POETRY REVIEW *Sonnet 73*by William Shakespeare *A Litany in

“Sonnet 73”by William Shakespeare
“A Litany in Time of Plague” by Thomas Nashe
“Weep You No More Sad Fountains” by Anonymous
Arodis Marzo
Syed Hussain
Daniel Valladeros
Theme: Mortality
• The common theme shared between every sonnet is mortality. Every poem
tells the experience of death, and the subject of being exposed to death is
directly effected through every person within the intended audience.
“Sonnet 73”
By: William Shakespeare
Pg. 14
That time of year thou mayst in me
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do
Upon those boughs which shake against
the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet
birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.
Brief Summary
The poem immediately begins with Shakespeare mourning his
imminent death. The poet associates his death through aging,
describing his end of days as a elderly man through nature. He ends
it with a message to the audience to live fully with as much love and
joy as one possibly can. Now appreciating the means of happiness as
he should’ve, appointing to the time in his youth filled with regret.
Speaker And Subject
The poem is appointed towards his death.
Shakespeare is not with death, nor does he comes to
terms with it. He uses a mix of analogies to further
amplify the negativity brought on with his death. He
doesn't utilize these tools to remember the bright days
he lived but we feel his days where his the sun
gradually sets, bit the bitter cold days where his head
rests. At the finishing couplets he sends a message to
the people to live fulfilled with joy, yet still filled with
regret himself.
The rhyme scheme in the sonnet is
Shakespearean with an ABAB format.
Shakespeare utilizes a repetition of nature in
comparison to him aging into death. In the first
couplet he mentions autumn- a cold season in
which lively leaves are absent on the tree
branch's. In the fourth couplet he refers to his
age with the duratfire losing it’s intensifying
heat into ashes.ion of sunlight, and the third
couplet with
Metaphors are extremely vivid throughout the sonnet comparing natural elements to Shakespeare's imminent
death. This is especially evident when he displays autumn as a comparison to his final days “ when yellow leaves,
or none, or few do hang.” All the same when the light of day is employed as “ after sunset fadeth in the west”
comparing the beginning of a sunset to the ending of his life. The metaphors all cause the same effect, amplifying
the darkness that awaits Shakespeare at the end of light signifying his bitter death.
The last couplet compares his death with an image of fire. When Shakespeare mentions “ in me thou see’st the
glowing of such fire, that on the ashes of his youth doth lie,” he creates the image of a fire beginning with just
enough spark to spread. Then, the flames begin to extinguish and the heat reduces, and then a pile of ash is left.
Ash, no heat, and no light just dust. Shakespeare utilizes the lifespan of the flames in comparison with his
linked to near by death.
• There is a melancholic tone to his life deteriorating in front of him
and while he as lived some days of pure joy I his youth, he remains
focused on his death. Describing it with a more pessimistic point of
view. Then, towards the end he employs a tone of regret which
explains why he lives his dying days with pure negativity. He
finishes with an instruction directed towards his audience to live and
appreciates life's light, and joy, and love better than he.
"A Litany in time of Plague"
By: Thomas Nashe
Pg. 14
Adieu, farewell, earth’s bliss;
This world uncertain is;
Fond are life’s lustful joys;
Death proves them all but toys;
None from his darts can fly;
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!
Beauty is but a flower
Which wrinkles will devour;
Brightness falls from the air;
Queens have died young and fair;
Dust hath closed Helen’s eye.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!
Rich men, trust not in wealth,
Gold cannot buy you health;
Physic himself must fade.
All things to end are made,
The plague full swift goes by;
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!
Strength stoops unto the grave,
Worms feed on Hector brave;
Swords may not fight with fate,
Earth still holds open her gate.
“Come, come!” the bells do cry.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!
Summary: The poem is about a preacher during the Black Death who has no idea of what is
happening, all he knows is that anyone who gets sick dies, and no one was exempt from getting
Ex: "Rich men, trust not in wealth, Gold cannot buy you health"
Speaker: A fictional preacher wanting to warn people of impending doom.
Subject: Everyone
Structure: The structure of the stanzas are in AABBCCD and has a repetition of the line: "I
am sick, I must die," and "Lord, have mercy on us!" throughout the three stanzas.
"A Litany in time of Plague"
By: Thomas Nashe
Pg. 14
Weep you no more, sad fountains;
What need you flow so fast?
Look how the snowy mountains
Heaven’s sun doth gently waste
But my sun’s heavenly eyes
View not your weeping,
That now lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies
Sleep is a reconciling,
A rest that peace begets;
Doth not the sun rise smiling
When fair at even he sets?
Rest you then, rest, sad eyes,
Melt not in weeping,
While she lies sleeping,
Softly, now softly lies
Brief Summary of Poem
The main focus of this poem is to comfort the intended audience’s sorrow over an individual
who “now softly lies sleeping.”
The first stanza opens with a question, asking why are you crying and asking for their
sorrow towards a deceased character to end. Though she may be gone, she will be remembered.
The first two lines from the second stanza represent that death is a peaceful eternal slumber.
“Sleep is a reconciling, a rest that peace begets” appear to link sleep and death. The word
reconciling, in this case, could mean coming into terms with death.
The poem in general has a comforting feel, even though it deals with the topic of death of an
important individual.
The last lines of the first and second stanza conclude
with “Softly, now softly lies sleeping.”
-This emphasizes that sleeping and death are connected
in this case, as the person is now sleeping eternally in
The rhyme scheme of the song appear to be in the
ABABCDDC format which is common in
traditional Elizabethan songs. This reveals that this
could be a song from the Queen Elizabeth I’s era.
Upon further research, a person can suggest that this
song is referring to the event of Queen Elizabeth’s
Speaker and Subject
The subject is towards a person who is no
deceased and now sleeping (dead). The
speaker is a sad person who is in sorrow
and the poem is asking them to stop
weeping and that she is now in a better
The speaker’s point of view towards the
situation is sorrowful due to a person who
had passed away.
• Both “Weep you no more, sad fountains;” and “Look
how the snowy mountains Heaven’s sun doth gently
waste” are metaphors which signify the sorrow the
reader may be experiencing. Fountains resemble a
great sum of water, meaning that a person is in
terrible sadness and is weeping hard.
The tone of the song is sorrowful yet peaceful at the same
time. The people are crying hard and are in deep sadness as
a beloved person has passed away.
The poem is asking the question of why a person is crying
while she lays peacefully asleep and reveals that the sorrow
should come to an end. This shares a comforting and calm
emotion as the person who is now dead is now in everlasting
peace and more or less, happy.
“Weep you no more, sad fountains;
What need you flow so fast?”
By comforting death, the poet is trying to end the sorrow of
people over the death of someone important.
• Personification can also be found in this song as the
fountains represents an individual in deep sorrow.
“What need you flow so fast?” gives away that the
person is very upset. Personification is used in this case
as the fountains are compared to humans.

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