Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlook’d for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes’ favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun’s eye,
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil’d,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toil’d:
Then happy I, that love and am beloved
Where I may not remove nor be removed.
I love this sonnet, and it is totally relevant to our modern society. The poem has such a profound message we know is true, yet somehow we forget.
Everyone knows that fame, fortune, and glory do not bring a person happiness. These are trappings of life which are fleeting, momentary, and often distract us from what is important in life—love and interpersonal connections with others. We all know on some level that this is true, and yet, we so often lose ourselves in the quest for things outside ourselves to fill the void we feel within. But the money is never enough; the fame or superficial approval never quite does it. It is only when we connect with another person on a deep level that we feel the love that fills us with true happiness and contentment.
This poem is a reminder to me, in these unsettled times, to focus on what is most important in my life: my family, my friends, my music, my writing, my spiritual life. Everything else is, well, just stuff.
Thanks for stopping by, and may you have a wonderful day with people you love.