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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 34


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 34
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Sonnet 34



In this sonnet the sun is again overtaken by clouds, but now the sun/beloved is accused of having betrayed the poet by promising what is not delivered. The poet writes that while the beloved’s repentance and shame do not rectify the damage done, the beloved’s tears are so precious that they serve as atonement.

Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day
And make me travel forth without my cloak,
To let base clouds o’ertake me in my way,
4Hiding thy brav’ry in their rotten smoke?
’Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
For no man well of such a salve can speak
8That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace.
Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;
Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss.
Th’ offender’s sorrow lends but weak relief
12To him that bears the strong offense’s cross.
 Ah, but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds,
 And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.