I had more difficulty than usual in choosing a poem for today’s Rhyme Time, today having been Valentine’s Day. With so many beautiful poems written on love it wasn’t easy picking just one. I had already chosen a poem by Edgar Allan Poe when I came across an old poem from far and forgotten school days, Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 -Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments … When I first read it I thought it very romantic and dreamy. I remember reading it out loud to my friend and both of us discussing it with such passion while her brother sat sighing and moaning over how we always talked so much about love and other such nonsense (he was her younger brother and was usually forced to study around the same time we sat down to our work). I still like it very much, though, probably with less passion. That’s why it wasn’t my first choice to share today.
I’ve finally decided to share both poems. Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Romance’ is neither cloistering nor sappy and it brings to mind a bright yet very pleasant morning. William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 speaks of love as it ideally should be.
Romance, who loves to nod and sing
With drowsy head and folded wing
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been -most familiar bird-
Taught me my alphabet to say,
To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child -with a most knowing eye.
Of late, eternal condor years
So shake the very Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Through gazing on the unquiet sky;
And when an hour with calmer wings
Its down upon my spirit flings,
That little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away -forbidden things-
My heart would feel to be a crime
Unless it trembled with the strings.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edges of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.