Welcome to my world, take my hand and see.
Come into my world, a world of mystery.
It’s a magical place where dark meets light,
shades of shadow grey, fading into night.
A world where everyone speaks in rhyme,
with laughing and dancing and bending time.
The place where dreams, become reality
and children rule with regal majesty.
Come into my world of tranquility,
where we warp time and stability.
So open your mind as you fantasize
and step in the mirror before your eyes.
A place where laughter is the only rule
and lessons are learned in paradox school.
Sonnets are formal poems and consist of 14 lines (3 quatrains and a couplet) , traditionally written in iambic pentameter - that is, in lines ten syllables long, with accents falling on every second syllable Desperation
What will I write about in this sonnet?
Of who's existence I really don't care...
Why, just the thought of doing it
Makes me feel the need for fresh air!
I cannot recall if it was to be themed;
And really do not know why it's required.
It makes us write things that we daydreamed;
I am conivinced all English teachers are wired!
But in a few months we shall be freed
Of this tiresome, troublesome task...
And nevermore will we have to plead,
But be able to relax and sun-bask!
Eureka! I've completed this dreadful sonnet,
And sustain high hopes of recieving an 'A' on it! .
I miss you
“I-miss-you” because you blessed my heart with pure joy, When you cared for me in my youth,
With a kind-spirited finger you touched my heart,
Now fingerprints of your legacy remain,
Engraved in the depth of my soul,
For that…I thank you,
Your selfless nature, if possible,
Would have moved mountains yonder,
Just to appease my needs, your deeds I honour,
With the lasting memories of grace,
And Of your undying love,
So I send my love through a dove,
Dove: filled with halos of your spirit passé,
The dove is these words of sonnet; this sonnet wears “I-miss-you”. I’d Like to Write a Sonnet Just in Fun
I wrote to write my thoughts in clarity
I wrote to write ideas and views that storm
You see I wrote to write tranquility
But now I want to write in sonnet form
I like emotions locked inside fourteen
Inside with beats I’ve never known before
The sonnet life has rule as code adds mien
To quench my thirst for laws that I explore
I lay the code in mind to bring feelings
With beats I join to capture its allure
In words I write to form with beats freeing
To play amongst the codes that I procure
I will reread and learn as I arrange
With feelings that will flow as beats will change
Life is Poetry
Life is poetry in motion
Allowing my mind & soul free
Writing rhymes full of emotions
Some makes me feel happy
Other thoughts make me sad
I accept poetry as my destiny
My rhyming traits got from dad
I hear rhymes in conversations
I see the heart not your background
My poetry are written with devotion
Life is poetry accompany with experiences
My heart & soul is free with imagination
To me a rhyme is your free soul
I will leave you with a warm smile.
We all are Prisoners
We all are prisoners
Engulfed within this tall walls
The inmates to us are friends and foes
Freedom to us, a foreign language
You are enslaved
By your duty to keep me within the walls
Even while I slumber
Elusive, sleep becomes for you
Though in different quarters
We share the same mansion
In this homely prison
Only your khaki difference
Defines your category
We all are prisoners
Who loves you more than I
Who loves you more than I?
The sun rises as you wake,
stars fire brighter in the sky,
the wind blows over the lake,
nature forgets its daily tasks
as you sleep a timeless sleep,
I see angels wearing masks
to hide tears as they weep.
You smile unwary of this.
A dream that is only a dream
lead me to wander amiss
with no aid of your eyes’ beam…
Who loves you more than I
Who loves you more than I…
A Winter Rose - A Sonnet
I walk through the glistening virgin snow
That covers the sorrow of autumn’s death
Where I find on a bush a frozen rose
Its beauty held ageless in winter’s breath
How I long to touch those petals again
Those moist velvet lips that promise such bliss
Opened in passion whispering my name
As I drift in dreams of a breathless kiss
Oh! To pluck this rose from the winter snow
And hold it closely to my aching heart
And free it from that ice so bitter cold
That now my love keeps you and me apart
But if I were to pluck this winter rose
Would all its petals fall upon the snow?
Written: January 15, 2010
Author: Elaine George
Despite the confessional tone in this sonnet, there is no direct reference to the youth. The general context, however, makes it clear that the poet's temporary alienation refers to the youth's inconstancy and betrayal, not the poet's, although coming as it does on the heels of the previous sonnet, the poet may be trying to convince himself again that "Now" he loves the youth "best." Sonnet 116, then, seems a meditative attempt to define love, independent of reciprocity, fidelity, and eternal beauty: "Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks / Within his bending sickle's compass come." After all his uncertainties and apologies, Sonnet 116 leaves little doubt that the poet is in love with love. The essence of love and friendship for the poet, apparently, is reciprocity, or mutuality. In Sonnet 116, for example, the ideal relationship is referred to as "the marriage of true minds," a union that can be realized by the dedicated and faithful: "Let me not to the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments." The marriage service in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer — "If any of you know cause or just impediment" — provides the model for the sonnet's opening lines. In them, we see the poet's attitude toward love, which he proceeds to define first negatively. He explains what love is not, and then he positively defines what it is. The "ever-fixed mark" is the traditional sea mark and guide for mariners — the North Star — whose value is inestimable although its altitude — its "height" — has been determined. Unlike physical beauty, the star is not subject to the ravages of time; nor is true love, which is not "Time's fool." The poet then introduces the concepts of space and time, applying them to his ideal of true love: "Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, / But bears it out even to the edge of doom." Note that the verb "alters" is lifted directly from line 3, in which the poet describes what love is not. "Bears it out" means survive; "edge of doom," Judgment Day. Finally, with absolute conviction, the poet challenges others to find him wrong in his definition: "If this be error and upon me proved, / I never writ, nor no man ever loved." Just how secure the poet is in his standards of friendship and love, which he hopes that he and the youth can achieve, is evident in this concluding couplet; he stakes his own poetry as his wager that love is all he has described it to be. Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
This sonnet attempts to define love, by telling both what it is and is not. In the first quatrain, the speaker says that love—”the marriage of true minds”—is perfect and unchanging; it does not “admit impediments,” and it does not change when it find changes in the loved one. In the second quatrain, the speaker tells what love is through a metaphor: a guiding star to lost ships (“wand’ring barks”) that is not susceptible to storms (it “looks on tempests and is never shaken”). In the third quatrain, the speaker again describes what love is not: it is not susceptible to time. Though beauty fades in time as rosy lips and cheeks come within “his bending sickle’s compass,” love does not change with hours and weeks: instead, it “bears it out ev’n to the edge of doom.” In the couplet, the speaker attests to his certainty that love is as he says: if his statements can be proved to be error, he declares, he must never have written a word, and no man can ever have been in love. Commentary
Along with Sonnets 18 (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”) and 130 (“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”), Sonnet 116 is one of the most famous poems in the entire sequence. The definition of love that it provides is among the most often quoted and anthologized in the poetic canon. Essentially, this sonnet presents the extreme ideal of romantic love: it never changes, it never fades, it outlasts death and admits no flaw. What is more, it insists that this ideal is the only love that can be called “true”—if love is mortal, changing, or impermanent, the speaker writes, then no man ever loved. The basic division of this poem’s argument into the various parts of the sonnet form is extremely simple: the first quatrain says what love is not (changeable), the second quatrain says what it is (a fixed guiding star unshaken by tempests), the third quatrain says more specifically what it is not (“time’s fool”—that is, subject to change in the passage of time), and the couplet announces the speaker’s certainty. What gives this poem its rhetorical and emotional power is not its complexity; rather, it is the force of its linguistic and emotional conviction. The language of Sonnet 116 is not remarkable for its imagery or metaphoric range. In fact, its imagery, particularly in the third quatrain (time wielding a sickle that ravages beauty’s rosy lips and cheeks), is rather standard within the sonnets, and its major metaphor (love as a guiding star) is hardly startling in its originality. But the language is extraordinary in that it frames its discussion of the passion of love within a very restrained, very intensely disciplined rhetorical structure. With a masterful control of rhythm and variation of tone—the heavy balance of “Love’s not time’s fool” to open the third quatrain; the declamatory “O no” to begin the second—the speaker makes an almost legalistic argument for the eternal passion of love, and the result is that the passion seems stronger and more urgent for the restraint in the speaker’s tone. ←
Sonnet 60 is acknowledged as one of Shakespeare's greatest because it deals with the universal concerns of time and its passing. In the sonnet, time is symbolized by concrete images. For example, the opening two lines present a simile in which time is represented by "waves" and "minutes": "Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, / So do our minutes hasten to their end"; here, death is "the pebbled shore" — another concrete image. In the second quatrain, the poet laments time's unfairness. A child — "Nativity" — is born and, over time, matures to adulthood, and yet the adult now dreads the maturation process as he grows increasingly older and thus reaches the point of death, or the end of time. Time, which gives life, now takes it away: "And Time that gave doth now his gift confound." The antithesis in lines 9 through 12 is between the aging poet and the youth's good looks. The poet warns, "Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth / And delves the parallels in beauty's brow." In other words, the young man currently is beautiful, but "parallels" — wrinkles — will eventually appear, as they have on the poet. However much the young man and the poet would like beauty to reside forever on the youth's face, "nothing stands but for his [time's] scythe to mow." Nonetheless, the poet promises to immortalize the youth's good looks before time's wrinkles appear on his face: "And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand, / Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand." Unlike the poet's promise in Sonnet 19, this assurance does not include giving the young man eternal beauty. Even more, the "scythe" in line 12 recalls Sonnet 12's concluding couplet: "And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defense / Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence." Clearly the poet is no longer concerned that the young man have a child to ensure the immortality of his beauty. Now, the poet's own sonnets are the only security the youth needs to gain eternal worth. Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown’d,
Crooked elipses ’gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.
This sonnet attempts to explain the nature of time as it passes, and as it acts on human life. In the first quatrain, the speaker says that the minutes replace one another like waves on the “pebbled shore,” each taking the place of that which came before it in a regular sequence. In the second quatrain, he tells the story of a human life in time by comparing it to the sun: at birth (“Nativity”), it rises over the ocean (“the main of light”), then crawls upward toward noon (the “crown” of “maturity”), then is suddenly undone by “crooked eclipses”, which fight against and confound the sun’s glory. In the third quatrain, time is depicted as a ravaging monster, which halts youthful flourish, digs wrinkles in the brow of beauty, gobbles up nature’s beauties, and mows down with his scythe everything that stands. In the couplet, the speaker opposes his verse to the ravages of time: he says that his verse will stand in times to come, and will continue to praise the “worth” of the beloved despite the “cruel hand” of time. Commentary
This poem is organized very neatly into the quatrain/quatrain/quatrain/couplet structure that defines the Shakespearean sonnet. Each quatrain presents a relatively self-contained metaphorical description of time’s passage in human life, while the couplet offers a twist on the poem’s earlier themes. In the first quatrain, the metaphor is that of the tide; just as waves cycle forward and replace one another on the beach, so do minutes struggle forward in “sequent toil.” In the second quatrain, the focus shifts from the passage of time to the passage of human life, using the metaphor of the sun during the span of a day: first it crawls forward out of the sea (an image linking this quatrain to the previous one), then is crowned with maturity in the sky, then, suddenly, it is darkened by the “crooked eclipses” of age, as time retracts his original gift. In the third quatrain, the metaphor becomes one of time as a personified force, a ravaging monster, who digs trenches in beauty, devours nature, and mows down all that stands with his scythe. Clearly, these images develop from one another: the first describes the way time passes, the second describes the way a human life passes, and the third describes the way time is responsible for the ravages in human life. Each quatrain is a single four-line sentence, developing a single argument through metaphor: time passes relentlessly, human life is cripplingly short before it quickly succumbs to age and decay, time is the ravager responsible for the downfall of men’s lives. This is one of the great themes of the sonnets. In the couplet, the speaker then stunningly declares that he has found a way to confound time: his verse, despite time’s “cruel hand,” will live on, and continue to praise the worth of the beloved. This is the often-invoked corollary to the great theme of time’s passage: the speaker, disappointed that the young man will not defy time by having children, writes poem after poem about the mighty power of the “bloody tyrant” time, then declares that his poems will remain immortal, and will enable the young man’s beauty to live forever. Sonnets 18, 19, 55, 63, and 65 all follow this formula, and echoes of it appear in countless many other sonnets.
Two kinds of sonnets have been most common in English poetry, and they take their names from the greatest poets to utilize them: the Petrarchan sonnet and theShakespearean sonnet. The Petrarchan sonnet is divided into two main parts, called the octave and the sestet. The octave is eight lines long, and typically follows a rhyme scheme of ABBAABBA, or ABBACDDC. The sestet occupies the remaining six lines of the poem, and typically follows a rhyme scheme of CDCDCD, or CDECDE. The octave and the sestet are usually contrasted in some key way: for example, the octave may ask a question to which the sestet offers an answer. In the following Petrarchan sonnet, John Keats’s “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer,” the octave describes past events—the speaker’s previous, unsatisfying examinations of the “realms of gold,” Homer’s poems—while the sestet describes the present—the speaker’s sense of discovery upon finding Chapman’s translations: Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse have I been told
That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific—and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
The Shakespearean sonnet, the form of sonnet utilized throughout Shakespeare’s sequence, is divided into four parts. The first three parts are each four lines long, and are known as quatrains, rhymed ABAB; the fourth part is called the couplet, and is rhymed CC. The Shakespearean sonnet is often used to develop a sequence of metaphors or ideas, one in each quatrain, while the couplet offers either a summary or a new take on the preceding images or ideas. In Shakespeare’s Sonnet 147, for instance, the speaker’s love is compared to a disease. In the first quatrain, the speaker characterizes the disease; in the second, he describes the relationship of his love-disease to its “physician,” his reason; in the third, he describes the consequences of his abandonment of reason; and in the couplet, he explains the source of his mad, diseased love—his lover’s betrayal of his faith: My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease,
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
The uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Hath left me, and I desp’rate now approve
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure am I, now reason is past care,
And frantic mad with evermore unrest,
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen’s are,
At random from the truth vainly expressed;
For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
In many ways, Shakespeare’s use of the sonnet form is richer and more complex than this relatively simple division into parts might imply. Not only is his sequence largely occupied with subverting the traditional themes of love sonnets—the traditional love poems in praise of beauty and worth, for instance, are written to a man, while the love poems to a woman are almost all as bitter and negative as Sonnet 147—he also combines formal patterns with daring and innovation. Many of his sonnets in the sequence, for instance, impose the thematic pattern of a Petrarchan sonnet onto the formal pattern of a Shakespearean sonnet, so that while there are still three quatrains and a couplet, the first two quatrains might ask a single question, which the third quatrain and the couplet will answer. As you read through Shakespeare’s sequence, think about the ways Shakespeare’s themes are affected by and tailored to the sonnet form. Be especially alert to complexities such as the juxtaposition of Petrarchan and Shakespearean patterns. How might such a juxtaposition combination deepen and enrich Shakespeare’s use of a traditional form? No Fear Shakespeare: Sonnets: Sonnet 98
The theme of absence continues with the youth away. The poet first describes April in a buoyant tone, and says that even "heavy Saturn," which during the Elizabethan period was thought to influence dark and gloomy behavior in people, "laughed and leapt" during this spring. The typical reversal expected in the sonnets, either in the third quatrain or in the concluding couplet, appears early in Sonnet 98, coming at the beginning of the second quatrain with the word "Yet." That this change of fortune comes so early emphasizes just how despondent the poet is while separated from the young man. Neither birds nor flowers grant relief from his depressed emotional state, for he compares these spring and summer objects of beauty to the youth's beauty and concludes that they are imperfect copies of his friend's appearance: "They were but sweet, but figures of delight, / Drawn after you, you pattern of all those." Recalling the previous sonnet, the poet again thinks of his separation from the young man as a barren winter. No longer critical of the youth, rather he becomes apologetic for the feeble nature of his verse, as though he is merely passing the time by writing frivolous sonnets while he is away from his beloved: "Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away, / As with your shadow I with these did play." The poet's use of the term "shadow" is similar to when he dreamt of the youth in earlier sonnets; this reference again demonstrates just how much the poet has regressed to his earlier, dependent attitude toward the youth.
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leapt with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet seemed it winter still, and you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.
I was away from you during the spring, when splendid April in all its finery made everything feel so young that even Saturn, the god of old age and gloominess, laughed and leaped along with it. But neither the songs of birds nor the sweet smell of all the various flowers could make me feel like it was summer or inspire me to go flower picking. I wasn’t amazed by how white the lily was, nor did I praise the deep red of the roses. They were only sweet, only pictures of delight, drawn in imitation of you, the archetype of spring. It seemed like it was still winter and, with you away, I played with these flowers as if I were playing with your reflection. The poet's lament over his separation from the beloved continues. Everything else is enjoying springtime and rebirth, but he alone is locked in hideous winter. All the occurrences of Spring remind him of the youth, for the beauties of the seasons are based on the youth's beauty and derive from him. Therefore the poet only toys absent-mindedly with these manifestations of beauty, for he desires the real thing, the pattern of all beauty, and that is, in Platonic ideology, the beloved youth who is the form that inspires and creates everything that lives and grows. SB (p.319) suggests a link between lines 1-5 and Chaucer's introduction to The Canterbury Tales, lines 1-11, which I give below. Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
The droghte of March hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eke with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen all the night with open eye
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages)
shoures sote = sweet showers; droghte = drought; perced = pierced; swich licour = such liquid;vertu = life giving force; flour = flower; Zephirus = the West wind; eke = also; inspired hath = has breathed into; holt = woodland; yonge sonne = young sun; Hath in the Ram etc. = has travelled half way through the zodiacal sign of the Ram (Aries) fowles = birds; So priketh hem nature = For nature stimulates them (to sing); in hir corages = in their hearts. The 1609 Quarto Version
FRom you haue I beene abſent in the ſpring,
When proud pide Aprill (dreſt in all his trim)
Hath put a ſpirit of youth in euery thing:
That heauie Saturne laught and leapt with him.
Yet nor the laies of birds,nor the ſweet ſmell
Of different flowers in odor and in hew,
Could make me any ſummers ſtory tell:
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew: Nor did I wonder at the Lillies white,
Nor praiſe the deepe vermillion in the Roſe,
They weare but ſweet,but figures of delight:
Drawne after you, you patterne of all thoſe.
Yet ſeem'd it Winter ſtill,and you away,
As with your ſhaddow I with theſe did play.
1. From you have I been absent in the spring,
The description of the pain of absence continues, but here the season described is spring rather than the summer of the previous sonnet. However spring turns into summer in line 7, and the joyousness of the season of growth and burgeoning flowers is what is intended. 2. When proud pied April, dressed in all his trim,
proud pied = resplendently variegated. Pride and the adjective proud are often used in descriptions of rich clothing. As in Thy youth's proud livery, so gazed on now, 2.
and elsewhere in the Sonnets (52, 64, 91, 104). Many editions give proud-pied but the hyphen is not in Q and does not appear to be necessary. The word pied, meaning dappled, variegated, is rarely used nowadays, except in compound names (see below). There are three other occurrences of it in Shakespeare, the following being the most famous and apposite: When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight, LLL.V.2.904-7.
Some glossaries give the meaning as 'motley-coated, wearing the motley coat of a jester' but it is uncertain what the coat of a jester in Shakespeare's day looked like. Pied is still found in many bird and animal names, as pied wagtail, pied fly-catcher, pied-wolf, where it means streaked or iridescent or variegated. The magpie was in former times known simply as the 'pie'. 3. Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
a spirit of youth = the essence of youth, youthful vigour. Compare: O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute TN.I.1.9-14.
There is possibly a bawdy innuendo in spirit. See Sonnet 129 line 1. 4. That heavy Saturn laughed and leapt with him.
heavy Saturn = the gloomy God of dearth and winter. In astrology the planet Saturn was the tutelary deity of the melancholy humour, and governed those of a gloomy, sour and heavy temperament. He was also associated with old age. 5. Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
the lays of birds = bird song. a lay is 'a short lyric or narrative poem intended to be sung'. (OED.n.4.1.). It has been applied poetically to bird song since at least the 14th cent. 6. Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
different - the word seems to apply to 'sweet smell', 'flowers' and 'in odour and in hue'. hue= colour, appearance. See Sonn 20. 7. Could make me any summer's story tell,
summer's story = happy account or tale. A winter's tale by a fireside was proverbial, but the summer's story seems to have been Shakespeare's invention. Summer and winter, April and December, warmth and freezings, happiness and sorrow are continually thrown into contrast in these two sonnets. Inevitably this finds echoes in other of Shakespeares works, such as The Passionate Pilgrim: Crabbed age and youth cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasaunce, age is full of care,
Youth like summer morn, age like winter weather;
Youth like summer brave, age like winter bare PP.12.
Rosalind in As You Like It wittily contrasts the state of mind of the sexes before and after marriage. She also chooses April and December as being the two months most typical of sweetness and harshness: No, no, Orlando; men are April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. AYL.IV.1. 8. Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
their proud lap - the lap of the earth, in which the flowers grow. i.e. 'I was not sufficiently moved by the songs of birds or the beauty of the flowers of spring to feel inspired to pick a bunch of them'. 9. Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
white - this could be adjectival, as in 'white lilies'; or it could be a substantive, as in 'the whiteness of the lily or lilies'. 10. Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
deep vermillion = a deep, rich crimson colour.
11. They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
They - the white of the lily and the vermilion of the rose, or possibly the flowers themselves. but = only, merely.
sweet = sweet, pleasant objects; the epitome of sweetness. figures of delight = delightful patterns or preliminary sketches, or full scale drawings. Shakespeare's use offigure and its compounds in the Sonnets is probably relevant here. If ten of thine ten times refigured thee: 6
Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure and no pace perceived; 104
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring; 106
What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit? 108
Sonnet 104 is the only other one to use figure as a noun, where it means either 'number on the clock face', or, because of the context, 'your (the beloved's) appearance'. Here, however, the subsequent line seems to confirm that a drawing, or outline, or sketch, or full picture is intended. It is also apparent that the Neo-Platonic concepts of the ideal form and its copy are being referred to. The individual roses and lilies are only copies of an ideal original, they are figures drawn from an original pattern which is perfect in every respect. In this case the beloved is the pattern from which the figures (copies) are drawn. figures of delight seems to echo the line in the song from Love's Labours Lost already quoted in the note to line 2 above: Do paint the meadows with delight,
The entire sonnet is imbued with the contrast between winter and spring or summer. 12. Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
drawn after you = copied, taking you as the model. For the thought see the note above. Sonnet 53 outlines the philosophical concepts, derived from Plato, that are used again here: What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
Since every one hath, every one, one shade,
And you, but one, can every shadow lend. 53
substance above corresponds to pattern in this sonnet and shadow to figure. 13. Yet seemed it winter still, and you away,
Yet seemed it winter still = Yet it appeared that it was still the winter season. still however could be adjectival, the meaning being 'silent, unmoving, barren winter'. you away = you being absent.
14. As with your shadow I with these did play.
shadow - see note to lines 11-12.
to play with has sexual overtones, as also do the words proud, spirit, leapt, pluck. But the crowding in of other images more or less makes such hints inactive.