«Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth,
That having such a scope to show her pride».
The poet continues to bewail his abandonment by his Muse, although he concedes that his love for the youth is stronger because of the absence: “The argument all bare is of more worth / Than when it hath my added praise beside.”
Read and listen
Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth,
That having such a scope to show her pride,
The argument all bare is of more worth
Than when it hath my added praise beside!
O, blame me not, if I no more can write!
Look in your glass, and there appears a face
That over-goes my blunt invention quite,
Dulling my lines and doing me disgrace.
Were it not sinful then, striving to mend,
To mar the subject that before was well?
For to no other pass my verses tend
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;
And more, much more, than in my verse can sit
Your own glass shows you when you look in it.
In other words, the descriptions of love detract from the real emotion because the focus is more on the description of love than on love itself. He apologizes yet again that his verse is too poorly written to do justice to the young man’s beauty.