Sonnet 154: The Little Love-God Lying Once Asleep

The little love god lying once asleep
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
Whilst many nymphs that vowed chaste life to keep
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand,
The fairest votary took up that fire
Which many legions of true hearts had warmed,
And so the general of hot desire
Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarmed.
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual,
Growing a bath and healthful remedy,
For men discased; but I, my mistress' thrall,
Came there for cure and this by that I prove,
Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.

by William Shakespeare

Comments (3)

Sonnets 154 and 153 are often referred to as Anacreontic, after the name of a Greek writer who wrote minor love poems and epigrams. from Wikipedia: Shakespeare used Greek mythology to address love and despair in relationships. The material in Sonnets 153 and 154 has been shown to relate to the six-line epigram by the Byzantine poet known as Marianus Scholasticus, who published a collection of 3,500 poems called The Greek Anthology. When translated, the epigram resembles Sonnets 153 and 154, addressing love and the story of Cupid, the torch, and the Nymph's attempt to extinguish the torch. ...
... Sonnet 153 and 154 are used as a statement to address the conflict within the love triangle. The Dark Lady is the object of desire from sonnet 127 to 152. The sonnets revolve around the love triangle between the poet and the Dark Lady who is in love with the young man. The young man maybe pursued by the poet also.
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