Sonnet CVII: Not mine own Fears, nor the Prophetic Soul

Original Text: 
William Shakespeare, Shake-speares sonnets (London: G. Eld for T. T., 1609). STC 22353. Facs. edn.: London: J. Cape, 1925. PR 2750 B48 1609b ROBA.
2Of the wide world dreaming on things to come,
6And the sad augurs mock their own presage;
7Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd
9Now with the drops of this most balmy time
11Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme,
12While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes;
13And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
14When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent.


1] the prophetic soul ... come. The concept of the world's prophetic soul is from Giordano Bruno. The meaning of the passage is simply: the prognostications of disaster in the world about me. Back to Line
3] lease: duration (a legal metaphor). Back to Line
4] Suppos'd ... doom: Which I have thought doomed to early forfeiture (Tucker Brooke). Back to Line
5] mortal moon. What is alluded to here will perhaps never be uncovered; usually interpreted as referring to the death or to the climacteric (sixty-third year) of Elizabeth, who was frequently addressed as Diana or Cynthia, the moon-goddess. L. Hotson thinks the reference is to the Armada which was arranged in the shape of a crescent moon. These rival interpretations would suggest widely different and rather improbable dates for this sonnet and others. Back to Line
8] endless: without foreseen end. Back to Line
10] subscribes: yields. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.142.