by that which I bring forth,
LXXIII. That time of year thou may'st in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang * Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the
sweet birds sang s.
In * When I perbaps compounded am with clay,] Compounded is mixed, blended. So, in K. Henry IP. P. II:
“ Only compound me with forgotten duft.” Malone. * When yellow leaves &c.] So, in Macbeth:
• Is fallen into the fear, the yellow leaf." STEEVENS. 5 Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds fang.) The
Bare rn'w'd quiers from which the reader must çxtract what meaning he can. The edition of our author's poems
-my way of life
In me thou seest the twilight of such day,
strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
in 1640, has—ruin'd. - Quires or choirs here means that part of cathedrals where divine service is performed, to which, when uncovered and in ruins,
" A naked subject to the weeping clouds," the poet compares the trees at the end of autumn, stripped of that foliage which at once invited and sheltered the feathered songsters of summer. So, in Cymbeline :
66 Then was I as a tree “ Whose boughs did bend with fruit; but in one night, " A storm, or robbery, call it what you will, " Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves,
“ And left me bare to weather." MALONE. This image was probably suggested to Shakspeare by our desolated monasteries. The resemblance between the vaulting of a Gothick ifle, and an avenue of trees whose upper branches meet and form an arch over-head, is too striking not to be acknow. ledged. When the roof of the one is shattered, and the boughs of the other leafless, the comparison becomes yet more folema and picturelque. Steevens.
*Which by and by black night doth take away,) So, in The Teva Gentleinen of Verona : " And by and by a cloud takes all away." STEEVENS.
such fire That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,] So, Chaucer :
" Yet in our ashen cold is fire yreken, See note on Antony and Cleopatra, Vol. VIII. p. 300. STEVENS.
when that fell arrest
My life hath in this line fome interest,
The worth of that, is that which it contains,
Porc “ Had I but time, as this fell ferjeant, death, • Is strict in his arres) o I could tell you,
“ But let it be " * The earth can bave but earth, -] Shakspeare seems here to have had the burial fervice in his thoughts. Malone. * -and this with tbee remains.] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
" And I hence fleeting, here remain svith thee.” 'Steev. 9 And for the peace of you I hold such firife] The context seeins to require that we should rather read :
for the price of you-or-for the sake of you, The conflicting paffions described by the poet were not produced by a regard to the ease or quiet of his friend, but by the high value he set on his esteem : yet as there seems to have been an opposition intended between peace and frife, I have made no ale teration in the text. MALONE.
clean starved for a look,] That is, wholly starved. So, in Julius Cajar : Vol. I.
Poffeffing or pursuing no delight,
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
" Clean from the purpose of the things themselves."
MALONE. So, in The Comedy of Errors :
" While I at home farve for a merry look.” STEEVENS, ? Or gluttoning on all, or all away.] That is, either feeding on various dishes, or having nothing on my board, - all being aluey. We might read:
Or gluttoning on all, or fall away. The expression is as ancient as our author's time. " Am I not fallen away vilely (says Falitaff) fince the last action ? do I not bate? do I not dwindle?” MALONE.
The amendment proposed, is, I think, at once defective and unnecessary. The natural opposition to gluttoning on all, would be eating nothing. Inftead of this, the reading fall asvot, presents us only with the effects of abstinence, instead of abfiinence itfelf. We must therefore attempt to explain the original words. Perhaps, or all away, may signify, or away with all! i. e. I either devour like a glutton what is within my reach, or command all provisions to be removed out of my fight. STEEVENS.
in a noted weed,] i. e. in a dress by which it is alway3 known, as those persons are who always wear the same colours.
STEEVENS. 4 That every word doth almost tell my name,] The quarto bas : je iny name. MAIONE.
So all my best is dressing old words new,
For as the sun is daily new and old,
s And of this book this learning may't thou taste.) This, their, and thy, are so often confounded in these Soonets, that it is only by attending to the context that we can discover which was the author's word. In the present instance, instead of this book, should we not read thy book? So, in the last line of this Sonnet:
" These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
MALONE. Probably this Sonnet was designed to accompany a present of a book consisting of blank paper. Were such the case, the old reading (this book) may stand. Lord Orrery lent a birth-day gift of the same kind to Swift, together with a copy of verses of the fame tendency. STEEVENS.
This conjecture appears to me extremely probable. We learn from the 122d Sonnet that Shakspeare received a table-book from his friend. MALONE. •
Of mouthed graves] That is, of all-devouring graves. Thus, in K. Richard III:
" in the swallowing gulph
“ Of dark forgetfulness and deep oblivion." Again, in Penus and Adonis :
" What is thy body but a swallowing grave ?" Again, in K John :
“ O now doth Death line his dead chaps with steel ;