• Your love and pity doth th' impression fill
    Which vulgar scandal stamped upon my brow;
    For what care I who calls me well or ill,
    So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?
    You are my all the world, and I must strive
    To know my shames and praises from your tongue;
    None else to me, nor I to none alive,
    That my steeled sense or changes right or wrong.
    In so profound abysm I throw all care
    Of others' voices, that my adder’s sense
    To critic and to flatt’rer stoppèd are.
    Mark how with my neglect I do dispense:
      You are so strongly in my purpose bred
      That all the world besides methinks y'are dead.
  • (Continuing from Sonnet 111) Your love and pity make up for the damage popular opinion has done to my reputation, since what do I care who calls me good or bad as long as you gloss over what’s bad about me and acknowledge my good? You’re the entire world to me, and I have to strive to learn what’s good or bad about me from what you say. No one else matters to me, and I matter to no one else alive. Your opinion is so powerful with me that it determines what’s right and wrong. I care so little about what other people say that it’s as if I threw their voices into a bottomless pit—that’s how deaf I am to their flattery and criticism. Notice how I disregard the fact that the rest of the world neglects me. You matter so much to me that you’re dead to the rest of the world.


    Editors are unsure what line 8 actually means. The italicized translation represents this editor’s best guess.