Thursday, February 16, 2006

My mistress' eyes

I was flicking through Shakespeare's Sonnets last night - goodness me aren't the early ones gay - and couldn't help but be reminded by the switch at the end of number 130 of Jerry Herman's 'I Won't Send Roses' and Bob Dylan's 'Most of the Time'.
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
Sometimes I wish I had done some academic study of poetry in English rather than just read it privately, but maybe that would have beaten the joy out of it. Who can tell?
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