Thus can my love excuse the slow offense
Of my dull bearer, when from thee I speed:
From where thou art, why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In wingèd speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;
Therefore desire, of perfect’st love being made,
Shall neigh no dull flesh in his fiery race,
But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade:
Since from thee going he went wilful slow,
Towards thee I’ll run, and give him leave to go.
(Continuing from Sonnet 50) This is how my love for you excuses my horse’s slow plod as I journey away from you: “Why should I hurry away from you?” Until I return, there’s no need to rush. But what excuse will my poor horse have for his slowness then, when even the most extreme swiftness will seem slow to me? On the return journey I’d use my spurs even if the animal rode like the wind. Even if my horse had wings I’d feel like we were standing still. No horse could keep up with my desire then. My desire, made of the most perfect love, will race toward you like a horse made of fire, not neigh like a slow, dull horse made of flesh and blood. But, my love, out of love I’ll excuse my horse like this: Since he deliberately went slowly as he was leaving you, I’ll run back to you and forget about the horse altogether.