What is the strangeness that unites two minds,
Disparate, contrapuntal, female, male,
That never thought such beings of two kinds
Could join, like ships that on the ocean sail
And meet and cross, as though predestinate,
When all the spacious oceans intervene
And yet their forms must coalesce and mate
Making a marriage where no match was seen?
For of your form there is some entity
Which draws from me that equal opposite
Which only longs to go where you might be
And cannot live unless you sanction it.
All of the you in me is of this sort
That where I am you are the living heart.
How might I write so that in every line
Others might see the beauty of your eyes
And know each feature by the serpentine
Wreathing of words that in the sonnet lies?
So that whoever reads it then might say
“She is the one his verses praise and hymn,
For each of the words most faithfully portray
That which we see, eyes, forehead, nose and chin.”
But, love, it is a thing impossible,
For words cannot encompass all your beauty,
And should I but try, it were mere ridicule
And grossest dereliction of my duty:
Which is to say that you outmatch description,
And all which it attempts is folly’s fiction.