When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright are bright in dark directed;
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow's form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so?
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay?
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.
XLIII. This Sonnet possibly begins a new group, but if the last four Sonnets were written while the poet was away from his friend, the absence continues. The poet's love for his friend transforms night into day and day into night. Darkness becomes bright when his friend's figure is seen in dreams, a figure which would add lustre to the clear daylight. How much, therefore, does he long to see his friend again. The days of absence are dark as night.
1. Wink. Close the eyes in sleep. Cf. Tempest, Act ii. sc. i, lines
"You, doing thus,
2. Unrespected. Without paying attention to them.
To the perpetual wink for aye might put
This ancient morsel!"
4. Darkly bright. Bright, though not seeing, the lids being closed. Bright in dark directed . Become bright through the vision of the loved image, when the eyes, though closed, are directed in the darkness.
No other sense seems practicable. Cf. xxvii., where the sleepless eyes,
open by night, are spoken of.
5. Whose shadow shadows doth make bright:
"Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
"Shadows" may represent either the darkness in general, or other
dream-images (see line 3).
Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new" (xxvii. 11, 12).
11. Thy. Q. "their." Imperfect, as being a mere insubstantial image.
How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. Ed. Thomas Tyler. London: D. Nutt, 1890. Shakespeare Online. 10 Jan. 2014. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/43.html >.
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