Act of Compare

Love writ more lovely than a summer’s day,
less ruffled, less blemished, less deeply scarred,
less the sullied victim of Time’s decay;
alas, the figment of a love-bit bard.
Dreamed far more perfect than is Nature’s deal,
more radiant than any daisy’s blush,
more precious than a gift from Fortune’s wheel;
beyond the beauty of a painter’s brush.
Love so beguiling, takes grip of each breath…
Love so intriguing, bemuses his heart…
Love so enduring, makes nonsense of death…
Love so endearing, it tears him apart…
. Contentment makes most of love’s sweet affair,
. nothing is gained by the act of compare.

© Tim Grace, 27 August 2011


To the reader: We learn to measure through comparison and through this determine our tastes and preferences. We discriminate good from bad on the basis of quality; an intangible sense of excellence. That incomparable ‘youthful beauty’ might outlive the ravages of time, through ‘eternal lines’ is a romantic notion; an admirable claim: ‘Yet do thy worst, old Time; despite thy wrong, my love shall in my verse ever live young.’

To the poet: Alas… the torment of describing Love’s beauteous youthful perfection, with skill enough to defeat the tyranny of Time is nothing less than torturous. Between Sonnet 18 and Sonnet 65, Shakespeare pens every word in beauty’s defence until distracted (sleepless and exhausted) he declares in Sonnet 66 his defeat: ‘Tired of all these, for restful, death I cry (from these would I be gone) … save that to die, I leave my love alone.


 

act of compare

act of compare

 

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