Or whether doth my mind, being crowned with you,
Drink up the monarch’s plague, this flattery?
Or whether shall I say mine eye saith true,
And that your love taught it this alchemy,
To make of monsters and things indigest
Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble,
Creating every bad a perfect best
As fast as objects to his beams assemble?
O ’tis the first; ’tis flattery in my seeing,
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up.
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is greeing,
And to his palate doth prepare the cup.
If it be poisoned, ’tis the lesser sin
That mine eye loves it and doth first begin.
(Continuing from Sonnet 113) Is it the case that my mind, flattered by your love, has become susceptible to pleasurable delusions? Or is it the case that my eyes are seeing accurately, and my love for you has given me magical powers to turn monsters and shapeless things into angels that look like your sweet self, transforming every bad sight into the best and most perfect thing as fast as it comes into my field of vision? Oh, the first is true: My eyes are deluded, and my mind accepts these delusions like a king accepts flattery. My eye knows perfectly well what I like to see, and it shows me what it knows I’ll enjoy. Though its visions are poisoned by falsehood, my eye can be partially excused by the fact that it likes these false visions too and consumes them first, like a servant who tastes the king’s food to see if it’s poisoned.