Ý
www.sirbacon.org

 

Herbert

SONNET NO. 68

Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn, 
When beauty lived and died as flowers do now, 
Before these bastard signs of fair were born, 
Or durst inhabit of a living brow: 
Before the golden tresses of the dead, 
The right of sepulchres were shorn away, 
To live a second life on second head, 
Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay; 
In him those holy antique hours are seen 
Without all ornament, itself and true, 
Making no summer of another green 
Robbing no old to dress his beauty new, 
And him, as for map doth nature store, 
To show false art what beauty was of yore.

Note the repetition of the following words, we find-map, map beauty, beauty, beauty, beauty, second, second.

This sonnet is a continuation of Sonnet No.67. As we find
in No.67 false painting his cheek and store and in No.65 false
art-his cheek and store. In this Sonnet No. 68-in the first line we are told his face is wrinkled because he is getting old-the map (pattern) of days worn out. The olden time when beauty lived and died(like flowers) before these bastard (false signs) of fair (beauty) were born or inhabited (occupied) the face of someone living-before the heads of persons dead and the rights of burial were shorn (cut away) before beauty's fleece (wig) had made another gay, that in him in times past those hours were seen without ornament.

To ascertain the meaning of lines 5, 6 and 7-" Before the golden tresses of the head", we have to refer to "The Merchant of Venice," Act, Scene 2, where we find:

So are those crisped shaky golden locks
Which make such wanton gamble with the wind
Upon supposed fairness, often known
To make the dowry of a second head
The skull that bred them, in the sepulchre.

 

 

Return to the Sonnet Directory


Ý

Table of Contents / Related Topics