What potions have I drunk of siren tears,
Distilled from limbecks foul as hell within,
Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears,
Still losing when I saw myself to win!
What wretched errors hath my heart committed,
Whilst it hath thought itself so blessèd never!
How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted
In the distraction of this madding fever!
O benefit of ill, now I find true
That better is by evil still made better;
And ruined love when it is built anew
Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater.
So I return rebuked to my content,
And gain by ills thrice more than I have spent.
(Continuing from Sonnet 118) I’ve given myself medicines that seemed seductively sweet but in reality were foul as hell. I forced myself to doubt the things I was hopeful about and to be hopeful about what I should have worried about, always losing just when I expected myself to win! My heart committed wretched errors right at the moment when I thought I had never been more blessed! My eyes have popped out of their sockets in the delirium of this fever! But, oh, the benefits that evil brings! Now I see it’s true that good things can be made even better through evil, and that when you ruin love and then rebuild it, it grows more beautiful than it was at first, as well as stronger and greater. So, having been rebuked for my mistake, I return to the person who makes me happy, and because of my evil deeds I get back three times what I spent.
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