O, never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify!
As easy might I from myself depart
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie:
That is my home of love: if I have rang'd,
Like him that travels I return again,
Just to the time, not with the time exchang'd --,
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, though in my nature reign'd
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stain'd,
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good;
For nothing this wide universe I call,
Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.
Paraphrase and Analysis of Sonnet 109
Stratford School Days: What Did Shakespeare Read?
Games in Shakespeare's England [A-L]
Games in Shakespeare's England [M-Z]
An Elizabethan Christmas
Clothing in Elizabethan England
Queen Elizabeth: Shakespeare's Patron
King James I of England: Shakespeare's Patron
The Earl of Southampton: Shakespeare's Patron
Going to a Play in Elizabethan London
Ben Jonson and the Decline of the Drama
Religion in Shakespeare's England
Alchemy and Astrology in Shakespeare's Day
Entertainment in Elizabethan England
London's First Public Playhouse
Shakespeare Hits the Big Time
More to Explore
Sonnet 80: Sailing Metaphor
How to Analyze a Shakespearean Sonnet
The Rules of Shakespearean Sonnets
The Contents of the Sonnets in Brief
Shakespeare's Sonnets: Q & A
Are Shakespeare's Sonnets Autobiographical?
Petrarch's Influence on Shakespeare
Themes in Shakespeare's Sonnets
Shakespeare's Greatest Love Poem
Shakespeare and the Earl of Southampton
The Order of the Sonnets
The Date of the Sonnets
Who was Mr. W. H.?
Are all the Sonnets addressed to two Persons?
Who was The Rival Poet?
Shakespeare's Greatest Metaphors
Shakespeare's Metaphors and Similes
Publishing in Elizabethan England
A Note on the Sonnets... The turning point in Shakespeare's career came in 1593. The theatres had been closed since 1592 due to an outbreak of the plague and, although it is possible that Shakespeare toured the outlying areas of London with acting companies like Pembroke's Men or Lord Strange's Men, it seems more likely that he left the theatre entirely during this time to work on his non-dramatic poetry. The hard work paid off, for by the end of 1593, Shakespeare had caught the attention of the Earl of Southampton. Read on...