SONNET NO. 99
The forward violet thus did I chide,
Sweet Thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells
If not from my love's breath, the purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells?
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dyed
The lily I condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair;
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another white despair:
A third nor red nor white had stol'n of both,
And to his robbery had annex'd thy breath;
But, for his theft, in pride of all his growth
A vengeful canker eat him up to death,
More flowers I noted, yet I none could see,
But sweet or colour it had stol'n from thee.
Note the repetition of the following, we find-thy sweet, thy
soft cheek, thy hand, thy hair, thy breath (see 95 and 96 and 100).
7th Line. Majoram flowers are dark auburn in colour.
In this sonnet (the only one with fifteen (instead of fourteen)
lines) Bacon is comparing his love Marguerite with certain flowers, he writes that the violet had stolen its sweet smell from his loves breath.
That the purple pride (a saxifrage with rosy
coloured flowers) is like her complexion-that the lily is like
her hands-that buds of Marjoram (a sweet smelling aromatic
herb) had stolen her hair-that red roses were blushing shame
and white roses despair-that he had noted other flowers all of
which had stolen perfume and colour from his love.
to the Sonnet Directory