Ah, wherefore with infection should he live,
And with his presence grace impiety,
That sin by him advantage should achieve,
And lace itself with his society?
Why should false painting imitate his cheek,
And steal dead seeing of his living hue?
Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?
Why should he live, now Nature bankrupt is,
Beggar'd of blood to blush through lively veins?
For she hath no exchequer now but his,
And, proud of many, lives upon his gains.
O, him she stores, to show what wealth she had
In days long since, before these last so bad.
LXVII. The world being such as was represented in the last
Sonnet, the excellences of the poet's friend are out of place. Its
atmosphere is charged with an infecting miasma. The friend's
beauty serves as an extenuation and excuse for the debasement and
decay of all around. The only reason which can be assigned for
his presence in such a world is, that he is Nature's memorial of a
golden age long passed away.
3. That sin by him advantage, &c. His presence serving as a veil to
4. Lace itself with his society. "Lace" may here mean "embellish,"
though in passages which have been quoted in proof the sense is rather
"diversify." So in Romeo and Juliet., Act iii. sc. 5, lines 7, 8, --
"What envious streaks
and Macbeth, Act ii. sc. 3, lines 117-119, --
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east;"
"Here lay Duncan,
His silver skin laced with his golden blood;
And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature," &c.
6. Dead seeing. "Seeing" is equivalent to "appearance." Cf. v. 2, "The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell." The "seeing" is "dead" as not being the result of healthy vitality, but mere imitation.
7. Poor beauty. Beauty indifferent and imperfect. Indirectly. By artificial means.
8. Shadow. Mere external appearance.
12. Proud of many. On account of their seeming beauty, which, however,
is not caused by "blood blushing through lively veins."
How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. Ed. Thomas Tyler. London: D. Nutt, 1890. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/67.html >.
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
Publishing in Elizabethan England
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
Six Theories About Shakespeare's Sonnets
How to Analyze a Shakespearean Sonnet
The Rules of Shakespearean Sonnets
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 Treatment of Love... "For heights of poetic metaphysic we do not look in Shakespeare. He is one of the greatest of poets, and his poetry has less almost than any other the semblance of myth and dream; its staple is the humanity we know, its basis the ground we tread; what we call the prose world, far from being excluded, is genially taken in. And precisely where he is greatest, in the sublime ruin of the tragedies, love between the sexes has on the whole a subordinate place, and is there is most often fraught, as we have seen, with disaster and frustration." C. H. Herford. Read on....
Shakespeare on Jealousy
Shakespeare on Lawyers
Shakespeare on Lust
Shakespeare on Marriage
Blank Verse and Diction in Shakespeare's Hamlet
Analysis of the Characters in Hamlet
Shakespeare on the Seasons
Shakespeare on Sleep