SONNET NO. 115
Those lines that I before have writ, do lie;
Even those that said I could not love you dearer;
Yet then my judgement knew no reason why
My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer.
But reckoning time, whose million'd accidents
Creep in `twixt vows, and change decrees of kings,
Tan sacred beauty-blunt the sharp'st intents,
Divert strong minds to the course of altering things;
Alas! why, fearing of time's tyranny,
Might I not then say ` Now love I you best,
When I was certain o'er uncertainty,
Crowning the present, doubting of the rest?'
Love is a babe; then might I not say so,
To give full growth to that which still doth grow.
Here Bacon writes that he sees no reason why the flame of
his muse should not burn clearly in the future, in spite of time
which alters everything and that he could still say that he loved
his poetic muse best-that it was his babe and that it would
still grow in spite of the accidents of time.