Sonnet 153

Shakespeare. Sonnet 1

«Cupid laid by his brand, and fell asleep:
A maid of Dian’s this advantage found».  

The last two sonnets, which may be considered as appendices to the preceding sonnet story, do not touch upon any of the major themes in the sonnets.

Sonnet 153
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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 borrow’d 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 distemper’d guest,
But found no cure: the bath for my help lies
Where Cupid got new fire–my mistress’ eyes.

»»» Sonnets introduction
»»» Sonnets complete list

In Sonnet 153, after Cupid, god of love, falls asleep, a “maid of Dian’s” steals Cupid’s “love-kindling fire” and extinguishes it in a golden valley’s fountain. As the fountain absorbs the heat from the fire, the water acts as a curative potion for “strange maladies” — for example, love sickness. However, the poet finds the best cure for his passion in his mistress’ eyes.

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English audio from YouTube Channel Socratica

Summary from

»»» Sonnets introduction
»»» Sonnets complete list

Shakespeare’s sonnets explore a wide range of emotions and themes, from love and loss to time and mortality. Many of them are addressed to a mysterious young man, whom scholars have speculated was a real person or perhaps an idealized version of Shakespeare himself. Whatever their subject matter, Shakespeare’s sonnets are remarkable for their insight, beauty, and eloquence. It is no wonder that they have inspired poets for centuries.