Sonnet 29

Here’s William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29:

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.

In so many ways, it sounds like a Psalm: an honest, poetic reflection on the miseries of life.

Yet, remembering the love of just one person breaks the spell, and he is content.

If it is about the power and delight of friendship, it is thoroughly satisfactory. Friendship is worthy of this celebration.

Yet, if it is also about the love of God, it incites worship in my heart. To be God’s beloved? It is enough to be at peace.