Or whether doth my mind, being crowned with you,
Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery?
Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true,
And that your love taught it this alchemy,
To make of monsters and things indigest
Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble,
Creating every bad a perfect best,
As fast as objects to his beams assemble?
O! 'tis the first, 'tis flattery in my seeing,
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up:
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing,
And to his palate doth prepare the cup:
If it be poisoned, 'tis the lesser sin
That mine eye loves it and doth first begin.
Is the poet's mind flattered, like a king, by the youth's presence, or is it simply a truth that is being told by his eyes that ugly things are made beautiful by the mental image of the youth? Surely it must be flattery, that he consumes like a king. He knows he enjoys it even if it's poisonous. Even if it is, it's less of a sin because his eye is motivated by love.