Posted by: Phoebe | August 30, 2009

Love Sonnet to a Keyboardist (by W. Shakespeare)

In reading my Shakespeare homework I happened upon this sonnet. The Beloved to whom the sonnet is addressed is playing a keyboard instrument, probably the virginal, which is similar to a harpsichord. Needless to say, this poem tickled my fancy!


Sonnet 128

How oft, when thou, my music, music play’st
Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds
With thy sweet fingers when thou gently sway’st
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,*
Do I envy those jacks* that nimble leap
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand
Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap,
At the wood’s boldness by thee blushing stand!
To be so tickled they would change their state
And situation with those dancing chips
O’er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait,
Making dead wood more blessed than living lips.

Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.

*amazes my ear
*keys of the virginal; (alternative meaning) fellows


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