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Lo, in the orient when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning head, each under eye
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
And having climb'd the steep-up heavenly hill,
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
Attending on his golden pilgrimage;
But when from high-most pitch, with weary car,
Like feeble age, he reeleth from the day,
The eyes, 'fore duteous, now converted are
From his low tract and look another way:
    So thou, thyself outgoing in thy noon,
    Unlook'd on diest, unless thou get a son.


The theme of the previous sonnets continues as the poet urges his young friend to have children. The poet argues that, just as the sun loses its admirers after it has reached its zenith, so too will the young man lose the attention of his friends once he is past his prime. He will die unnoticed unless he has a son.

orient (1): the east. See also 2 Henry IV:
From the orient to the drooping west,
Making the wind my post-horse. (1.1.3-4)
gracious (1): benevolent.

each under eye (2): the eyes of all those beneath him.

high-most pitch (9): highest elevation.

car (9): chariot.

reeleth from the day (10): plunges downward.

converted (11): turned away.

tract (12): course.

out-going...noon (13): i.e. passing beyond your prime.

Paraphrase and Analysis of Sonnet 7

How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Sonnet 7. Ed. Amanda Mabillard. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2013. < >.

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On Love's Labour's Lost... The earliest text of the comedy, the quarto edition printed in 1598, is significant because it marks the first time Shakespeare's name appeared on the title page of a published play (although it was not the first published work). It tells us that Love's Labour's Lost, "Newly corrected and augmented by W. Shakespere," was performed in 1597 for Queen Elizabeth herself during the Christmas season. Such recognition must have filled Shakespeare with great pride and excitement. However, as we read in the sonnets, the temptations that come with success caused him much grief in his personal life. For more on this topic please see the analysis of Sonnet 111.


 Shakespeare's Treatment of Love in the Plays
 Shakespeare's Dramatic Use of Songs
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 Analysis of the Characters in Hamlet
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Sonnet Theories ... "All now agree that the Sonnets are a collection of almost matchless interest, a legacy from Shakespeare at once strange and precious, -- nothing less, in fact, than a preserved series of metrical condensations, weighty and compact as so many gold nuggets, of thoughts and feelings that were once in his mind. The interpretations of them collectively, however, the theories of their nature and purport collectively, differ widely." David Masson. Read on...