Shakespeare continues to paint an unattractive picture of this mistress. He says, “If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. If I have seen roses damasked, red and white, but no such roses see I in her cheeks” (lines 4-6).
Again, she is not perceived as beautiful. Her hair is coarse and wiry and her cheeks have no color and luster. The reader may question how he can love someone with no physically appealing qualities.
However, her unattractiveness goes beyond her physical appearance. In lines seven through ten, he relates other objectionable things about his love. He says, “As in some perfumes is there more delight tan in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know that music hath a far more pleasing sound.” The woman in question is plagued with bad breath and an unpleasant voice. However, when he talks about liking the sound of her voice, a shift occurs in the sonnet.
At the end of the poem, he justifies all of the negative things said about this mistress. He says of her, “I grant I never saw a goddess go; my mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground. And yet, by heaven, I think my love is rare as any she belied with false compare” (l. 11-14).
Although this woman is not some kind of goddess and is very human, he loves her for who she is because she is an uncommon love and has no pretenses.