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Mistress Fitton

SONNET NO. 139

 

 

O call not me to justify the wrong,
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart,
Wound me not with thine eye but with thy tongue
Use power with power and slay me not by art,
Tell me thou lovest elsewhere-but in my sight,
Dear heart forbear to glance thine eye aside
What need'st thou wound with cunning when thy might
Is more than my o'er pressed defence can bide?
Let me excuse thee ah my love well knows,
Her pretty looks have been mine enemies,
And therefore from my face she turns my foes,
That they elsewhere might dart their injuries:
Yet do not so, but since I am near slain,

Kill me outright with looks and rid my pain.

 


Note the repetition of certain words.    We find, wound,
wound, power, power, heart, heart, looks, looks.  My heart,
my sight, my love, my face, my foes, my pain.


Here Bacon tells Mistress Fitton not to call upon him to justify (prove) the wrong that her unkindness lays (places) on his heart-to wound him by speaking but not with her looks-to use her power (ability to do anything) with power (energy) but not to kill him by art (cunning)-to tell him that she loves someone else but when he is present not to look elsewhere-why need she wound him with cunning when her might (power) is more than his defence can bide (endure).  He excuses her because she knows that her looks are his enemies and therefore from his face she turns her looks so that they may injure another. He asks her not to do so but since he is near slain (killed) to kill with looks and so let him be rid (free) from his pain (suffering).

 

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