SONNET NO. 146
Pour soul the centre of my sinful earth
My sinful earth these rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth
Painting thy out walls so costly gay
Why so large cost. Having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms-inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge! Is this thy body's end?
Then soul live thou upon thy servants loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store,
Buy terms divine, in selling hours of dross:
Within be fed, without be rich no more;
So thalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men,
And death once dead, there's no more dying then.
Note the repetition of certain words, we find-soul, soul, why,
why, my sinful earth, my sinful earth, feed, feed, death, death,
pine, pine, thy, thy, thy, thy, thy, thy.
Here Bacon addressing poor soul (Mistress Fitton) says the
center of his sinful earth (the human body) is arrayed (dressed
in rebel (resisting authority) powers (strong influences) asks
why does she pine (waste away) within and suffer dearth (want)
painting her out walls (outside) with costly (of great cost) gay
(garments). Why so large cost (at such expense) when having
so short a lease (a tenure) she spend on her fading (dying away)
mansion (dwelling place-the body). Asks if worms the
inheritors of this excess (usury) should eat up her charge
(burden). Is this to be the end of life? Then soul (Mistress
Fitton) live upon thy servant (the body) loss so let the body pine
(waste away) to aggravate (make worse) thy store (abundance)
buy terms (respect) divine in selling hours of dross (lucre) so
no longer be rich and so feed (live) on death in the same way
as death lives on men and once dead-there is an end.