Colin Burrow (ed.), The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Sonnets and Poems
pg 530 pg 531 75
- Editor’s Note1So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
- Editor’s Note2Or as sweet seasoned showers are to the ground;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus3And for the peace of you I hold such strife
- 4As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found:
- Editor’s Note5Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
- Editor’s Note6Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure,
- Editor’s Note7Now counting best to be with you alone,
- Editor’s Note8Then bettered that the world may see my pleasure;
- 9Sometime all full with feasting on your sight,
- Editor’s Note10And by and by clean starvèd for a look.
- 11Possessing or pursuing, no delight,
- Editor’s Note12Save what is had or must from you be took.
- Editor’s Note13 Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
- Editor’s Note14 Or gluttoning on all, or all away.
1 So … life 'you nourish my thoughts as food nourishes life'
2 sweet seasoned gentle and temperate. Seasoned carries the senses 'Seasonable, opportune, suitable' (OED 1) and 'Flavoured, spiced' (OED 2). Some editors read 'sweet-seasoned', meaning both 'tempered with gentleness or sweetness' and perhaps 'of the sweet season' (Pooler).
3 peace] q; price or sake conj. Malone
3 for the peace of you In order to obtain the peace afforded by your company
5 proud as an enjoyer glorying in his material possession. To have 'enjoyment' of something is in effect to have possession of it.
6 Doubting fearing
filching age thievish age in which we live
7 counting reckoning. The word bridges the gap between the miser, obsessively counting his money, and the lover's assessment of what is most enjoyable.
8 bettered … pleasure thinking it better than what I had thought best (that is, privately contemplating you) that everyone should see the source of my delight
10 clean is an adverb: completely, utterly.
12 Save what … took except what is received from you or which must be taken from you (presumably because the friend will not always voluntarily supply it). For the sexual senses of 'have' and 'take' see Partridge, 119 and 197,
13 pine starve. Cf. Lucrece l. 1115.
14 Or … away Either feasting on every delight, or with all my source of nourishment absent. Gluttoning is the first cited instance in OED of the verb.