Breaking our journey home at Stratford on Sunday, we had the good fortune to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace and were even luckier in chancing upon a Shakespearian actor who offered us (the tourists) a speech or a sonnet. A lady called for a sonnet and we were presented with this one – in the room where Shakespeare’s sisters slept.
When in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least,
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state
(Like to the lark at break of day arising),
From sullen earth sings hymns at Heaven’s gate,
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with Kings.