Shakespeare's Sonnets: If my dear love were but the child of state

Sonnet 124

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): h2v.
3As subject to time's love, or to time's hate,
4Weeds among weeds, or flow'rs with flow'rs gather'd.
5No, it was builded far from accident;
6It suffers not in smiling pomp nor falls
8Whereto th' inviting time our fashion calls.
10Which works on leases of short numb'red hours,
11But all alone stands hugely politic
12That it nor grows with heat, nor drowns with show'rs.
13    To this I witness call the fools of time
14    Which die for goodness, who have liv'd for crime.

Notes

1] love] the speaker's feeling, not the beloved. the child of state] something trumped up for reasons of expedience. Back to Line
2] unfather'd] vnfathered Q. From at least the time of Boethius' The Consolation of Philosophy (which Queen Elizabeth translated from Latin into English), Fortune was allegorized as a faithless, changeable woman. Her child, then, would be illegitimate, in that it might have any one of several fathers. Back to Line
7] thrallèd] enslaved. Back to Line
9] policy] expedience. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1609
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2008
Rhyme: 
Form: