In former times such as had store of coin,
In wars at home, or when for conquests bound,
For fear that some their treasure should purloin,
Gave it to keep to spirits within the ground,
And to attend it them as strongly tied
Till they return'd; home when they never came,
Such as by art to get the same have tried
From the strong Spirit by no means force the same;
Nearer men come, that further flies away,
Striving to hold it strongly in the deep.
E'en as this Spirit, so you alone do play
With those rich beauties Heav'n gives you to keep;
Pity, so left to the coldness of your blood,
Not to avail you, nor do the others good.
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Analysis and Comments on Sonnet LVIII: In Former Times
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