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THE FIRST SONNET

 Sonnet No. 23

 

As an unperfect actor on the stage,
Who with his fear is put besides his part,
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart;
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
The perfect ceremony of love's  rite,
And in mine own love's  strength seem to decay,
O'ercharg'd with burden of mine own love's  might.
O let my books  be, then, the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast;
Who plead for love ,and look for recompense
More than that tongue that more hath more express'd.
O learn  to read  what silent love  hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.

 

            Note the repetition of the following words, we find-loves,
          loves, mine own loves, mine own loves, love, love.
            Here Bacon tells us that his own love, strength is charged
          with burden of his own love's might, and that though he does not
          speak of his love-it can be read in his verse.
            What is the burden of his own love. . . it is the burden of his
          love for Apollo-his literary divinity-for  Pallas Athene-the
          goddess of wisdom-his inspirer-for his brain child-the first
          folio of his plays and for his other personality-Shakes-spear,
          the dramatist.
            He asks that his books  shall tell his thoughts that they plead
          for his loves and he looks to them to recompense him for all
          his labours for the benefit of humanity.    Will Shakspere had
          very little interest in his fellow men-all that he was interested
          in was his own wellbeing.  Bacon here asks his readers to read
          what he has written.  He tells them to " hear with eyes ".
          One does not hear with eyes but with ears.   He means that with
          our eyes we can read and search for the secrets in his sonnets
          and the messages that he inserted in them.    He tells them to
          read what silent love has written because he dare not write openly
          under his own name and was forced to use a pseudonym-the
          name Shakes-spear.

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