War Poems - Poems For War - Sonnet 46: Mine Eye And Heart Are At A Mortal War

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Sonnet 46: Mine Eye And Heart Are At A Mortal War - Poem by William Shakespeare

Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war
How to divide the conquest of thy sight;
Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would bar,
My heart mine eye the freedom of that right,
My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie—
A closet never pierced with crystal eyes—
But the defendant doth that plea deny,
And says in him thy fair appearance lies.
To 'cide this title is impanellèd
A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart,
And by their verdict is determinèd
The clear eye's moiety, and the dear heart's part.
As thus, mine eye's due is thy outward part,
And my heart's right thy inward love of heart.


Comments about Sonnet 46: Mine Eye And Heart Are At A Mortal War by William Shakespeare

  • Gold Star - 148,074 Points Fabrizio Frosini (11/7/2015 8:55:00 AM)

    It is a member of the Fair Youth sequence, in which the poet expresses his love towards a young man.
    Sonnet 46 is continued in Sonnet 47.

    Sonnet 46, along with sonnets 24 and 47 (which are all sonnets referring to the eye and heart tension) , is known as an absence sonnet.
    George Massey states that the sonnet has the look of a lover fondling the miniature of his beloved, and rejoicing that in her absence he has at least her portrait to dote on and dally with.The picture is not an actual portrait though, but rather a “visionary portrait of the Earl for the possession of which the eyes and heart contend.

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