Shakespeare's Sonnets: Oh how thy worth with manners may I sing

Sonnet 39

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): d1r.
1Oh how thy worth with manners may I sing
3What can mine own praise to mine own self bring,
4And what is't but mine own when I praise thee?
6And our dear love lose name of single one,
7That by this separation I may give
8That due to thee which thou deserv'st alone.
9Oh absence, what a torment would'st thou prove,
11To entertain the time with thoughts of love,
14    By praising him here who doth hence remain.


2] the better part] sometimes an allusion to a friend, the soul, a spouse (OED, "better, a., 3c). Back to Line
5] Even for this] For exactly this reason. Back to Line
10] sour] disagreeable. Back to Line
12] dost] the second-person form of the verb suggests that the beloved is meant as the subject, although grammatically it is "time and thoughts" . Back to Line
13] thou] absence (line 9). one twain] two of one. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: