How can I then return in happy plight,
That am debarred the benefit of rest?
When day's oppression is not eas'd by night,
But day by night and night by day oppress'd,
And each, though enemies to either's reign,
Do in consent shake hands to torture me,
The one by toil, the other to complain
How far I toil, still farther off from thee.
I tell the day, to please him thou art bright,
And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven:
So flatter I the swart-complexion'd night,
When sparkling stars twire not thou gild'st the even.
But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer,
And night doth nightly make grief's length seem stronger.
Sonnet 28 is one of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It's a member of the Fair Youth sequence, in which the poet expresses his love towards a young man. Sonnet 28 continues the complaint of the previous sonnet. The opposition between day and night dominates the sonnet.
Original text 
The original text from 1609 Quarto:
- How can I then returne in happy plight
- That am debard the benefit of reſt?
- When daies oppreſſion is not eazd by night,
- But day by night and night by day opreſt.
- And each (though enimes to ethers raigne)
- Doe in conſent ſhake hands to torture me,
- The one by toyle, the other to complaine
- How far I toyle, ſtill farther off from thee.
- I tell the Day to pleaſe him thou art bright,
- And do'ſt him grace when clouds doe blot the heauen:
- So flatter I the ſwart complexiond night,
- When ſparkling ſtars twire not thou guil'ſt th' eauen.
- But day doth daily draw my ſorrowes longer,(ſtronger
- And night doth nightly make greefes length ſeeme
- Alden, Raymond. The Sonnets of Shakespeare, with Variorum Reading and Commentary. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1916.
- Baldwin, T. W. On the Literary Genetics of Shakspeare's Sonnets. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1950.
- Booth, Stephen. Shakespeare's Sonnets. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.
- Dowden, Edward. Shakespeare's Sonnets. London, 1881.
- Hubler, Edwin. The Sense of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1952.
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