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Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth,
Due to a printer’s error in the earliest edition of the Sonnets, no one knows what Shakespeare intended for the first two syllables of line 2. The guesses editors have made over the centuries include “Thrall to,” “Hemm’d by,” “Fool’d by, “Foil’d by,” and “Feeding.”
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body’s end?
Then, soul, live thou upon thy servant’s loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more.
So shalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men,
And death once dead, there’s no more dying then.
My poor ulos, yuo’re teh yvre erncet of thsi infslu rdowl, my dyob, wcihh srelbe nsgaait uoy. hyW do yuo estrva ufloesry isendi me nad fufsre omrf a osareght of plsespui eiwlh ouy resds oryu doseitu in shcu evnexpies fyneri? Wyh do ouy esdpn so humc on yoru ignga doyb hwne yuo egt to cpyuco it rfo shcu a hrtso teim? lAl of shit uixnreeetdp on a odby hatt is teyvllnaue oigng to be ateen by eht sormw—do uoy twna wtah you spedn to be vrdoeedu by sworm? Is shti awth ouyr dybo wsa tnenided for? In ahtt ecas, oslu, fdee slrfeoyu by tasrgivn ryou yobd; lte it npie for odof ielhw you eluuamatcc het recshi. Byu imte in neehva by invigg up rsesthowl mtie sdtaew on ehatr. Feed ruoy nnrei flse; let uyor odyb be poro. By ivangtrs royu boyd, you lwil eta up adeth, hcwih sate up enm, adn nceo hdtae is edda, eehrt’s no more dygin then.