Shakespeare's Sonnets: How can I then return in happy plight

Sonnet 28

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): c2v.
1How can I then return in happy plight
2That am debarr'd the benefit of rest?
3When day's oppression is not eas'd by night,
4But day by night and night by day oppress't.
6Do in consent shake hands to torture me,
7The one by toil, the other to complain
8How far I toil, still farther off from thee,
9I tell the day to please him thou art bright
14    And night doth nightly make grief's length seem stronger.


5] either's] ethers Q. Back to Line
10] heav'n] heauen Q. Back to Line
11] swart-complexion'd] black-faced. Back to Line
12] twire] peep, twinkle (first used by Shakespeare here, and of obscure etymology). guil'st] frequently emended to "gild" ("makes golden"), but the beloved might indeed, by his brightness, beguile or deceive the nighttime heavens when the sky is overcast (and no stars twinkle). Shakespeare's expression is unusual but not necessarily erroneous. Back to Line
13] Lines 13-14 are both extrametrical. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: