When forty winters shall beseige thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,
Thy youth’s proud livery, so gazed on now,
Will be a tatter’d weed, of small worth held:
Then being ask’d where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days;
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserved thy beauty’s use,
If thou couldst answer ‘This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,’
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel’st it cold.
But wherefore do not you a mightier way
Make war upon this bloody tyrant time
And fortify your self in your decay
With means more blessèd than my barren rhyme?
Now stand you on the top of happy hours,
And many maiden gardens yet unset,
With virtuous wish would bear your living flow’rs,
Much liker than your painted counterfeit:
So should the lines of life that life repair
Which this (time’s pencil or my pupil pen)
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair
Can make you live your self in eyes of men;
To give away your self keeps your self still,
And you must live drawn by your own sweet skill.
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun.
Coral is far more red, than her lips’ red.
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun.
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask’t, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks,
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than 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.
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground;
And yet by heav’n I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
So are you to my thoughts as food to life
Or as sweet season’d show’rs are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found,
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure,
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then better’d that the world may see my pleasure,
Some-time all full with feasting on your sight,
And by and by clean starvèd for a look,
Possessing or pursuing no delight
Save what is had, or must from you be took.
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all, or all away.
Against my love shall be as I am now
With time’s injurious hand crush’t and o’er-worn,
When hours have drain’d his blood and fill’d his brow
With lines and wrinkles, when his youthful morn
Hath travail’d on to age’s steepy night,
And all those beauties whereof now he’s king
Are vanishing, or vanish’t out of sight,
Stealing away the treasure of his spring.
For such a time do I now fortify
Against confounding age’s cruel knife,
That he shall never cut from memory
My sweet love’s beauty, though my lover’s life.
His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,
And they shall live, and he in them still green.
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.