Poem introduction

True love, says the poet, is like a sea mark, placed on the coast to give sailors a constant point of reference, or like a star by which one can navigate. This is a meditation on the nature of constant love.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds... (Sonnet 116)

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come: 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare Downloads read by James Fenton

1Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage

£0.89

2Sonnet 130: My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun

£0.89

3Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee

£0.89

4Sonnet 73: That time of year thou mayst in me behold

£0.89

5Sonnet 65: Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea

£0.89

6Sonnet 19: Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws

£0.89

7Sonnet 147: My love is like a fever, longing still

£0.89

8Sonnet 20

£0.89

Books by William Shakespeare