Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep:
A maid of Dian’s this advantage found,
And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep
In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;
Which borrowed from this holy fire of Love,
A dateless lively heat, still to endure,
And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove
Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
But at my mistress’ eye Love’s brand new-fired,
The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;
I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,
And thither hied, a sad distempered guest,
But found no cure, the bath for my help lies
Where Cupid got new fire; my mistress’ eyes.
Sonnet 153: Translation to modern English
Cupid set his torch aside and fell asleep. A maid who served Diana took advantage and quickly immersed his love-inducing fire in a cold spring nearby. The spring borrowed heat from this holy fire of love and became an eternal, hot, bubbling bath which men still regard as a universal cure for illness. But, with one look from my mistress, Cupid’s torch flared up again and he tested it by touching my heart with it. Lovesick, I needed the bath to cure me of it so I hurried there, a sad, sick visitor, but I found no cure: the bath was of no help – the only thing that could work was the one thing that gave Cupid his new fire – a glance from my mistress’s eye.
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