Whenever I’m feeling down about myself, cursing my bad luck, and crying out to Gods of fate who hear me not, Whenever I’m wishing I had another’s life and fortune, longing for more friends, more hope and stronger disposition, happily I move to sit in quiet outdoors and set my sights on thee, and set a gentle pat on my back…
…and then, like sun rays bursting through the clouds, it dawns on me my worth, and such love from thee remembered over many years blesses me with the wealth that I no longer want to trade my life for even kings.
That was Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29 — in my own words, because I want you to understand his.
I cherish a recording of the sonnet set to music by Rufas Wainwright and wish I could share the tune with you, but I don’t think it’s online…
When, In Disgrace With Fortune and Men’s Eyesby William Shakespeare (1564-1616)When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.