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O, from what power hast thou this powerful might
With insufficiency my heart to sway?
To make me give the lie to my true sight,
And swear that brightness doth not grace the day?
Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill,
That in the very refuse of thy deeds
There is such strength and warrantise of skill
That, in my mind, thy worst all best exceeds?
Who taught thee how to make me love thee more
The more I hear and see just cause of hate?
O, though I love what others do abhor,
With others thou shouldst not abhor my state;
   If thy unworthiness rais'd love in me,
   More worthy I to be beloved of thee.


CL. The poet expresses his wonder that a woman so deficient in attractions can exert such a powerful sway over him. But the fact being so, there was the stronger reason why she should return his affection.

2. With insufficiency. With defective attractions, or deficient in attractions.

4. Implying, if the day is bright and beautiful, thou certainly art not so.

5. How is it that thou makest plain and unsightly features and unworthy actions seem so becoming?

6. The very refuse of thy deeds. The worst (line 8) of thy actions.

7. Such strength and warrantise of skill. Such ability and evident cleverness. "Warrantise" has apparently passed to the sense of "evidence."

How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. Ed. Thomas Tyler. London: D. Nutt, 1890. Shakespeare Online. 27 Dec. 2013. < >.

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Thoughts on sonnet order ... For the comprehension of the story of the Sonnets, it is best, I believe, to regard them as consisting of eight papers of Sonnets, really connected, but written at intervals over a series of years (from 1596 or 1597 to about 1603 is the most feasible range), these papers not indicated by breaks at the proper points when they were printed, but, with that omission, arranged there exactly in their right order, save that the last twenty-six (Sonnets 127-152) ought to be intercalated bodily between Sonnets 32 and 33. (David Masson. Shakespeare Personally. London: Smith, Elder & Co.)


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