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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 51


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 51
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Sonnet 51



The slow-moving horse (of s. 50) will have no excuse for his plodding gait on the return journey, for which even the fastest horse, the poet realizes, will be too slow. Returning to the beloved, desire and love will outrun any horse.

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?
4Till 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;
8In 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.
12But love for love thus shall excuse my jade:
 “Since from thee going he went willful slow,
 Towards thee I’ll run, and give him leave to go.”