Shakespeares Lost Sonnets: A Restoration
of the Runes
Set VI, Runes 71-84: Texts and Comments
Twelfth lines, Set VI (Sonnets 71-84)
(Twelfth lines, Set VI: Sonnets 71-84)
But let your love even with my life decay
And live no more to shame nor me nor you,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by,
4 Too base of thee to be rememberèd.
Save what is had, or must from you be took,
Spending again what is already spent
To make a new acquaintance of thy mind.
8 And arts with thy sweet graces gracèd be
No praise to thee, but what in thee doth live,
He of tall building and of goodly pride
When all the breathers of this world are dead,
12 In true plain words by thy true-telling friend
(When others would give life and bring a tomb)
Making his style admirèd everywhere.
Glosses: 2) nor/nor = neither/nor; 12) by also suggests buy, i.e., acquire with effort (ME).
82. He of Tall Building
When I die, just let your love for me die
so that it no longer lives to shame either of us,
consumed with the physical life that once nourished it,
4 a thing too worthless for you to think about further.
Hold onto what you have at that point, or you will lose it,
reinvesting what you once spent on our love
in an effort to renew an acquaintance with your intellect.
8 Thereafter the arts will be visited and enriched by your most pleasant attributes
no thanks to yourself, but to what thrives eternally under the influence of your spirit,
an ambitious builder, a man of strong pride
even after all the talkers die off, and in fact until the end of time,
12 with the straightforward words of your always-forthright friend
(being unlike those of others who offer you memorial tributes that are as empty as tombs)
having qualities of style that are, and will be, universally admired.
satisfying lyric seems likely to emerge from the Runes as a favorite.
Like its set-peers, it focuses on the Q project and its future—exchanging
self-deprecation for a tone of “goodly pride” (10). Given
his stylistic leanings toward obfuscation, Will’s irony in line
12 is absolute. One upshot of the poem is to encourage any auditor to
cultivate the mental and aesthetic senses by studying the hard poems that
the Master Builder, under the influence of his muse, is erecting.
Butt; But Hell-Anne (Helen) [et = and]; your loin, witty
malaise decaying; your low venue [assault] eyed; witty, mellow, fey
visually emphatic downward codeline—BAC TS ST AN H WIWM—is
particularly intriguing, especially for juxtaposing forms of Satan and
William. Potential readings include these: “Back [Baked]! ’Tis
Satany William,” “Big [Bag] ’tis, St. Anne-womb,”
“Be Acts Satan-whim,” “B…A…C…: ’Tis
St. Anne whim.” Iconographically, St. Anne was often shown teaching
her daughter Mary (Jesus’ mother) to read; the joke here is that
Anne “whimsically” screws up the alphabetic order.
of the down/up hairpin codeline is this: “Back ’tis Satany
William. Mewn, I tease, stick up [suggesting ‘with an erection’].”
Paraphrased, the message reads, “Devilish William is back again.
Locked up here in the Runes, randy as ever, I use an upward acrostic to