Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


The Sonnets: 154

By 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.