«The little Love-god lying once asleep
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand».
Sonnet 154 tells a similar story as the one in Sonnet 153. Cupid falls asleep and a nymph steals his “heart-inflaming brand.” She quenches the brand in a cool well, but the poet, who has come to the well to find relief from his love for the mistress, continues to suffer: “Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love.” The poet’s disease is incurable, as we have known it must always be.
The little Love-god lying once asleep
English audio from YouTube Channel Socratica
Summary from Cliffsnotes.com
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.