Suspect I may, but not directly tell;
But being both from me, both to each friend.
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field
Thy youth’s proud livery so gaz’d on now
Will be a tatter’d weed, of small worth held.
(b) The word key rhymed not only with words like tea and sea but also with words like survey.
So am I as the rich, whose blessed key
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure
The which he will not every hour survey.
(c) The word love was pronounced in such a way as to rhyme with words like prove and move and the derived word beloved was pronounced in such a way as to rhyme with words like removed.
But since he died, and poets better prove,
Theirs for their style I’ll read his for his love.
(d) The noun wind rhymed with words like find and mind.
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind, Or say with princes if it shall go well, By oft predict that I in heaven find:
(e) The word near was pronounced in such a way as to rhyme with words like there and were.
If I might teach thee wit, better it were
Though not to love, yet, love, to tell me so:-
As testy sick men, when their deaths were near.
If thy soul check thee that I come so near,
Swear to thy blind soul that I was thy Will,
And will thy soul knows, is admitted there.
(f) Words like taste and waste were pronounced in such a way as to rhyme with words like fast and past.
Thy sugar’d tongue to bitter wormwood taste
Thy violent vanities can never last. (LUC)
I summon up remembrances of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear times waste.
(g) The word blood was pronounced in such a way as to rhyme with the word food and good.
The remedy indeed to do me good
Is to let forth my foul-defiled blood.
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood; Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws and burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood.
(h) In present-day English, alone can rhyme only with words like phone, moan, groan and tone. During Shakespeare’s days there was no fixity about the pronunciation of this word. This is evident from the fact that it could rhyme not only with the word groan but also with the word one and with the word gone.
The face hath not the power to make love groan:
To say they err I dare not be so bold…
Although I sear it to myself alone.
But here is the joy; my friend and I are one;
Sweet flattery then she loves but me alone.
Tir’d with all these, from these would I be gone
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.
(i) The word wrong was pronounced in such a way as to rhyme with words like young and tongue.
O! call not me to justify the wrong
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart;
Wound me not with thine eye, but with thy tongue:
Yet, do thy worse, old Time: despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.