«What’s in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?».
Admitting that he risks running out of new ideas and “I must each day say o’er the very same” about the young man, the poet replaces newly imagined creation with ritual; redundant love finds new meaning in repetition “So that eternal love in love’s fresh case / Weighs not the dust and injury of age.”
What’s in the brain that ink may character
Psychologically unhealthy, the poet again regresses to viewing himself and the young man as “thou mine, I thine.” He relives the past, but he does so in such a way that the past seems newly fresh: “Finding the first conceit of love there bred / Where time and outward form would show it dead.” Because reality entails past hurts and accusations, the poet chooses to live in a fantasy world where he’s not forced to remember the youth’s narcissistic treatment of him.
English audio from YouTube Channel Socratica
Summary from Cliffsnotes.com