Shakespeare Sonnet 73

 

Image result for Sudbury Massachusetts in October
Sudbury, Massachusetts in October

Here’s another fall poem, this one written by William Shakespeare two hundred years before his heir, Gerard Manley Hopkins, wrote about the season.  Both of them give the same advice: love well while love lasts.

Sonnet 73

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.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day,
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by-and-by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

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2 thoughts on “Shakespeare Sonnet 73

  1. Thanks for reminding us of Sonnet 73. The idyllic picture of Sudbury (well, other Sudbury, as its progenitor in England is but a cycle ride away for me) in the Fall made me think of these Wordsworthian lines a propos of the sentiments of Hopkins and the Bard.

    The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
    Their colours and their forms, were then to me
    An appetite; a feeling and a love,
    That had no need of a remoter charm,
    By thought supplied, not any interest
    Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is past,
    And all its aching joys are now no more,
    And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
    Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
    Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
    Abundant recompense. For I have learned
    To look on nature, not as in the hour
    Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
    The still sad music of humanity,
    Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
    To chasten and subdue.—And I have felt
    A presence that disturbs me with the joy
    Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
    Of something far more deeply interfused,
    Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
    And the round ocean and the living air,
    And the blue sky, and in the mind of man…

    Liked by 1 person

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