Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul and all my every part:
And for this sin there is no remedy
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Me thinks no face so gracious is as mine
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for myself-mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount,
But when my glass shows me myself indeed,
Bested and chopt with tann'd antiquity,
Mine own self love quite contrary I read;
Self so loving were iniquity,
Tis thee (myself) that for my self I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.
Note the repetition of certain words, we find-mine, mine, mine own, mine own, myself, myself, myself, myself.
4th Line. Taken from the prayer book: " Grafted inwardly
in our hearts ".
5th Line. Gracious-attractive.
10th Line. Bested-overpowered.
10th Line. Chopt-chapped with skin cracked and roughened
as by age. (Tann'd antiquity.)
12th Line. So self loving-to love what he sees in his looking-
Here the man who wrote this sonnet writes of self-love-his love for his brain children-the " Shakespeare" plays and that he considers that nothing is so gracious-no shape so true and no truth of such account and defines his own worth as surmount-ing all other literary work. But that when his looking glass shows him in his old age-he considers that it is iniquitous to praise his own works but he does so because the memory of their beauty gives pleasure to his old age.
Compare this sonnet with Sonnet No.39 where the author tells us that when he is praising himself he is really praising his dramatic personality " Shake-speare ".