home contact


Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their body's force,
Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill;
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:
But these particulars are not my measure;
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost,
Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
And having thee, of all men's pride I boast:
   Wretched in this alone, that thou may'st take
   All this away, and me most wretched make.


XCI. Other men have various objects of supreme interest, or advantages in which they take pride; but the poet takes pride only in his friend. The possibility of losing him is the poet's only source of anxiety and wretchedness.

3. Though new-fangled ill. However unsuitable, though fashionable.

7, 8. But these particular pursuits and objects of interest do not concern me or apply to me. I have one object of interest better than all these, to me the best, yielding as much delight and pride as all the rest combined.

How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. Ed. Thomas Tyler. London: D. Nutt, 1890. Shakespeare Online. 12 Aug. 2013. < >.

Wordsworth, William. Poetical works, with a memoir. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1854.

Even More...

 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

 Introduction to Shakespeare's Sonnets
 Sonnet 80: Sailing Metaphor
 Shakespearean Sonnet Style
 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?
 Publishing in Elizabethan England
 Shakespeare's Audience


A Look at Metaphors ... "Metaphors are of two kinds, viz. Radical, when a word or root of some general meaning is employed with reference to diverse objects on account of an idea of some similarity between them, just as the adjective 'dull' is used with reference to light, edged tools, polished surfaces, colours, sounds, pains, wits, and social functions; and Poetical, where a word of specialized use in a certain context is used in another context in which it is literally inappropriate, through some similarity in function or relation, as 'the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune', where 'slings' and 'arrows', words of specialized meaning in the context of ballistics, are transferred to a context of fortune." Percival Vivian. Read on...


 Shakespeare's Greatest Metaphors
 Shakespeare's Metaphors and Similes
 Shakespeare on Jealousy
 Shakespeare on Lawyers
 Shakespeare on Lust
 Shakespeare on Marriage


According to Wordsworth ... The famous poet William Wordsworth wrote that "The appropriate business of Poetry, (which, nevertheless, if genuine, is as permanent as pure science), her privilege and duty, is to treat of things not as they are, but as they appear; not as they exist in themselves, but as they seem to exist to the senses, and to the passions. According to Wordsworth, Sonnet 91, for its "merits of thought and language" is one of Shakespeare's greatest poems.


 Portraits of Shakespeare
 Shakespeare's Contemporaries
 Shakespeare's Sexuality
 Worst Diseases in Shakespeare's London
 Shakespeare on the Seasons
 Shakespeare on Sleep