Sonnet LIII: What is your Substance, whereof are you Made

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.
1What is your substance, whereof are you made,
3Since everyone hath, everyone, one shade,
4And you, but one, can every shadow lend.
6Is poorly imitated after you;
7On Helen's cheek all art of beauty set,
10The one doth shadow of your beauty show,
11The other as your bounty doth appear;
12And you in every blessed shape we know.
13In all external grace you have some part,
14But you like none, none you, for constant heart.


2] tend: attend, wait upon.
shadows ... shade ... shadow: used quibblingly with the meanings of "silhouette" and "reflection," namely the reflection of the friend's substance. Back to Line
5] counterfeit: likeness. Back to Line
8] tires: attire. Back to Line
9] foison: abundance, i.e., autumn. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.140.