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Previous Sonnet: 12

Sonnet 13

see http://www.acim.org/ The Oxford Complete Sonnets and Poems Introduction considers the mysteries of the dark lady

The Oxford Complete Sonnets and Poems edited by Colin Burrows: In the original quarto yourself was printed as two words, ‘the true self existing beyond the constraints of time’.

See A Course in Miracles for a profound insight into the nature of the spiritual self as opposed to the ego self.

O! that you were your self; but, love you are
No longer yours, than you your self here live:
Against this coming end you should prepare,
And your sweet semblance to some other give:
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination; then you were
Yourself again, after yourself's decease,
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear. 
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold,
Against the stormy gusts of winter's day
And barren rage of death's eternal cold?
  O! none but unthrifts. Dear my love, you know,
  You had a father: let your son say so.
Poetry Handbook: The definitve dictionary of terms
Read by Claire Marchionne
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Poetry Handbook by Babette Deutsch: If words that are eye rhymes to a later generation, were so pronounced in the poet’s time, as to echo one another truly, they known as ‘historical rhymes’, as in the opening lines of this sonnet.

Next Sonnet: 14

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