«If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should not stop my way».
Sonnet 44 and the following one form a continuous theme involving the four basic elements of matter according to Elizabethan science: earth, water, air, and fire.
If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Sonnet 44 deals with earth and water, and Sonnet 45 with air and fire.
In Sonnet 44, the poet laments his physical distance from the young man. He argues that if his body were made of only thoughts, then all he would have to do is think about the youth and they would be together. However, although the poet’s mind is free to travel, he fails to come to grips with any tangible reality in the youth.
English audio from YouTube Channel Socratica
Summary from Cliffsnotes.com