Set III, Runes 29-42: Texts and Comments
(Fifth lines, Set III: Sonnets 29-42)
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow
How many a holy and obsequious tear.
4 Compare them with the bettering of the time;
Anon, permit the basest clouds to ride.
Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break;
All men make faultsand even I in this.
8 In our two loves there is but one respect.
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Oh, give thyself the thanks if aught in me.
Even for this, let us divided live.
12 Then if, for my love, thou my love receivest,
Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won.
Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye.
Glosses: 4) them = my tears (implied in 3); 5) Anon = Shortly; ride (paradoxically) = pass on by, dominate; 7) make faults = generate flaws, create fissures or divisions (as I do in these Sonnets/Runes); All men puns on Awl men, a phallic joke reinforced by make faults (i.e., dig crevices) and by I (a phallic pictograph); the line also plays on John Hall, Wills daughters make (i.e., mate), while All men make faults puns, All (Old...) m Anne, make (m ache), is old: S., Anne, Eve, 90 is and Hall, m Anne, make, assaults, undoing I (...aye) in this; 10) if aught = if any one of these virtues exists...; 10-11) pun: ...in me enough artist, let us divided live; 11) the line, if addressed to Anne, is highly personal. A routine welter of puns on Anne includes And, in and (here) Anon (5), can (2), an eye (2), etc.;14) I will: also, I, Will.
Wishing that I were more blessed with hope,
between Christ and 33 points to Biblical wit even before line
14 conflates Will’s voice with Christ’s and sets his scenario
at Calvary, where Christ “excuses” the Thief on the Cross.
Numerous puns and allusive details encourage this reading: e.g., “one
more Arisen Hope” (1); “Gentile thou art” (13); “breaking
through the cloud” (5-6); “better time to come” (4)
“if…thou my love receivest” (12); and “a holy
and obsequious tear [rip]” (3).
Wife, “hinge” me; wand Moor, reaching up; Whiffing
melée (m’ lackey), get on a Moor; Wishing Malachi tone more
rich in hope; one amour, Arisen Hope
The downward acrostic codeline—WTH CAT AI FOET GL—suggests, e.g., “With a cat I (he) fought jail,” “With a kitty fight jail,” “Witty kitty food chill ,” “Wit Hecate, foe agile,” “With Hecate, Virgil,” and “Withe [cf. “stick” = acrostic line] caught effete glee (gull).” The codeline form of Hecate—HCATAI—along with CAT and FOE all insist that we find manipulation in the codestring.
fact, this acrostic manages fairly convincing variant puns (the first
two above, for example) about Southampton in The Tower, where (as history
records and one portrait shows) he kept a CAT as company.
cues from such letterstrings as FIAT here, Latinists are likely
to find whole sets of alternative readings, possibly routinely conscious
encodings drawn from the “small Latin” that the Bard is said
to have had.