SONNET NO. 51
How heavy do I journey on the way,
Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed;
From where thou art, why should I haste me thence,
Till I return, of posting is no need
O what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow
Then should I spur though mounted on the wind,
In winged speed no motion shall I know
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace,
Therefore desire (of perfects love being made)
Shall neigh no dull flesh in his fiery race,
But love for love, thus shall excuse my jade,
Since from thee going, he went wilful slow,
Towards thee I'll run and give him leave to go.
1st Line. Show offence-the offence of going slowly.
6th Line. Swift extremity-extreme swiftness.
7th Line. Mounted on the wind-compare 2 Henry
4-"Making the wind my posthorse ".
8th and 9th Lines. Though he was flying, his impatience
would make him think that he was standing
This sonnet is a continuation of the preceding Sonnet No.50.
Here Bacon writes that he excuses the offence of his horse for
going so slowly, for why should he himself hasten away from
where his love is-and ride away as though mounted on the
wind-that his love must excuse his horse for going so slowly
away from her-that he gives his horse leave to go slowly but
Bacon will run towards his love.