William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Sonnet 153: Cupid Laid By His Brand And Fell Asleep - Poem by William Shakespeare

Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep,
A maid of Dian's this advantage found,
And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep
In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;
Which borrowed from this holy fire of Love
A dateless lively heat still to endure,
And grew a seeting bath, which yet men prove
Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fired,
The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;
I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,
And thither hied a sad distempered guest,
But found no cure. The bath for my help lies
Where Cupid got new fire—my mistress' eyes.

Comments about Sonnet 153: Cupid Laid By His Brand And Fell Asleep by William Shakespeare

  • Fabrizio Frosini (2/2/2016 6:06:00 PM)

    This and the next sonnet are based on a poem in the Greek Anthology attributed to Marcianus Scholasticus (5th cent. AD) . Shakespeare possibly saw an English translation circulated by one of his friends. (KDJ suggests Ben Jonson) . The epigram describes how the sleeping Cupid is robbed of his love-brand by the Nymphs, who seek to quench it by plunging it in a fountain. The fountain heats up and the brand is not quenched, so that the Nymphs thereafter bathe in hot water. Shakespeare amplifies the poem by bringing in the idea that the fountain becomes a medicinal cure, but he finds that it cannot cure him from the pangs of love. The only cure for that is to bathe in his mistress' eyes, the very place where Cupid fired his brand initially.
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  • Fabrizio Frosini (2/2/2016 6:06:00 PM)

    Were it not for the other 152 sonnets, we would consider these two final sonnets as fairly standard and belonging to the derivative tradition of sonnet writing which had been established and developed since the days of Petrarch (1304-1374) . It was quite common to take a snippet from Greek mythology and work it into a poem.
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  • Brian Jani (4/26/2014 6:25:00 AM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out (Report) Reply

  • (3/24/2010 3:55:00 PM)

    Very good poem. But why re-write them on here is what i ask? (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: fire, sick, sad, love, sonnet

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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