Shakespeare's Sonnets: Who is it that says most, which can say more

Sonnet 84

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): f2r-f2v.
2Than this rich praise, that you alone are you,
3In whose confine immurèd is the store
5Lean penury within that pen doth dwell
7But he that writes of you, if he can tell
8That you are you, so dignifies his story.
9Let him but copy what in you is writ,
10Not making worse what nature made so clear,
12Making his style admirèd every where.


1] which] a relative that is not strictly necessary in today's speech. Back to Line
4] example] exemplify, offer a pattern for. Back to Line
6] Extrametrical, like line 8. Back to Line
11] counter-part] musical "part written `against' or to accompany another" (OED, "counterpart," 5 (first used in 1597). false] make renowned. Back to Line
13] beaut'ous] beautious Q. Back to Line
14] Being fond on] liking (perhaps foolishly). "Being" is elided. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: