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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 122


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 122
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Sonnet 122



This sonnet addresses the hard question of why the poet has given away the beloved’s gift of a writing tablet. After several stumbling tries, the poet ends by claiming that for him to have kept the tables would have implied that he needed help in remembering the unforgettable beloved.

Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain
Full charactered with lasting memory,
Which shall above that idle rank remain
4Beyond all date, even to eternity—
Or, at the least, so long as brain and heart
Have faculty by nature to subsist;
Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
8Of thee, thy record never can be missed.
That poor retention could not so much hold,
Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score;
Therefore to give them from me was I bold,
12To trust those tables that receive thee more.
 To keep an adjunct to remember thee
 Were to import forgetfulness in me.