Sonnet 27 | Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed

Sonnet 27 | Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed

By William Shakespeare


Original Text

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,

The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;

But then begins a journey in my head,

To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:


For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,

Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,

And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,

Looking on darkness which the blind do see:


Save that my soul’s imaginary sight

Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,

Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,

Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.


Lo! Thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,

For thee and for myself no quiet find


Modern English Text of Sonnet 27


Weary from travelling, I hasten to my bed

That welcome place of rest for limbs tired out from travel.

But then another journey begins in my head

That puts my mind to work after my body’s work has ended;

Because my mind begins another, arduous, trip,

From far away from home, to where you are,

Keeping my drooping eyelids wide open.

It makes them stare at darkness, as blind people do,

Except that my imagination makes me see your image,

That hangs like a jewel in the black night

And makes it beautiful, transforming its old face to a young one.

Look, now! Neither my limbs by day, nor my mind by night,

Because of you enjoy any rest.


Introduction to Shakespearean Sonnets

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets in total. All the sonnets were published together in the year 1609. Most of these sonnets were inspired by a man that Shakespeare truly admired and are said to be written solely for him. The identity of the beloved of the literary genius remains a mystery till date.

The structure of the sonnets remained constant throughout, which then became a standard for writing a Shakespearean sonnet.

Introduction to the Sonnet

Sonnet 27 is one of the most beautiful works of Shakespeare, which he wrote for his beloved who had then parted ways from him. In the sonnet, Shakespeare expresses how he feels without his beloved and how restless he is to the point that he cannot sleep. The entire world reminds him of his beloved.

Summary of Sonnet 27

After traveling and working all day, I have come to my bed because I am very tired. This place might help me with getting some rest and giving my body a break. I intend to sleep but as soon as I end my day here, as soon as I put an end to the physical journey here, another tiring voyage of the heart and the mind begins. This journey begins from where I am to where you are. It keeps me awake, it doesn’t let me sleep, it doesn’t let me rest. It keeps my eyes staring at the dark night, longing for you. I see nothing but the darkness, the world seems empty. But then I imagine your face. I imagine you being there in the dark night, illuminating the dark sky with the glow of your face, bringing life to the faded dark world that I behold inside my heart. Look, because of you, I am neither able to rest in the day because I have to work to forget you, nor am I able to rest at night because I keep thinking of you.

Structure of the Sonnet

The sonnet 27 follows the same structure as other Shakespearean sonnets do. It consists of fourteen lines, which are divided into three quatrains and a couplet. The couplet concludes the sonnet by summarizing the message in it. It also follows the same rhyme scheme as other Shakespearean sonnets do, i.e. abab cdcd efef gg.


Poetic Devices in Sonnet 27

Poetic devices help the poet to put emphasis on the message they want to convey in a beautiful and effective manner. Shakespeare has effortlessly used a variety of poetic devices in his sonnets, personification especially, as this specific poetic device was very famous back in his age.



Simile is the comparison of two unlike things by using like or as. In the following lines, for example,

Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,

Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,


The poet has compared the imaginary shadow of his beloved with a jewel that is illuminating the dark sky at night and eventually illuminating the dark world of the poet.



Personification is giving human qualities to a non-human thing. In the following line, for example,

Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.

The poet has given the night a human attribute, since neither the sky nor the night has a face.



Alliteration is the repetition of the first sounds of words closely placed in a line. Remember, we are focusing on the sounds here, not the letters. In the following line, for example,

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,

The sounds of w in the words weary and with, t in the words toil and to and m in the words me and my are repeated.

For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,

The sound of f is repeated in for, from and far in the example above.


Theme of Sonnet 27

The main theme of the poem is how love can never be forgotten, even if they are not with us anymore, how love keeps one restless. How it has the power to turn a bright day into a dark night and a dark night into a beautiful sight in an instant. How the heart can never be at ease when it is not with the person it loves.

Important Terms:

Quatrain: A stanza with four lines.

Couplet: A stanza with two lines.