SONNET NO. 87
Farewell! Thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate.
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
And for that riches-where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swefl~ing.
Thyself thou gavest, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me to whom thou gavest it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift upon misprison growing,
Comes home again-on better judgement making,
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter
In sleep a king but waking no such matter.
Note the repetition of the following words, we find-thou
gavest, thou gavest, thy estimate, thy worth, thy granting, thy
own worth, thy great gift.
2nd Line. Estimate = worth.
3rd Line. Charter = privilege.
4th Lh'e. Determinate = ended.
8th Line. Patent = privilege.
14th Line. No such matter = nothing of the sort.
This is the last sonnet written by Bacon to Pallas Athene-in
which he makes his farewell to poetry. He writes that she is
too dear for him to hold (possess). She can judge of her own
worth (estimate). That the writing (charter) of her worth sets
her free (releasing). He wonders if he deserves the riches
she has granted him (this fair gift). The motive (cause) of her
gift to him he does not know. He tells us that she did not know
her own worth which she had given to him, so her great gift
grew by a mistake but returned on better reasoning. He then
writes that after all she had given him everything that he had
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