Transcript Sonnet 147
By: Cheryl Larson (stunning)
Elena Fox (beautiful)
This sonnet was written to the Dark Lady,
which Sonnets 126-154 are written to.
This particular sonnet was written to the
narrator’s mistress, who seems to be very
The narrator wants to know why, in spite of
his judgment of reason, he is still enslaved
by his mistress.
1. My love is as a fever, longing still
My love is like a fever, still longing
2. For that which longer nurseth the disease,
For that which feeds on the disease,
3. Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
Feeding on what prolongs the illness,
4. The uncertain sickly appetite to please.
All to please the unhealthy desires of the
5. My reason, the physician to my love,
My reason, love’s doctor,
6. Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Angry that I do not follow his directions,
7. Hath left me, and now I desperate now
Has left me, and desperate I find that
8. Desire is death, which physic did except.
Desire leads to death, which reason will
9. Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
Now reason is past curing, now I am past
10. And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
And I am frantic with continual unrest.
11. My thoughts and my discourse as
My thoughts and my words are like a
12. At random from the vainly express’d;
Lies foolishly uttered;
13. For I have sworn thee fair and thought
For I thought you were moral and bright
(shining as a star),
14. Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
But you really are black as hell and dark
Shakespeare attacks the morality of his mistress, and this
shows that their overall relationship is tumultuous
(disorderly) and perplexing.
The narrator of this poem is struggling to cope with his
lover’s infidelity (disloyalty) and his desire to still be
sexually intimate with her.
The narrator is confused by his urges, and his reason is at
odds with his “sickly appetite” for the dark lady.
In the end, the narrator deems himself insane, because he
calls his mistress just and moral, when she is clearly not.
Sickly (4)- love is like an illness or disease to
The physician to my love (5)- the narrator’s
reason acts as his doctor, advising him on what
he should do
Approve (7)- find by experience
Black (14)- a play on the dark complexion of the