Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch…
Have fun with the poem by trying this...
You can listen to acclaimed writer Fiona Sampson recite Sonnet 143 on the Poetry Archive ‘Shakespeare 400’ page. The sonnet creates the image of a housewife chasing after unruly chicks, leaving behind her baby. What do you think Shakespeare is implying by creating this image? By mentioning ‘Will’ in the final couplet, what role is he giving himself in this sonnet?
You can listen to Sampson’s response to Sonnet 143, her poem Drowned Man, on the Poetry Archive here.
Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Links Off
Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch
One of her feathered creatures broke away,
Sets down her babe, and makes all swift dispatch
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay;
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent
To follow that which flies before her face,
Not prizing her poor infant’s discontent;
So runn’st thou after that which flies from thee,
Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind;
But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me,
And play the mother’s part, kiss me, be kind;
So will I pray that thou mayst have thy ‘Will,’
If thou turn back and my loud crying still.
LOe as a carefull huswife runnes to catch,
One of her fethered creatures broake away,
Sets down her babe and makes all swift dispatch
In pursuit of the thing she would haue stay:
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chace,
Cries to catch her whose busie care is bent,
To follow that which flies before her face:
Not prizing her poore infants discontent;
So runst thou after that which flies from thee,
Whilst I thy babe chace thee a farre behind,
But if thou catch thy hope turne back to me:
And play the mothers part kisse me, be kind.
So will I pray that thou maist haue thy Will,
If thou turne back and my loude crying still.