Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Sweet Love, Renew Thy Force
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
SWEET 1 love, renew thy force: be it not said
Thine edge shall blunter be than appetite,
Which but to-day by feeding is allay’d,
To-morrow sharpen’d in his former might:
So, love, be thou: although to-day thou fill        5
Thy hungry eyes even till they wink 2 with fulness,
To-morrow see again, and do not kill
The spirit of love with a perpetual dulness. 3
Let this sad interim like the ocean be
Which parts the shore, where two contracted new        10
Come daily to the banks, that, when they see
Return of love, more bless’d may be the view:
  Or call 4 it winter, which, being full of care,
  Makes summer’s welcome thrice more wish’d, more rare.
 
Note 1. Sonnet lvi. Shake-speare’s Sonnettes, 1609. A sonnet written in absence. The “love” addressed (to-morrow see again, etc.) is only the imaginative vision of the absent one. [back]
Note 2. Even till they wink: to close the eyes not necessarily for a moment, but as in sleep. Here to sleep as after a full meal. Cf. Cymbeline, act. ii. sc. 3:
  And winking Mary-buds begin
  To ope their golden eyes.
Note 3. Perpetual dulness: in connection with Wink; drowsiness as when Prospero says of Miranda’s sleep “’Tis a good dulness”The Tempest, act i. sc. 2. [back]
Note 4. Or call: the Quarto reads As; Mr. Palgrave reads Else. [back]
 
 
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