Sonnet XI: The Art of War

How strangely opposite our sameness then,
My friend; although I know thy form–as hard
As mine–not pliant, nor as soft, we men;
Nor sweet, as  fond our distaff we regard.

With toil, these untendered limbs are scarred,
That reach for thee, though laughingly, with force
To equal thine, as though we will have sparred–
Yet battle merely reticent remorse.

And, having long since made our peace, the source
Of this reserve has fuelled our desire;
And brought us far along our wicked course!
That we, forbidden wickedness, conspire.

And–battle, artistry, or sin–we choose
This contest both would win, or wish to lose.

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

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