Shakespeare's Sonnets: Not mine own fears nor the prophetic soul

Sonnet 107

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): g3r.
2Of the wide world, dreaming on things to come,
7Incertainties now crown them-selves assur'd,
11Since spite of him I'll live in this poor rhyme
13    And thou in this shalt find thy monument


1] the prophetic soul] "The concept of the world's prophetic soul is from Giordano Bruno. The meaning of the passage is simply: the prognostications of disaster in the world about me" (F. D. Hoeniger, RP, I [1962]: 393). Back to Line
3] lease] period, term. William Herbert suffered brief imprisonment, and then exile, in 1601 for making Mary Fitton pregnant. Back to Line
4] "Which I have thought doomed to early forfeiture" (Tucker Brooke). Back to Line
5] mortal moon] Elizabeth I, whose grand climacteric or especially dangerous 63rd year, began September 7, 1596, and who died March 24, 1603. Back to Line
6] augurs] prophets. presage] prediction. Back to Line
8] olives] evergreen trees associated with honour, possibly alluding to the coronation of James I in July 1603. Back to Line
9] balmy] soothing, fragrant. Back to Line
10] subscribes] yields, gives in (OED, "subscribe," v., 8). Back to Line
12] insults] scornfully triumphs. Back to Line
14] spent] consumed. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: