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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 48


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 48
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Sonnet 48



The poet contrasts the relative ease of locking away valuable material possessions with the impossibility of safeguarding his relationship with the beloved. The beloved can be enclosed only in the poet’s heart, which cannot block the beloved’s egress nor protect against those who would steal the beloved away.

How careful was I, when I took my way,
Each trifle under truest bars to thrust,
That to my use it might unusèd stay
4From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust!
But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are,
Most worthy comfort, now my greatest grief,
Thou best of dearest and mine only care
8Art left the prey of every vulgar thief.
Thee have I not locked up in any chest,
Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art,
Within the gentle closure of my breast,
12From whence at pleasure thou mayst come and part;
 And even thence thou wilt be stol’n, I fear,
 For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear.