"I Wasted Time, And Now Doth Time Waste Me"

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Last Updated on July 28, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 165

Context: Richard II has surrendered to the rebellious Henry Bolingbroke, who has had a triumphal progress to London with Richard in his train. Now Richard has been imprisoned in Pomfret Castle, and is brooding over his situation. In his thoughts, he says, "sometimes am I king, / Then treason makes me wish myself a beggar, / And so I am." He continues, "But whate'er I be, / Nor I, nor any man that but man is, / With nothing shall be pleased, till he be eased, / With being nothing." Richard then hears music, and is reminded of the analogy between music and his life.

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. . . How sour sweet music is,
When time is broke, and no proportion kept.
So it is in the music of men's lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear
To check time broke in a disordered string;
But for the concord of my state and time
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
. . .

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