Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly (doctor-like) controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.
LXVI. The tone of melancholy, which has been previously heard, especially since lix., now attains a greater intensity, and we have a pessimism which has been compared to that of Hamlet. The poet sees in the world and the arrangements of society so many things abnormal and awry, that, in his weariness and loathing, he cries
out for death, though unwilling to leave his friend.
1. Tir'd with all these, i.e., such things as those which follow.
2. As. As, for example. Desert a beggar born. Real merit and worth
suffering the disqualification of an abjectly mean origin, and restrained
3. This line probably refers to what is commonly described as "keeping up an appearance."
4. Unhappily forsworn. Through the pressure of circumstances (as
seems likely) in an evil world.
5. Gilded honour shamefully misplaced. Cf. Ecclesiastes x. 5, 6, "There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler. Folly is set in great dignity." &c.
6. Rudely. Either of physical force, or of the recklessness of slander;
but the latter sense would seem to agree with the next line.
8. Strength by limping sway disabled. Describes the injury inflicted by
an incompetent and feeble government.
9, 10. In these lines there seem to be allusions to universities and their
technical phraseology. This view accords with the use of doctor-like, and
line 9 (where art will denote "learning") may be taken to refer to
opinions obnoxious to those in authority being forbidden to be expressed
12. This is a climax. Evil is a victorious captain, with Good as a captive
attending to grace his triumph.
How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. Ed. Thomas Tyler. London: D. Nutt, 1890. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/66.html >.
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