Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
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Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
 
VI. He Laments That the Countenance of Some Great and Worthy Patron Seems to Be Diverted from Him
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
FULL many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy,
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride        5
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace.
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all triumphant splendor on my brow;        10
But, out, alack! he was but one hour mine;
The region cloud 1 hath masked him from me now.
  Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
  Suns of the world may stain, when heaven’s sun staineth.
 
Note 1. By “region cloud” is meant the cloud over the whole landscape,—the cloud occupying the whole region of the air.
  We are not sure that we have not extracted this sonnet solely on account of the magnificent second line. Still, the rest is not unworthy of it. [back]
 
 
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