The Greek word that inspired this sonnet is mania… obsessive love.
The metaphors for the love interest in each quatrain develop through the sonnet. At first, the object of affection/adoration/obsession is a “flare” shot into the sky by a person in distress.
In the second quatrain, the love interest is golden treasure “buried deep” underground. The speaker’s claim to be able to “cleanse” its golden “spirit”, suggests they feel moral superiority over their acquisition.
In the final quatrain, the love interest is a “coloured diamond” that has been “won” by the speaker. In this quatrain, the relationship between speaker and love interest has become one of ownership: the “flaws” within their form become the means of controlling them.
The capping couplet sums up the relationship between speaker and the person who has inspired their mania. The object of interest has become exactly that – an object.
Flare Your face a flare; the crowd dull huddled clouds Transcended by the beacon bold and bright That these grey ghouls would smother with their shrouds Before your glow can set the scene alight. Your spirit gold: precious and buried deep. Keen hunter, I will prize you from your cell. My shining cloth will mop the tears you weep, And cleanse you of that subterranean hell. Your form, cut coloured diamond in my hand At auction won by my impressive bid, Your unique flaws are sure as any brand, A treasure simply traced need not be hid. When I have glimpsed a chance, I grab the grail, No storm, no spoil, no price, will make me fail.