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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 57


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 57
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Sonnet 57



In this and the following sonnet, the poet presents his relationship with the beloved as that of servant and master. As the beloved’s servant, the poet describes himself (with barely suppressed bitterness) as having no life or wishes of his own as he waits like a “sad slave” for the commands of his “sovereign.”

Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend
4Nor services to do till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
8When you have bid your servant once adieu.
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
12Save where you are how happy you make those.
 So true a fool is love that in your will,
 Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.