Today is the day that is typically celebrated as Shakespeare’s birthday. He would be 450 today. To commemorate the day, and although Sonnet 21 isn’t one of his most popular, it has always been one of my favorites.
In it, Shakespeare vows his love is true and the words he writes about his love will be as well, and truth will take the place of the forced comparisons other poets use.
So is it not with me as with that Muse,
Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse,
Who heaven itself for ornament doth use
And every fair with his fair doth rehearse,
Making a couplement of proud compare
With sun and moon, with earth and sea’s rich gems,
With April’s first-born flowers, and all things rare,
That heaven’s air in this huge rondure hems.
O! let me, true in love, but truly write,
And then believe me, my love is as fair
As any mother’s child, though not so bright
As those gold candles fixed in heaven’s air:
Let them say more that like of hearsay well;
I will not praise that purpose not to sell.
‘Til next time,