Sonnet 75

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Sonnet 75
Detail of old-spelling text
Sonnet 75 in the 1609 Quarto
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So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ’twixt a miser and his wealth is found;
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure;
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then better’d that the world may see my pleasure:
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight,
And by and by clean starved for a look;
Possessing or pursuing no delight,
Save what is had or must from you be took.
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all, or all away.





—William Shakespeare[1]

Sonnet 75 is one of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It is a member of the Fair Youth sequence, in which the poet expresses his love towards a young man.


The poet expresses his complete pleasure in the presence of his beloved, but says that his devotion resembles that of a miser to his money, filled with anxiety combined with pleasure in his wealth.


Sonnet 75 is an English or Shakespearean sonnet. The English sonnet has three quatrains, followed by a final rhyming couplet. It follows the typical rhyme scheme of the form, ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, and is composed in iambic pentameter, a type of poetic metre based on five pairs of metrically weak/strong syllabic positions. The 4th line exemplifies a regular iambic pentameter:

×     /   ×  / ×  /    ×   /     ×   / 
As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found. (75.4)

The 6th line exhibits two common variations: an initial reversal and a final extrametrical syllable or feminine ending:

 /   ×     ×  /   ×   /    ×     /    ×   /  (×) 
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure; (75.6)
/ = ictus, a metrically strong syllabic position. × = nonictus. (×) = extrametrical syllable.

Line 8 necessarily repeats the 6th line's feminine ending. Possible initial reversals also occur in lines 1, 2, 3, 9, 12, and 13; though these can be interpreted in other ways.

The meter demands a few variant pronunciations: in the 2nd line, "showers" functions as 1 syllable, and in the 10th line "starvèd" functions as 2.[2]


  1. ^ Pooler, C[harles] Knox, ed. (1918). The Works of Shakespeare: Sonnets. The Arden Shakespeare [1st series]. London: Methuen & Company. OCLC 4770201.
  2. ^ Booth 2000, p. 67.


First edition and facsimile
Variorum editions
Modern critical editions