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,
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