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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 143


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 143
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Sonnet 143



The poet expands on s. 142.9–10 (where he pursues a mistress who pursues others) by presenting a picture of a woman who chases a barnyard fowl while her infant chases after her.

Lo, as a careful huswife runs to catch
One of her feathered creatures broke away,
Sets down her babe, and makes all swift dispatch
4In pursuit of the thing she would have stay,
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent
To follow that which flies before her face,
8Not prizing her poor infant’s discontent;
So runn’st thou after that which flies from thee,
Whilst I, thy babe, chase thee afar behind.
But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me
12And play the mother’s part: kiss me, be kind.
 So will I pray that thou mayst have thy will,
 If thou turn back and my loud crying still.