Sonnet 116

By William Shakespeare

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 wand'ring 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 prov'd, 

I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

This sonnet was first published in 1609. In the 1609 Quarto it is mis-numbered as 119. It is now in the public domain. Wikipedia has a reasonable description of its meaning as well as a short description of why scholars believe it is not, actually, a love poem.

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