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William Shakespeare, Sonnet xliii

When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected; [*]
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And, darkly bright, are bright in dark directed;
Then thou whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow's form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
How would (I say) mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay?
All days are nights to see, till I see thee,
And nights, bright days, when dreams do show thee me. [*]


line 2: Unrespected -- unregarded. [ Back to text ]

line 14: Thee me -- thee to me. [ Back to text ]

Most notes to Shakespeare's sonnets are from Charles Knight's edition, but those in square brackets are mine.