O therefore, love, be of thyself so wary As I, not for myself, but for thee will, Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
In Sonnet 22, the speaker addresses a loved one, saying that they each hold the other’s heart. Given such a sacred trust, they must each treat the other’s affection and commitment carefully. Here, the speaker compares his loved one’s heart to a baby, acknowledging her extreme fragility. Such a recognition reflects that while they feel such love for each other, they have the power to hurt one another as well.
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.
In the conclusion to Sonnet 94, the speaker warns of the potential for beautiful people to exploit their attributes. He uses an analogy of flowers and weeds to compare beautiful and ordinary people. People who use their beauty to their own advantage have the effect of rotten lilies: Their actions give more offense than ordinary people who, like weeds, leave no foul traces. As people with great beauty have the option to use their appearance for personal gain, the speaker believes that having beauty may tempt a person to take dangerous or amoral actions in life.
Is lust in action, and till action, lust Is perjured, murd’rous, bloody, full of blame, Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust.
In Sonnet 129, the speaker explains the dangers of sexual desire. Such a craving for pleasure can cause a person to become violent and untrustworthy until gratified. The speaker contends that the pursuit of sexual pleasure for its own sake damages people and relationships. In addition, he admits that everyone knows about the dangers of this form of self-indulgence, yet no one exercises the self-control to keep the associated cruel behaviors from happening. Such a statement reveals the power that lust has to trump logic in most situations.