William Shakespeare

Colin Burrow (ed.), The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Sonnets and Poems

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pg 570 pg 571 95

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 sweet sweet-smelling (only)
Editor’s Note
3 budding name? your reputation which is just approaching its prime. The pointing of Q's rhetorical question has been retained in order to differentiate it from the exclamation mark which ends the following line. On exclamation marks in Q see 48.4 n.
Critical Apparatus
7 praise,] q; ~; malone (conj. Capell)
Editor’s Note
7–8 Cannot … report Q's punctuation is followed here, although many editors place a semicolon after praise. In Q's version the subject of blesses is either Naming or tongue and but in a land of praise qualifies either blesses or dispraise.
Critical Apparatus
8 name‸] malone; ~, q
Editor’s Note
8 Naming … report simply mentioning the friend's name gives a gloss of praise to a critical account of his doings
Editor’s Note
9 mansion glorious abode (i.e. the friend's body)
Editor’s Note
11 blot On the high moral charge of this word in Shakespeare, see 36.3 n.
Critical Apparatus
12 turns] q; turn sewell
Editor’s Note
12 turns to transforms to. (The subject of the verb is beauty's veil.)
see! Q's exclamation mark may serve to emphasize the carefully limited praise of that eyes can see.
Editor’s Note
13 large privilege extensive freedom granted particularly to you
Editor’s Note
14 The hardest … edge has a proverbial ring, but has only distant recorded parallels (as 'Iron with often handling is worn to nothing', Dent I92). Compare Nashe, Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, Nashe, ii.37: 'No sword but will lose his edge in long striking against stones'. Swords and penises are so commonly associated in the period that there may well be a sexual pun here.
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