By William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O, no! it is an ever fixèd mark, That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's and compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error, and upon me prov'd, I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd

*Back in my salad days I had fallen in love with a particularly wonderful girl. We had dated for some time, but at some point she decided that her feelings for me had changed and she decided to end the relationship. For several years afterwards, I rather stubbornly refused to acknowledge this fact. I (naively) reasoned that since she had loved me once, and if her love (or any love) had existed at all, then it existed forever (somewhere). Shortly after that, I discovered this poem and was overjoyed; I was sure that she would return. I read it over and over every night like a personal prayer (which I guess it was); after endless repetitions, I eventually memorized the poem (although it was not my intention to do so). She never returned and the poem transmogrified into a mantra against loneliness and failure; one that I would (usually) recite before falling asleep. Lying in the dark, I would repeat these words to quiet my mind and snuff out the day.

Today I realized that I forgot the words to this poem. Worse yet, I forgot why I had memorized it in the first place.

Sometimes I really hate irony.