Shakespeare’s 33rd sonnet

Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all-triumphant splendor on my brow;
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath mask’d him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.

This is Shakespeare’s 33rd sonnet and looks to be a comment on the changeability of the English weather – the first 8 lines seem to be exactly about those days that begin brilliantly and then become progressively dull as the sun is hidden by cloud.  Today is one of those days!  Yet the next lines suggest it’s really about something much more human: love and estrangement; the need for understanding, and forgiveness.

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