No more be grieved atthat which thou hast done:
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud:
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
All men make faults, and even I in this,
Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are;
For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense,
Thy adverse party is thy advocate,
And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence:
Such civil war is in my love and hate,
That I an accessary needs must be,
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.
This continues the theme of the previous two sonnets. The sin which the youth has committed against the poet, which previously appeared to be a denial of love, or a denial of commitment, here is described also as 'a sensual fault', which implies some sin of the flesh, lust for another person perhaps, or merely a temporary lapse from grace. We cannot know the details of the 'amiss', since no other clues are given us, but it is possible that the fault is linked to that which is described in 40-42, in which the youth is reproached for stealing the poet's mistress. For the denial of love which the previous two sonnets imply could hardly be described as 'a sensual fault', but perhaps that denial is here merged with the later sin of poaching a lover. It is unlikely that we will ever have the necessary information to know what the poet was referring to as the beloved's amiss and we must be satisfied with whatever our imaginations can conjure up.
The sestet of the sonnet introduces legal terminology, a break from the biblical and theological language of sin and redemption which dominates the previous sonnet, and here lines 5-8.
The 1609 Quarto Version
NO more bee greeu'd at that which thou haſt done,
Roſes haue thornes,and ſiluer fountaines mud,
Cloudes and eclipſes ſtaine both Moone and Sunne,
And loathſome canker liues in ſweeteſt bud.
All men make faults,and euen I in this,
Authorizing thy treſpas with compare,
My ſelfe corrupting ſaluing thy amiſſe,
Excuſing their ſins more then their ſins are:
For to thy ſenſuall fault I bring in ſence,
Thy aduerſe party is thy Aduocate,
And gainſt my ſelfe a lawfull plea commence,
Such ciuill war is in my loue and hate,
That I an acceſſary needs muſt be,
To that ſweet theefe which ſourely robs from me,