SONNET NO. 128
How oft, when thou, my music, music play'st,
Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds
With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently sway'st,
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap,
To kiss the tender inward of your hand,
Whilst my poor lips-which should that harvest reap,
At the woods boldness by thee blushing stand
To be so tickled, they would change their state
And situation with those dancing chips,
O'er which thy fingers walk with gentle gait,
Making dead wood more blest than living lips,
Since saucy Jacks so happy are in this
Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.
repetition of the following words, we find-music,
music, Jacks, Jacks, wood, wood, woods, thy sweet fingers, thy fingers, thy fingers.
Bacon in his own writings often refers to the effect music
has on the human mind. In this sonnet-Bacon visualises
himself standing by the side of his love Marguerite watching her play the musical instrument called " The Virginal ". We know that it is " The Virginal " because of the references to" The Jacks" which are keyboard devices to move the hammers
and to the dancing " Chips" which are the keys on this instru-
He is envying the Jacks touched by her hands and wishes that his lips could change place with the chips (keys) touched also by her hands-that the jacks are happy on being touchedby her fingers-as he would be if he had her lips to kiss.
The virginal was strung like a spinet but shaped like a