Robin Camille Davis
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A poem for those friends I see least often

July 28, 2009
Tags: books, poetry, words

Sonnet 51 — Shakespeare

So am I as the rich, whose blessed key
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure,
The which he will not every hour survey,
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure.
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare,
Since, seldom coming, in the long year set,
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,
Or captain jewels in the carcanet.
So is the time that keeps you as my chest,
Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide,
To make some special instant special blest,
By new unfolding his imprison'd pride.
Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope,
Being had, to triumph, being lack'd, to hope.

I love the "sweet up-locked treasure" bit. And the use of "which" as a pronoun preceded by "the", although I assume the article is there for syllabic/poetic/sonnetic purposes.

(Note: carcanet: An ornamental collar or necklace, usually of gold or set with jewels. arch. [OED] Interestingly, its roots lay in carcan, which was either "an iron collar used for punishment" or "an ornamental collar or necklace." Yikes! Big difference there. In French, carcan means, figuratively, a yoke.)