Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 39
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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As in s. 36, the poet finds reasons to excuse the fact that he and the beloved are parted. First, it is easier to praise the beloved if they are not a “single one”; and, second, absence from the beloved gives the poet leisure to contemplate their love.
O, how thy worth with manners may I sing
When thou art all the better part of me?
What can mine own praise to mine own self bring,
4And what is ’t but mine own when I praise thee?
Even for this let us divided live
And our dear love lose name of single one,
That by this separation I may give
8That due to thee which thou deserv’st alone.
O absence, what a torment wouldst thou prove
Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave
To entertain the time with thoughts of love,
12Which time and thoughts so sweetly ⌜doth⌝ deceive,
And that thou teachest how to make one twain
By praising him here who doth hence remain.