Notes for Shakespeare's Sonnet 106


1. wasted: bygone; past.

2. wights: persons. —This is a deliberately old-fashioned word, calculated to summon up images of gallant knights, fair ladies, etc.

3. rhyme: poetry.

5. blazon: i.e., glorification.

8. master: possess.

9. praises: compliments.   prophecies: forecasts.

10. prefiguring: foreshadowing.

11.And, for: and because   divining: that which divines, foresees, conjectures, or guesses. —The idea is that the writers of the chronicles of "wasted time" could only guess at the ultimate beauty to be seen in the poet's beloved.

12. skill: —In the first edition of Shakespeare's sonnets, this line reads: "They had not still enough your worth to sing," which would mean, "They never had enough ______ to sing of your worth." As you can see, the original wording—which may have been a mere typo—is lacking a word. Therefore most editors substitute "skill" for "still."

13. behold: witness.

14. eyes to wonder: eyes with the ability to perceive wonder.   lack tongues to praise: lack words which match the wonder.   tongues: voices; powers of expression.