The Sonnets


William Shakespeare

THE LITTLE Love-god lying once asleep,
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
Whilst many nymphs that vow’d 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 warm’d;
And so the general of hot desire
Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarm’d.
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 diseas’d; but I, my mistress’ thrall,
    Came there for cure and this by that I prove,
    Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love.

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