SONNET 138– When my love swears that she is made of truth
When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth,
Unlearned in the world’s false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she think me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue-
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust ?
And wherefore says not I that I am old?
O, love’s best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told.
Therefore I lie with her and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flattered be.
Summary of the Poem
When my lady-love sears that she is the incarnation of truth. I believe, her, although I know she is lying. She thinks that I am an inexperienced truth, unacquainted with the falsehood of the world. She vainly thinks that I am young, although she knows that I am past my prime. In that case, I simply pretend to believe her false tongue. Thus on both sides, falsehood is there. But why does she not admit that she is not true? And why don’t I say that I am old? The reason is that in love one assumes an attitude of truthfulness. It is also that the old lover does not want to be reminded of his age. Thus both of us lie with each other, and thus cover up our faults.
When my love……………false subtleties.
Reference— This stanza has been taken from the poem ‘When my love’ composed by William Shakespeare.
Context- In this above stanza Shakespeare tells that he is growing old, while his mistress is still young. His mistress tells him that she is in love with him, thus giving him the impression that he is still young man.
Explanation- Shakespeare says that when my mistress says on oath that she is a true and loyal woman. I do believe her even though I know that she is telling me a lie. I believe her in order to confirm her belief that I am an inexperienced young man completely ignorant of the deceptive and cunning actions of the people in this world. Outwardly and seemingly she thinks me to be a raw young man.
Thus vainly thinking………. truth suppressed.
Reference- These lines have been taken from the poem ‘When My Love composed by William Shakespeare
Context- In these lines Shakespeare tell that my mistress vainly thinks that I am young, although she knows that I am past my prime.
Explanation- Poet says that although she knows it well that I have already crossed the prime of my youth. I simply believe her words which I know to be false. (Or, I put up a pretence that I believe her statement that she is true tome). In this way the plain and simple truth is suppressed both by her and by me. But why does she not say that she has told me a lie, and why do I not say that I am now an old man? The reason is that the best show which a lover or a beloved can put up is to pretend that they trust each other (even though they know that each is deceiving the other).
But wherefore says…………we flattered be.
Reference- These lines have been taken from the poem ‘When My Love composed by William Shakespeare.
Context- In these lines Shakespeare believes her untruths because a lover always tries to produces an impression that he trusts his mistress even when she tells lie.
Explanation- Shakespeare says that the reason also is that a man, who is in love, does not want his age to be correctly told. Therefore I tell lies to her; and she tells lies to me. In this way each of us flatters the other by committing this fault, namely telling lies. (Or, I lie with her in bed, and she lies with me in bed; and by making love to each other, we feel flattered by our very fault which consists in our false love-making, intended to be a source of only sensual or sexual pleasure to us).
It is the their loving heart that matters, which they already have to this way, says the poet, she lies with him and he lies with her in order to please each other. In this way they lie in speech in order that they may lie side by side.
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