How can I then return
in happy plight,
That am debarred the benefit of rest?
When day's oppression is not eas'd by night,
But day by night and night by day oppressed,
And each, though enemies to either's reign,
Do in consent shake hands to torture me,
The one by toil, the other to complain
How far I toil, still farther off from thee.
I tell the day, to please him thou art bright,
And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven:
So flatter I the swart-complexion'd night,
When sparkling stars twire not thou gild'st the even.
But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer,
And night doth nightly make grief's length seem stronger.
This continues the complaint of the previous sonnet. Evidently he is far removed from his beloved, and he sees in this a conspiracy between day and night to torture him. In his distress he attempts to placate both day and night by telling them that the beloved youth adds to them an extra glory by his radiance. But this has no effect and he is forced continually to commiserate with his own sorrows, reflecting that during the day he cannot be with the youth, and at night cannot sleep for continually thinking of him.
The 1609 Quarto Version
HOw can I then returne in happy plight
That am debard the benefit of reſt?
When daies oppreſſion is not eazd by night,
But day by night and night by day opreſt.
And each(though enimes to ethers raigne)
Doe in conſent ſhake hands to torture me,
The one by toyle,the other to complaine
How far I toyle,ſtill farther off from thee.
I tell the Day to pleaſe him thou art bright,
And do'ſt him grace when clouds doe blot the heauen:
So flatter I the ſwart complexiond night,
When ſparkling ſtars twire not thou guil'ſt th' eauen.
But day doth daily draw my ſorrowes longer,
And night doth nightly make greefes length ſeeme ſtronger