Sonnet ’49

Against that time, if ever that time come,
When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
Called to that audit by advis’d respects;
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass,
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye,
When love, converted from the thing it was,
Shall reasons find of settled gravity;
Against that time do I ensconce me here,
Within the knowledge of mine own desert,
And this my hand, against my self uprear,
To guard the lawful reasons on thy part:
To leave poor me thou hast the strength of laws,
Since why to love I can allege no cause.

I may not be well versed in the works of Shakespeare yet, but believe me, I intend to be one day. I found this sonnet by accident while studying for the SAT subject tests. It was in one of the practice tests I did, and I remember freezing and reading it over and over until I got the intonation and the meaning just right. The humanity and simplicity of the poem just staggers me. It is beautiful, and so typical – just a person, a regular person, being so scared that they’re not worthy of their loved one and sure that they’ll leave them one day. It’s amazing how little humanity changes over the years when it comes down to the day to day emotions and characteristics.


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