For Which We Toil'd

The explanations of the popular movement that made Shakespeare's "Sonnet XXV" the 32nd Amendment to the Constitution will never, I am convinced, really capture the national mood that made it happen. Moods, plural, one should say, since there were multiple and differing causes.

Differing to the point of contradiction, to be quite honest.

Nor will it be easy to explain why the 29th Sonnet—the one commentators felt sure would be ratified first, of all the Sonnet Amendments—faltered, and fell from favor.

The cynical sneer, and assert that Americans will never give up their yearning to be kings.

That may be. It is clear that metaphor has been a difficult pill for the Federal bench to swallow. One need only review their poorly handled squabbles over which phrase ("Let those who are in favour" or "and all the rest forgot") is the Amendment's enabling clause . . . well, it was perhaps too much to expect judges to cope with Beauty.

Still, on sticky summer evenings in East Tennessee, I find myself hoping that eventually the promise of the 32nd Amendment will be fulfilled.

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