Sir John Suckling


Sonnet I - Poem by Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
The red and white works now no more on me
Than if it could not charm, or I not see.

And yet the face continues good,
And I have still desires,
Am still the selfsame flesh and blood,
As apt to melt
And suffer from those fires;
Oh some kind pow'r unriddle where it lies,
Whether my heart be faulty, or her eyes?

She ev'ry day her man does kill,
And I as often die;
Neither her power then, nor my will
Can question'd be.
What is the mystery?
Sure beauty's empires, like to greater states,
Have certain periods set, and hidden fates.

Comments about Sonnet I by Sir John Suckling

  • (3/4/2017 10:42:00 PM)

    beauty's empires, Have certain periods set,
    and hidden fates
    Fantastic conclusion. Thanks for sharing.
    (Report) Reply

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  • Amar Agarwala (3/4/2017 7:44:00 PM)

    A typical classic... though am reading Sir John for the first time. Am not sure about the meter or the rhyme, it seems a little haywire but the meaning is fine, and the depth surfaces after a few reads. Interesting poem on refuted love and lost desires. (Report) Reply

  • (3/4/2017 7:33:00 PM)

    the fire takes time to set
    unless it's hit by a bus
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (3/4/2017 1:53:00 PM)

    Have certain periods set.... thanks for sharing.... (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (3/4/2017 11:42:00 AM)

    But mark the fate of faces;
    The red and white works now no more on me
    Than if it could not charm, or I not see.
    Beautiful, stylish, enjoyable. Thanks
    (Report) Reply

  • Indira Renganathan (3/4/2017 4:12:00 AM)

    Beauty is not all in life....more than that character and conduct are essential....good concept for a poem..
    what kind of a sonnet is this? .....good work
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/4/2017 3:07:00 AM)

    a mysterious poem of what makes beauty? then to release desire? (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (3/4/2017 1:33:00 AM)

    Desires! ! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Gajanan Mishra (3/4/2017 12:30:00 AM)

    beauty's empire, life's fire, fixed star. (Report) Reply

  • (10/21/2014 6:48:00 PM)

    Very wonderful style.. I will read it again and again (Report) Reply

  • (10/21/2014 1:18:00 PM)

    I love classical poetry. And this poem is no exception. Am I wrong on it's misaligned meter though? Perhaps. And there are things I do not know, such as red and white. Is he speaking of the ability of wine to make himself more charming to the object of his desire? Or make-up, as marking the fate of faces? Overall it sounds to me that he is falling in love with a woman who does not care for him, perhaps he is much older and now hoping to win the company of a much younger lady. Her eye's wrong? Obviously not giving him the green light, no matter how his heart longs for her. One thing remains absolute after all this time: desire and love are a mystery..... (Report) Reply

  • (10/21/2013 6:43:00 AM)

    Not bad. I don't share the theme, but like the style. (Report) Reply

  • (10/22/2012 12:17:00 AM)

    He's kidding himself. He doesn't have those desires he says he does. (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (10/21/2012 11:29:00 AM)

    Many of us have had the experience of being a slave to our passion for someone. Yet some passions burn themselves out, and after a while one wonders why we ever were passionate about him or her, though their looks have not changed. The answer to his riddle is that he did not love her! A perfect poem. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (10/21/2011 3:35:00 AM)

    Sure, as Sir John Suckling says in this poem beauty is great but it has limitation and fate set ever just as sonnet perhaps I believe! (Report) Reply

  • Portia Lane (10/21/2010 10:48:00 PM)

    He's talking about his fascination with spiders (Report) Reply

  • (10/22/2009 9:24:00 AM)

    What is Suckling's persona in Sonnet I? Is he wearing the mask of the ardent lover or the worldly skeptic? Remember that a poet chooses which mask he will wear as the speaker (persona) of his poem. What does the speaker say about the subject of the poem?

    It doesn't seem to me that Suckling is making a magisterial comment about beauty in the abstract. The speaker (who is an artifice devised by the poet) - is not in the poem as Sir John Suckling himself, but as a rather cynical man who no longer appreciates the 'red and white'-the woman's make-up no longer attracts him though she remains physically much the same as before! One might as well try to read the future of a great nation in the daily doings of its citizens! There seems to be no reason why our romantic feelings wane and die, or flare up again with the attraction of another woman enticing in 'red and white'!
    (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (10/22/2009 6:01:00 AM)

    A magisterial comment on one of the mysteries of beauty. People we now think beautiful remain the same, and so do we, yet the attraction they have for us fails. The poem makes us stand in the poet's place and see and feel what he does. (Report) Reply

  • (10/22/2009 12:55:00 AM)

    Well, nice comment sir Michael. But how about a woman who in loves with an ugly, bold, get brain cancer and doesn't have money? Is she stupid? or She just find a light and her purpose in her life? (Report) Reply

  • (10/21/2009 9:58:00 PM)

    and a correction on my earlier comment, I meant 'flout', not 'flaunt'. my apologies. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: beauty, fate, power, red, alone, time, heart, sonnet, work, fire

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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