Shakespeare's Sonnets: Your love and pity doth th'impression fill

Sonnet 112

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): g4r.
1Your love and pity doth th'impression fill
3For what care I who calls me well or ill
5You are my all-the-world, and I must strive
6To know my shames and praises from your tongue,
7None else to me, nor I to none alive,
9In so profound abysm I throw all care
11To critic and to flatterer stopped are:
12Mark how with my neglect I do dispense:


2] stampt] branded, like a felon. Back to Line
4] o'er-green] conceal (Shakespeare is the first to use this verb). Back to Line
8] steel'd] engraved with steel (cf. line 2). o'er-changes] Duncan-Jones (meaning 'transmutes'); or changes Q. Shakespeare seems to say that the young man's love and pity for him engraves in his senses a transformed moral code. Back to Line
10] adder's sense] deafness. Cf. Psalms 58.4: "Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear." Back to Line
13] in my purpose bred] created in my will. Back to Line
14] thinks you're dead] because the beloved is only alive in the poet's "purpose." This may seem a problematic reading. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: