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Sonnet 4

a bright, racy, intelligent book - Terry Eagleton The Oxford Complete Sonnets and Poems Introduction considers the mysteries of the dark lady

The Oxford Complete Sonnets and Poems edited by Colin Burrows: Spend can mean ejaculate and spend upon thyself suggests masturbation.

Shakespeare by Anthony Burgess: I sometimes think the poet is making a literal if oblique plea for money : “Then, beauteous niggard ….”

Read by Claire Marchionne
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Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
Upon thy self  thy beauty's legacy?
Nature's bequest gives nothing, but doth lend,
And being frank she lends to those are free:
Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse
The bounteous largess given thee to give?
Lunnern gold treasure, Switzerland. 3rd century AD
Lunnern gold treasure,
3rd century AD
Profitless usurer, why dost thou use So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live? For having traffic with thy self alone, Thou of thy self thy sweet self dost deceive: Then how when nature calls thee to be gone, What acceptable audit canst thou leave? Thy unused beauty must be tombed with thee, Which, used, lives th' executor to be.

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