If my dear love were but the child of state,
It might for Fortune’s bastard be unfathered,
As subject to time’s love or to time’s hate,
Weeds among weeds, or flow'rs with flowers gathered.
No, it was builded far from accident;
It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls
Under the blow of thrallèd discontent,
Whereto th' inviting time our fashion calls.
It fears not policy, that heretic,
Which works on leases of short numb’red hours.
But all alone stands hugely politic,
That it nor grows with heat nor drowns with showers.
To this I witness call the fools of time,
Which die for goodness, who have lived for crime.
If my great love for you had simply been created by circumstances, it might be rejected as illegitimate because changing circumstances could destroy it. It would be subject to whatever’s in fashion at the moment, rejected with worthless things or plucked up with other fashionable flowers. No, my love was created where it can’t be touched by the unpredictability of events. It’s not helped by the approval of authority, nor is it crushed along with the malcontents who resist authority, as these times tempt us to do. My love isn’t afraid of the political scheming and conniving engaged in by immoral people, which only has a short term effect, but stands by itself, independent and enormously wise, neither growing during times of pleasure nor killed by misfortune. To attest to what I’m saying, I call as witnesses all those fools who died repentant and seeking goodness after living lives dedicated to crime.