SONNET NO. 131
Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,
As those whose beauties proudly make them cruel:
For well thou know'st to my dear doting heart
Thou art the fairest and most precious jewel
Yet-in good faith some say that thee behold
Thy face hath not the power to make love groan:
To say they err, I dare not be so bold,
Although I swear it to myself alone.
And to be sure that is not false I swear
A thousand groans but thinking on thy face,
One on anothers neck do witness bear
Thy black is fairest in my judgements place,
In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds,
And thence this slander as I think proceeds.
Note the repetition of certain words, we find-groans, groans,
I swear, I swear, black, black, fairest, fairest, thou art, thou art,
thou art, thy face, thy face, thy black, thy deeds.
Here Bacon tells Mistress Fitton that she is as tyrannous (one
who uses power oppressively) as those women whose beauty
makes them cruel but that to his dear doting (affectionate)
heart-she is as a fair and precious jewel and yet others say on
looking at her that her face has not got the power to make love
groan (to be afflicted) and that he is not bold enough to say that
they are wrong although he thinks that they are wrong but in
thinking this he swears a thousand groans (cries of distress)
but that when he thinks of her face bears witness that in his
judgement-her black is fairest and that she is not black in
appearance but only black in her deeds.