Shakespeare Sonnet 153 Analysis: Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep

Shakespeare Sonnet 153 Analysis: Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep

This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 153. Continue reading for complete analysis and meaning in the modern text. For the complete list of 154 sonnets, check the collection ofShakespeare Sonnets with analysis. It is highly recommended to buy “The Monument” by Hank Whittemore, which is the best book on Shakespeare Sonnets.

Shakespeare Sonnet 153 (Original Text)

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 seething 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’ eye.

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Shakespeare Sonnet 153 Modern Text (Translation)

Shakespeare Sonnet 153 Modern English translation
-via Sparknotes

Shakespeare Sonnet 153 Analysis

The poet says the cupid the god of love laid down his love torch of fire and fell asleep “Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep.” Seeing this one of Diana’s (the Greek goddess of nature and the moon) handmaidens took advantage of the situation “A maid of Dian’s this advantage found,” and took cupids love inducing fire “And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep” and threw it into a cold water spring “In a cold valley-fountain of that ground,

This caused the spring to be influenced from the holy fire of love “Which borrowed from this holy fire of love” and burn with a never-ending heat” A dateless lively heat, still to endure,” where it turned into a bubbling hot bath that proved “And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove” an effective cure against strange diseases “Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.”

But when his mistress gave one glance, it fired up cupid’s torch again “But at my mistress’ eye love’s brand new fired,” and to test his torch, cupid decided to place it against the poet’s breast “The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;” because he says he was sick with love and needed to go to the hot love spring to bathe “I, sick withal, the help of bath desired, “ just like a sad and disillusioned guest “And thither hied, a sad distempered guest,”

But instead he found no cure and the only thing that could help him “But found no cure; the bath for my help lies” is the new source of cupids fire and that is a glance form his mistress’ eyes “Where Cupid got new fire—my mistress’ eye”

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