until such an upheaval occurs, the lovers remained star-crossed, destined like parallel lines never to meet; although such lines may extend forever, they will never cross. The speaker suggests the imperfection of oblique lines that do intersect, suggesting lovers that "in every angle greet" lack the perfect spiritual love that he shares with his lover. This creates the paradoxical conditions that first, while they share, they never meet, and second, perfection, a desired state, equates to eternal separation, an undesirable state. The final stanza concludes that these lovers enjoy only a mental intercourse, a perfect way to unite. Their relationship is compared to that of the "opposition of the stars," the final phrase of the poem. While his reference to astronomy remains unclear, he may suggest that the two share a position within the same astrological plane, like two planets within the same zodiac sign, although positioned at opposite ends.
Most modern criticism focuses on the poem's curiously impersonal tone when dealing with such a personal subject.
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