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Let not my love be called idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idol show,
Since all alike my songs and praises be
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence;
Therefore my verse to constancy confin'd,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument,
Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent,
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.
   Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone,
   Which three, till now, never kept seat in one.


CV. The poet defends himself against the possible charge, that he idolised his friend, by ever repeating the same eulogies. He replies that he has a wide theme of discourse, since there is in his friend a threefold excellence, beauty, kindness, and truth, which never before were to be found united.

1. Idolatry. Dowden quotes W. S. Walker, "Because the continual repetition of the same praises seemed like a form of worship."

2. As an idol show. As an idol exhibited to be worshipped.

8. Leaves out difference, which, in the particulars referred to, is not supposed to exist.

9. Argument. Subject, as frequently.

How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. Ed. Thomas Tyler. London: D. Nutt, 1890. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2013. < >.

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Thoughts on Sonnet 105... "How the poet strives to convince us of the sincerity of his enthusiasm for the subject of his Muse! His sonnets generally, and this one more especially, evince the inspiration of real feeling. Knowing how dark the allegory is, he expresses the hope that we shall not call his love idolatry, nor conclude from his verses that what he adores is a vain idol, a fiction. -- The reader will bear in mind that the words "fair," "kind," and "true" are thoroughly synonymous with "the beautiful," "the good," and "the "true;" the abstracts in fact of Beauty, Truth, and Goodness in the modern ethical sense." (D. Barnstorff. A key to Shakespeare's sonnets. Translated from the German by T. J. Graham.)


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