"Sonnet CXX"

Marc-André Raffalovich

In this Shakespearian sonnet, Raffalovich is condemning other men in British society who judged or wished harm upon him and his lover due to their sexuality. The poem expresses that the two lovers have done nothing to harm anyone and that he chooses living how they are happiest over the approval of others.


Put on that languor which the world frowns on,
That blamed misleading strangeness of attire,
And let them see that see us we have done
With their false worldliness and look up higher.
Because the world has treated us so ill
And brought suspicion near our happiness,
Let men that like to slander as they will;
It shall not be my fault if we love less.
Because we two who never did them harm,
And never dreamt of harm ourselves, find men
So eager to perplex us and alarm
And scare from us our dove-like thoughts, well then
Since 'twixt the world and truth must be our choice,
Let us seem vile, not be so, and rejoice.

Title of volume of first printing
It Is Thyself
Walter Scott, London