Love is not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come.
These lines have been drawn from Shakespeare’s sonnet 116. This sonnet has been dedicated to the imperishable beauty of the young patron and the indestructible love. While talking about the victory of actual love over the onslaught of time, Shakespeare has uttered these lines.
Here Shakespeare has launched an eternal poetic war between love and time. He tells that time is very powerful and potential. It destroys everything on its forward march. It is simply irresistible and invincible. But sincere and faithful love is not a slave to it. Devoted and genuine lovers can register their triumph over tine. Here the poet looked upon love not from a physical angle but from a psychological or mental perspective.
The poet has firmly asserted that physical love, indicated by rosy lips and cheeks, is subject to the shackles of time. It is also subject to decay. destruction and death. But spiritual, platonic, divine or celestial love otherwise known as the alliance or union of true hearts, conquers everything. It is not subordinate or subservient to time. Time can now down everything with its omnipotent sickle or scythe but it cannot annihilate of obliterating genuine feelings and passions.
These two lines are not only thematically important but also metaphorically significant. Here these lines depict time as an idiotic servant and love as an authoritative master. These lines highlight the victory of real love over the ravages of time. Time has also been endowed with certain living attributes. It has been shown as a reaper or a harvester with a sickle in his hand. These lines express Shakespeare’s assertion or affirmation regarding the triumph of sincere love over the onward march of time. The poet’s faith in spiritual or celestial love has also been amply demonstrated through these lines.