When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
| When I’ve fallen out of favor with fortune and men,
| I all alone beweep my outcast state
| All alone I weep over my position as a social outcast,
| And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
| And pray to heaven, but my cries go unheard,
| And look upon myself and curse my fate,
| And I look at myself, cursing my fate,
| Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
| Wishing I were like one who had more hope,
| Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
| Wishing I looked like him; wishing I were surrounded by friends,
| Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
| Wishing I had this man's skill and that man's freedom.
| With what I most enjoy contented least;
| I am least contented with what I used to enjoy most.
| Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
| But, with these thoughts – almost despising myself,
| Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
| I, by chance, think of you and then my melancholy,
| Like to the lark at break of day arising
| Like the lark at the break of day, rises
| From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
| From the dark earth and I sing hymns to heaven;
| For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
| For thinking of your love brings such happiness
| That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
| That then I would not change my position in life with kings.
What is it about?
Shakespeare is frustrated over fame and success of his own and he envies what the others achieved. He describes himself as a social outcast because he thinks he does not fit in with everyone else. The man wishes he were better looking, more skillful, more hopeful, had more friends, and had more freedom. Although feeling god isn’t there for him, Shakespeare was determined that nothing could be compared with the one he loves.
The poem mentioned a type of bird named “lark” which suggested the location of Shakespeare...
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