William Shakespeare

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

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pg 510 pg 511 65

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Editor’s Note
1 Since since there is neither
Editor’s Note
2 o'ersways combines physical and legal supremacy: To exercise sway over, rule over, govern' (OED 1); and 'In reference to physical qualities: To overpower by superior strength or intensity' (OED 1c).
Editor’s Note
3 rage destructive energy
hold a plea successfully present a legal suit
Editor’s Note
4 action combines the general sense of 'power to move' with the specific legal sense 'legal process; the right to raise such process' (OED 7a).
Editor’s Note
5 hold out 'To maintain resistance, remain unsubdued; to continue, endure, persist, last' (OED s.v. 'hold' 41j), with a strong military flavour
Editor’s Note
6 wrackful destructive
batt'ring The days are like battering rams.
Editor’s Note
7 impregnable invincible, proof against attack
Editor’s Note
8 but time decays? but time destroys (the gates)
Critical Apparatus
10 chest] q quest conj. Theobald in Malone
Editor’s Note
10 Shall … lie hid? The friend is the treasured possession of Time, which cannot be prevented from returning to his coffers. Malone and Theobald found the idea of hiding something from a chest objectionable, hence their emendation to 'quest'. Time, though, simply wants to have his possession, the friend, locked away securely, as the poet had done in 52.
Critical Apparatus
12 Or … of ] malone; Or … Or q Or … o'er capell
Editor’s Note
12 spoil continues the metaphor of sieging, via OED 1: 'Goods, esp. such as are valuable, taken from an enemy or captured city in time of war'.
Editor’s Note
14 my love my beloved, although the sense 'my affection' cannot be excluded
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