Shakespeare's Sonnets: When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see

Sonnet 43

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): d1v-d2r.
3But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
6How would thy shadow's form, form happy show
7To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
9How would (I say) mine eyes be blessèd made
10By looking on thee in the living day,
11When in dead night their fair imperfect shade
12Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay?
13    All days are nights to see till I see thee,
14    And nights bright days when dreams do shew thee me.


1] wink] shut my eyes. Back to Line
2] An eleven-syllable line, as line 4. Back to Line
4] bright in dark] Eyes were thought to emit light-beams (OED, "eye-beam"). Back to Line
5] The beloved's shadow sheds light on other shadows. Back to Line
8] un-seeing] closed. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: