SONNET NO. 114
Or whether doth my mind being crown'd with you
Drink up the Monarch's plague, this flattery,
Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true,
And that your love taught it this alchemy,
To make of monsters and things indigest,
Such cherubims as your sweet self resemble,
Creating every bad a perfect best,
As fast as objects to his beams assemble,
So, tis the first, tis flattery in my seeing,
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up,
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is greeing,
And to his palate doth prepare the cup,
If it be poisoned, tis the lesser sin,
That mine eye loves it and doth first begin,
Sonnets Nos. 113 and 114 are a pair.
Note in these two sonnets the repetitions of the following
words, we find-my mind, my mind, mind, mind, mind, mine
eye, mine eye, mine eye.
2nd Line. Flattery = false presentment.
5th Line. Indigest = shapeless.
The subject of this sonnet is flattery- " Exaggerated or
insincere praise " which is called the monarch's plague. Bacon
asks himself whether his mind drinks this up or whether his
eye says that his love (Marguerite) taught alchemy (transmuta-
tion) to make of monsters and other things indigest (shapeless)
cherubims (celestial spirits) resembling her sweet self, creating
something good out of bad. He says that it is flattery which
his mind drinks up but that his eye knows what is agreeing
with his gust (sense of taste) and prepares the cup (of flattery)
for his palate (mental liking), that if the cup is poisoned his
eye still loves it.