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William Shakespeare
The Sonnets




Sonnet XXVII (27)

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body's work's expired:
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see:
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo, thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.




Sonnet XXVII (27)
(Modernised with Notes)

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired; (1)
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body's work's expired: (2)
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee, (3)
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness, which the blind do see: (4)
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
Presents your shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.(5)
Lo, thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For you, and for myself, no quiet find. (6)

NOTES

(1) Weary after a journey (or working) I quickly go to bed, which is a resting place for tired limbs.

(2) But in my bed my thoughts begin a journey of their own, thoughts that work my mind after my body's work has finished.

(3) My thoughts travel far from where I lie, making their way to you.

(4) This keeps my eyes open wide (instead of sleeping), and I look on darkness, which blind people see.

(5) But it is not entirely dark as my imagination presents a vision of you to me, a vision that shines like a jewel in the darkness, making night beautiful.

(6) So for you, and for myself, I have no rest by day or night, for by day I work my body and by night my mind.



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