A sonnet written as part of the play Worse Things Happen At Sea - a mock Shakespeare comedy
Claude, a brilliant scholar, is in love with the Duke's daughter, Vesta, but because he is the son of Vesta's nanny he is not considered a suitable suitor. The Duke has insisted Vesta marry, and to provide for what he sees as her happiness, Claude is promoting the interests of Ludovico, a young, wealthy nobleman from Florence. Ludovico is marrying mainly for alliance rather than love. Through the machination of the evil Sir Hugo De Malmanche, Ludovico is banished and while he is away, Claude arranges to have his letters passed to Vesta, however he is appalled at the lukewarm nature of the correspondence when Ludovico sends a postcard saying "Weather lovely, wish you were here".
"Is this what I must pass her?" Claude rails. "Nay, she deserveth better, and shall have it." So, he sets about turning the note into a sonnet, which essentially says the same thing - but rather more "poetically":
The gentle dew doth jewel the verdant hill
and string with pearls the webs between the trees;
No cruel wind shakes the rosebud on the rill,
Though softly do they bend beneath a breeze
which light as passing sparrows' wing doth stroke
their velvet skins. The sky’s unclouded dome
encompasseth the morn with azure cloak;
the waves lap at the beach, uncapped by foam
and murmur soft as bees upon the sand.
The sun upon my cheek doth place a kiss
as warm and sweet as touch from fragrant hand
and promiseth a day of boundless bliss.
And yet ‘spite all, my love not being by
I have no heart for sun, nor breeze, nor sky.