Shakespeare's Sonnets: Two loves I have of comfort and despair

Sonnet 144

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): i2v-i3r.
1Two loves I have of comfort and despair
5To win me soon to hell my female evil
7And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
8Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
10Suspect I may, yet not directly tell,
13    Yet this shall I ne'er know but live in doubt,


2] suggest] tempt. Back to Line
3] fair] light in complexion; perhaps blonde-haired. Back to Line
4] spirit] pronounced as a single syllable (cf. OED, "sprite"). colour'd ill] dark-complexioned. Back to Line
6] side] The Passionate Pilgrim (1599); sight Q. Back to Line
9] fiend: feend The Passionate Pilgrim (1599); finde Q. Back to Line
11] both to each friend] both the friend to one other. Back to Line
12] hell] allusion to the female genitalia. Back to Line
14] fire ... out] drive away. The first stage of syphilis occasioned acorn-like boils that issued in green puss, the pains of which "were as thoughe they [the victims] hadde lyen in the fyre" (Ulrich von Hutten, Of the wood called guaiacum, that healeth the Frenche pockes [Londini, 1539]: 2v). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
In The Passionate Pilgrim.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: