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William Shakespeare, Sonnet lii

So am I as the rich, whose blessed key
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure,
The which he will not every hour survey,
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure.
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare, [*]
Since seldom coming, in the long year set,
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,
Or captain jewels in the carcanet. [*]
So is the time that keeps you, as my chest,
Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide,
To make some special instant special-blest,
By new unfolding his imprison'd pride.
Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope,
Being had, to triumph, being lack'd, to hope.


line 5: There is a somewhat similar thought in Henry IV., Part I.:--

My state,
Seldom but sumptuous, show'd like a feast,
And won by rareness much solemnity.
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line 8: Captain -- used adjectively for chief. Carcanet -- necklace. [ Back to text ]

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