Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 33
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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The poet describes the sun first in its glory and then after its being covered with dark clouds; this change resembles his relationship with the beloved, who is now “masked” from him. But if even the sun can be darkened, he writes, it is no wonder that earthly beings sometimes fail to remain bright and unstained. (This is the first of a series of three poems in which the beloved is pictured as having hurt the poet through some unspecified misdeed.)
Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
4Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy,
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
8Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace.
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all-triumphant splendor on my brow,
But, out alack, he was but one hour mine;
12The region cloud 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.