William Shakespeare

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

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pg 480 pg 481 50

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 heavy adverbial, meaning 'slowly, sluggishly; laboriously' (OED 2). It also may reflect the character of the horse which bears the poet. Horses were believed, like all living things, to have an individual temperament based on the relative dominance of the four humours in their bodies: as Thomas Blundeville puts it, 'And if the earth have sovereignty [in the temperament of a horse], then he is black of colour, or a mouse dun, and therewith fearful, faint-hearted, dull and heavy', The Order of Dieting Horses (1593), fo. 3a. The ideal horse is hot, moist, and dominated by the humour of blood.
Editor’s Note
2–4 When … friend when the only rest and repose which my destination offers me after my laborious journey is the thought that each mile I have travelled has taken me further from my friend (which is no rest at all)
Editor’s Note
2 travel's Q's 'trauels' excludes the otherwise frequent pun on 'travail' or labour
Critical Apparatus
4 'Thus … friend.'] malone (italic); ‸~ … ~.‸ q
Editor’s Note
4 'Thus … friend' Q does not use inverted commas to mark direct speech.
Editor’s Note
5 tired (a) exhausted; (b) attired. The description could suit either horse or rider.
Critical Apparatus
6 dully] q (duly)
Editor’s Note
6 dully Q's 'duly' is best modernized in this way, given that 'dull' was a semi-technical term for the temperament of a horse in the period. See note to l. 1 above, and compare dull bearer in 51.2.
Editor’s Note
7 instinct stressed on the second syllable
Editor’s Note
8 being made … thee since it was being made away from you
Editor’s Note
10 That which; i.e. the bloody spur
Editor’s Note
11 heavily sadly. Cf. l. 1.
Editor’s Note
12 sharp painful; also conveying the physical pain inflicted by the sharp spurs
Editor’s Note
14 my joy (a) my happiness; (b) the cause of my joy, i.e. the friend
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