Analysis of Sonnet 107
Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come
Can yet the lease of my true love control,
Suppos'd as forfeit to a condin'd doom.
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd,
And the sad augurs mock their own presage;
Incertainties now crown themselves assur's,
nd peace proclaims olives of endless age.
Now with the drops of this most balmy time
My love looks fresh; and Death to me subscribes,
Since spite of him I'll lime in this poor rhyme
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes:
And thou in this shalt find thy monument
When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent.
This has been an important sonnet in trying to date the sonnets. Several words and phrases have prompted readers to ponder on the year it was written, ranging from 1588 to 1603. The main areas of concentration rely on the following: 1) the "eclipse" of the "mortal moon," in line 5; 2)who the "sad augurs" are and their "presage," in line 6; 3) allusion in lines 7 and 8, and if "confin'd doom" is in refernce to a certain event and which event that is. Of these, the most supported responses to 1 are: the Spanish Armada, 1588 (Butler, Hotson); the Queen's Grand Climacteric , 1595-6 (Harrison); the Queen's illness in 1599-1600 (Chambers); Essex's rebellion in 1601 (Tyler); the Queen's death in 1603 (eg. Massey, Minto, Lee, Beeching); a lunar eclipse, 1595 (O.F. Emerson); or an eclipse of the Queen's favour (Conrad). Answers to the second problem relate closely with the first, that is, with the addition of a fear of civil war as a result of Elizabeth's death and also the usual forecasts of political (and other) disasters that were forecasted from the eclipse. The third problem cites the confidence seen in lines 7 and 8,a dn therefore the overshoot of the proclaimed disasters. The fourth seems to refer to the imprisonment of some specific individual, eg. Southampton, who was released after James I accession to the throne.
1-4: 'Neither my own fears nor the foreshadowing of worldly disasters can control the extent of my only love, supposing [invented by fears] that it is a "confin'd doom." Lines 4 and 5 evoke a sense of death, saying that all will eventually die, and reading line 6 with stresses on "augurs" and "own" gives the sense that the prognosticators jeer their own predictions due to time being so joyous.