Union Jack

     English Wordplay ~ Listen and Enjoy


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   Sonnet 93

This sonnet, continuing from the previous one, directly addresses a question of great interest to Shakespeare: 'How can a person be other than they seem to be to the outward senses?  What laws of nature permit hypocrisy to be such a determining factor in human relationships?'  In the plays the drama is played out through the fictitious characters of a Macbeth, or an Iago, or Antonio, the usurping brother of Prospero in The Tempest.  Here the reality is closer to home and the beloved himself, whose appearance is all light and virtue, threatens to be as deceitful as the serpent who betrayed Eve.

Union Jack
So shall I live, supposing thou art true,
Like a deceived husband; so love's face
May still seem love to me, though alter'd new;
Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place:
For there can live no hatred in thine eye,
Therefore in that I cannot know thy change.
In many's looks, the false heart's history
Is writ in moods, and frowns, and wrinkles strange. 
But heaven in thy creation did decree
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
Whate'er thy thoughts, or thy heart's workings be,
Thy looks should nothing thence, but sweetness tell.
  How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow,
  If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show!
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