What does "sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines" from Sonnet 18 mean?

Expert Answers

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It's from Sonnet 18, and all it means is that sometimes the sun ("the eye of heaven")  shines with too much heat.

Here's the passage:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade...

So the sense is this: sometimes the sun shines too hot, often you can't see the sun's gold colour, and sometimes everything beautiful looks not-quite-as-beautiful, whether that's because of chance, or just natural change. BUT, the beauty of the beloved (her "eternal summer") will not change.

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