My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease;
Instead of trying to get his mind off the object of his obsession, the lovesick speaker keeps thinking about his beloved, which only makes matters worse.
This speaker is experiencing many of the classic symptoms of romantic infatuation or limerence, a term coined by psychologist Dorothy Tennov in 1979. He suffers from intrusive, compulsive, often irrational (“reason…Hath left me”) thinking about the object of love, as well as constant anxiety. On the other hand, he no longer idealizes the beloved as in classic limerence, as the end of the sonnet shows. The fever appears, in fact, to be breaking—he’s coming down from his infatuated high.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Sonnet 147” by William Shakespeare and leave a comment on the lyrics box