The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 154

read by Fiona Shaw

The little love-god lying once asleep,

Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,

Whilst many nymphs, that vowed chaste life to keep,

Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand

5The fairest votary took up that fire

Which many legions of true hearts had warmed;

And so the general of hot desire

Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarmed.

This brand she quenched in a cool well by,

10Which from love’s fire took heat perpetual,

Growing a bath and healthful remedy

For men diseased; 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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