Shakespeare's Sonnets: Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain

Sonnet 122

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): h2r-h2v.
5Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
6Have faculty by nature to subsist,
8Of thee, thy record never can be miss't.
11Therefore to give them from me was I bold
12To trust those tables that receive thee more.
13    To keep an adjunct to remember thee


1] tables] "A small portable tablet for writing upon, esp. for notes or memoranda; a writing-tablet" (OED, "table," n., 2b). Back to Line
2] character'd] written. Back to Line
3] idle rank] worthless class (of things). Back to Line
4] e'vn] euen Q. Back to Line
7] raz'd oblivion] forgetfulness laid waste. Back to Line
9] retention] capacity for memory. Back to Line
10] tallies] "A stick or rod of wood, usually squared, marked on one side with transverse notches representing the amount of a debt or payment. The rod being cleft lengthwise across the notches, the debtor and creditor each retained one of the halves, the agreement or tallying of which constituted legal proof of the debt, etc." (OED, "tally," n.1, 1.a). Back to Line
14] import] imply. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: