Sonnet 29

William Shakespeare

Edited by Jack Lynch

The copy-text is Shake-speares Sonnets Never Before Imprinted (London, 1609). I’ve regularized the use of i and j, u and v, but have otherwise preserved the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation of the original.

When in disgrace with Fortune and mens eyes,
I all alone beweepe my out-cast state, lament
And trouble deafe heaven with my bootlesse cries. pointless
And looke upon my selfe and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possest,
Desiring this mans art, and that mans skope,
With what I most injoy contented least,
Yet in these thoughts my selfe almost despising,
Haplye I thinke on thee, and then my state, by chance
(Like to the Larke at breake of daye arising)
From sullen earth sings himns at Heavens gate,
    For thy sweet love remembred such welth brings,
    That then I skorne to change my state with Kings.


Featur’d like hime
That is, having features like him.
A notoriously complicated word. Here it probably means “Skill as the result of knowledge and practice” (SOED).
Another tricky word. It probably means “The reach or range of a person’s mental activity or perception; extent of view, sweep of outlook” (SOED).
The adjective is usually applied to people, in which case it means “characterized by gloomy ill humour; morose”; here it seems to mean “dismal, melancholy” (SOED).