William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Sonnet 143: Lo, As A Careful Huswife Runs To Catch - Poem by William Shakespeare

Lo, as a careful huswife runs to catch
One of her feathered creatures broke away,
Sets down her babe and makes all swift dispatch
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay,
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent
To follow that which flies before her face,
Not prizing her poor infant's discontent:
So runn'st thou after that which flies from thee,
Whilst I, thy babe, chase thee afar behind;
But if thou catch thy hope turn back to me,
And play the mother's part: kiss me, be kind.
So will I pray that thou mayst have thy Will,
If thou turn back and my loud crying still.


Comments about Sonnet 143: Lo, As A Careful Huswife Runs To Catch by William Shakespeare

  • Fabrizio Frosini (1/31/2016 8:41:00 AM)


    Although this sonnet follows the previous one in requesting that the woman be kind to him and take pity on him, it differs considerably from its predecessors. It takes the form of a lengthy simile in which the beloved is compared to a flustered housewife, the poet's rival is a chicken in flight, and the poet himself is a tear-stained, blubbering child. Not exactly the sort of images which exalt the participants in any way. This is far removed from the typical Petrarchan sonnet in which the beloved is a goddess or a saint, the lover is a penitent hermit clothed in sackcloth, and no rivals are seen unless they are permitted to adore and wonder from a safe distance. Nevertheless the Petrarchan tradition had been expanded by Italian and French sonneteers to include far-fetched and curious comparisons, and their influence had spread to the English sonnet writers, who blatantly borrowed from their Continental counterparts, usually without any acknowledgement. (Report) Reply

    10 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Fabrizio Frosini (1/31/2016 8:41:00 AM)


    The use of extended similes in poetry dates back to the epic poems of Homer - The Iliad and The Odyssey, of about 900 - 700 BC. Chapman was working on his translation of Homer at about this time, for some books of The Iliad were published in 1598. The works would have been known before that in Latin translations. The poetry of Virgil, especially his epic poem The Aeneid, was also well known to the Elizabethans. It is difficult to guess how much Shakespeare might have been influenced and inspired by these sources.
    shakespeares-sonnets.com/
    (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani (4/26/2014 6:04:00 AM)


    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out (Report) Reply

  • Egal Bohen (2/11/2008 4:33:00 PM)


    Deserted and abandoned, e'en Will
    It seems needs love
    To load with ink his gifted quill
    (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: kiss, child, mother, hope, sonnet, running, children



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



[Report Error]