As in s. 36, the poet finds reasons to excuse the fact that he and the beloved are parted. First, it is easier to praise the beloved if they are not a “single one”; and, second, absence from the beloved gives the poet leisure to contemplate their love.
O, how thy worth with manners may I sing When thou art all the better part of me? What can mine own praise to mine own self bring, 4And what is ’t but mine own when I praise thee? Even for this let us divided live And our dear love lose name of single one, That by this separation I may give 8That due to thee which thou deserv’st alone. O absence, what a torment wouldst thou prove Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave To entertain the time with thoughts of love, 12Which time and thoughts so sweetly ⌜doth⌝ deceive, And that thou teachest how to make one twain By praising him here who doth hence remain.