Shakespeare Sonnet 47 Analysis, Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took

Shakespeare sonnet 47

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This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 47. Continue reading for complete analysis and meaning in the modern text. For the complete list of 154 sonnets, check the collection of Shakespeare Sonnets with analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 47 (Original Text)

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
And each doth good turns now unto the other.
When that mine eye is famished for a look,
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
With my love’s picture then my eye doth feast
And to the painted banquet bids my heart.
Another time mine eye is my heart’s guest,
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part.
So either by thy picture or my love,
Thyself away are present still with me;
For thou no farther than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them, and they with thee;
Or if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
Awakes my heart to heart’s and eye’s delight.

Shakespeare Sonnet 47 Modern Text (Translation)

Shakespeare sonnet 47

Shakespeare Sonnet 47 Analysis

In continuation of the theme of sonnet 46, the poet says that between his eyes and heart, “Betwixt mine eye” and heart an agreement has been made “a league is took” where both will cooperate with good deeds “each doth good turns” to each other, “unto the other” when is eyes are longing for a look of his beloved, “mine eye is famish’d for a look” or when his heart pining “Or heart in love” for his beloved smothers itself with sighs and sadness “sighs himself doth smother”

Then his eyes will look upon his beloved’s picture “ my love’s picture” soaking in its beauty as if feasting on it “my eye doth feast” and invite his heart to do the same to the painted banquet bids my heart “and another time, his eyes will be his heart’s guest “eye is my heart’s guest” when he thinks of his beloved, “in his thoughts of love” then his heart will also ask his eyes to take part in such memories “doth share a part:”

In this way, by picture or by thoughts of love, “either by thy picture or my love” his beloved though far away, “Thy self away” remains with him, because his beloved cannot be farther “thou not farther” than his thoughts” than my thoughts canst move” and since his thoughts belong to him, “I am still with them” he also has his love always “they with thee;”

And even if he isn’t thinking about his beloved, “ if they sleep” he sees her picture “thy picture in my sight” which then awakens his heart “Awakes my heart” through thought and both partake of the delight in the memory of his love “to heart’s and eyes’ delight”

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