Musings

The Shakespeare Guide to Valentine’s Day

Are you still looking for the best way to woo a secret crush this weekend? Or to make your significant other think you’re super romantic? Well no fear, lovely readers! I have your answer: Mr. William Shakespeare, of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Shakespeare didn’t just write plays, oh no. He wrote SONNETS. Now, full disclosure, I love sonnets. You could recite a sonnet to me from Shakespeare and I’d fall head over heels even if it was about death. (I’m not exactly sure if I’m kidding.) Anyway, these sonnets are my favorite love sonnets of his, and I guarantee you that 57% of the time they’ll work 100% of time!*

For your “hate-you-but-I-love-you” person:
Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all:
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?
No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;
All mine was thine before thou hadst this more.
Then if for my love thou hadst this more.
Then if for my love thou my love receivest,
I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest;
But yet be blam’d if thou thyself deceivest
By wilful taste of what thyself refusest.
I do forgive thy robb’ry, gentle thief,
Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
And yet, love knows it is a greater grief
To bear love’s wrong than hate’s known injury.
Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows,
Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes.

For your “can’t-get-enough-of-you” person:
When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And, darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow’s form form happy show
To the clear day with much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.

For your “food-is-our-other-love” person:
So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hole such strife
As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found,
Now proud as an enjoyer, an anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure;
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then better’d that the world may see my pleasure;
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight,
And by and by clean starved for a look;
Possessing or pursing no delight
Save what is had or must from you be took.
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all or all away.

For your “this-is-true-love” person (aka the classic one):
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

So there you go! Go find love this Valentine’s Day, courtesy of Billy.

*Maybe

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