home contact


Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me,
Knowing thy heart torments me with disdain,
Have put on black and loving mourners be,
Looking with pretty ruth upon my pain.
And truly not the morning sun of heaven
Better becomes the grey cheeks of the east,
Nor that full star that ushers in the even,
Doth half that glory to the sober west,
As those two mourning eyes become thy face:
O, let it then as well beseem thy heart
To mourn for me, since mourning doth thee grace,
And suit thy pity like in every part.
Then will I swear beauty herself is black
And all they foul that thy complexion lack.


CXXXII. It was his mistress's eyes which fascinated the poet, though they were black; and he fancies that their blackness betokened pity for the torments he suffered from her pride and disdain. And so becoming did they seem in her face that neither morning sun nor evening star was so beautiful; and they made her face itself the type of beauty.

2. Torments. Q. has "torment;" but to make the eyes torment is opposed to the general sense and aim of the Sonnet.

4. Ruth. Pity.

9. Mourning eyes. Q. has "morning eyes."

12. Suit thy pity like in every part. "Suit" must here be taken in the sense of "dress," "attire." And the meaning would appear to be, "Let every part of thee, and not merely thy eyes, pity me, and let every part wear a similar garb of mourning."

How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. Ed. Thomas Tyler. London: D. Nutt, 1890. Shakespeare Online. 10 Jan. 2014. < >.

Even More...

 Stratford School Days: What Did Shakespeare Read?
 Games in Shakespeare's England [A-L]
 Games in Shakespeare's England [M-Z]
 An Elizabethan Christmas
 Clothing in Elizabethan England

 Queen Elizabeth: Shakespeare's Patron
 King James I of England: Shakespeare's Patron
 The Earl of Southampton: Shakespeare's Patron
 Going to a Play in Elizabethan London

 Ben Jonson and the Decline of the Drama
 Publishing in Elizabethan England
 Shakespeare's Audience
 Religion in Shakespeare's England

 Alchemy and Astrology in Shakespeare's Day
 Entertainment in Elizabethan England
 London's First Public Playhouse
 Shakespeare Hits the Big Time

More to Explore

 Introduction to Shakespeare's Sonnets
 Shakespearean Sonnet Style
 How to Analyze a Shakespearean Sonnet
 The Rules of Shakespearean Sonnets
 The Contents of the Sonnets in Brief

 Shakespeare's Sonnets: Q & A
 Theories Regarding the Sonnets
 Are Shakespeare's Sonnets Autobiographical?
 Petrarch's Influence on Shakespeare
 Theme Organization in the Sonnets

 Shakespeare's Greatest Love Poem
 Shakespeare and the Earl of Southampton
 The Order of the Sonnets
 The Date of the Sonnets

 Who was Mr. W. H.?
 Are all the Sonnets addressed to two Persons?
 Who was The Rival Poet?


Points to Ponder... "I don't think it matters much who "W. H." was. The great question is, do Shakspere's Sonnets speak his own heart and thoughts or not? And were it not for the fact that many critics really deserving the name of Shakespeare students, and not Shakespeare fools, have held the Sonnets to be merely dramatic, I could not have conceived that poems so intensely and evidently autobiographic and self-revealing, poems so one with the spirit and inner meaning of Shakspere's growth arid life, could ever have been conceived to be other than what they are, the records of his own loves and fears. And I believe that if the acceptance of them as such had not involved the consequence of Shakespeare's intrigue with a married woman, all readers would have taken the Sonnets as speaking of Shakespeare's own life. But his admirers are so anxious to remove every stain from him, that they contend for a non-natural interpretation of his poems." (F.J. Furnivall. The Leopold Shakespeare, p.72.)


 Shakespeare's Treatment of Love in the Plays
 Shakespeare's Dramatic Use of Songs
 Shakespeare Quotations on Love
 Shakespeare Wedding Readings
 Shakespeare on Sleep