SONNET NO. 147
My love is as a fever longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease,
Feeding on that which does preserve the ill,
The uncertain sickly appetite to please:
My reason, the physician to my love
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept
Has left me, and I desperate now approve,
Desire is death, which physic did except,
Past cure I am, now reason is past cure.
And frantic mad with ever-more unrest,
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are,
At random from the truth vainly expressed,
For I have sworne thee fair, and thought thee bright
Who are as black as hell as dark as night.
Note the words, my love, my reason, my love, my thoughts,
my discourse, past cure, past cure.
Here Bacon addressing Mrs. Fitton tells her that his love for
her is like a fever (disease-) continually longing for something
which nurseth (fosters) the disease-feeding (living) on some-
thing which preserves the disease and pleases the sickly appetite.
That his reasons -the physician to his love is angry that he has
not taken what it has prescribed. That his reason has left h~m
and that he is now desperate-he says that desire (lust) is death
which physic did except (exclude) that he is past cure-that his
reason is also past cure and that he is frantic mad with ever-more(ever lasting) unrest (disquiet) that both his thoughts and his discourse (reason) are like a madman's at random (uncontrolled) from the truth because he has sworne that she was fair (free from blemish) and had thought that she was bright (beautiful) but that he has found that she is as black as hell and as dark as the night.