Maybe I’m mistaken, but I find this sonnet quite unsettling… it has a nightmarish quality, the fever that love has induced is the sort of experience that the madness of love induces, and the madness brings strange perhaps even ridiculous notions and thoughts. it’s very powerful, and although I am glad I’m no longer teaching, I would have loved to have taught this! My students always had such interesting insights into poetry, it enabled me to see things from a different perspective!
My love is as a fever longing still,
For that which longer nurseth the disease;
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
The uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now Reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen’s are,
At random from the truth vainly expressed;
For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.