SONNET NO. 84
Who is it that says most? Which can say more
Than this rich praise, that you alone are you?
In whose confine, immured is the store
Which should example where your equal grew?
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell
That to his subject lends not some small glory;
But he that writes of you, if he can tell
That you are you, so dignifies his story
Let him but copy what in you is writ
Not making worse what nature made so clear
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit
Making his style admired everywhere,
You to your beauteous blessings, add a curse,
Being fond of praise-which makes your praises worse.
Note the repetition of the following words, we find-you,
you, you, you, you, you, you, your, your, your, (see 83).
Here Bacon addressing Pallas Athene tells her that his rich
praise is for her and her alone, in whom, shut up and imprisoned, is everything to illustrate (example) where her equal is. Poverty (penury) dwells in the pen which cannot give glory to his subject (Pallas Athene) but he that writes of you (the writer of this sonner) dignifies his story if he can tell who he is referring to. He must copy what is in her which nature has made clear and by duplicating it be able to make his wit famous and his style admired by everyone.
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