Note 1. Sonnet cxvi. Shake-speares Sonnettes, 1609. It would be difficult to cite a finer passage of moral poetry than this description of the master passion. (Leigh Hunt, English Sonnets.) Admits his wanderings, but love is fixed above all the errors and trials of mans life. [back]
Note 2. Admit impediments: See the Form of Solemnization of Matrimony: If any of you know cause or just impediments, etc. [back]
Note 3. Lines 23, Love is not love: Cf. King Lear, act i. sc. 1:
Note 5. It is a star: Prof. Dowden interprets this passage: As the star, over and above what can be ascertained concerning it for our guidance at sea, has unknowable occult virtue and influence, so love, besides its power of guiding us, has incalculable potencies, and adds, Height, it should be observed, was used by Elizabethan writers in the sense of value, and the word may be used here in a double sense, altitude (of the star) and value (of love). [back]
Note 6. Times fool: the sport or mockery of Time. Cf. King Henry IV., act v. sc. 4:
But thoughts the slave of life, and life times fool.