Sonnets

Never before Imprinted.

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea.
But sad mortality o'er-sways their power.
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea?
O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out.
Against the wrackful siege of batt'ring days.
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but time decays?
O fearful meditation! Where, alack,
Shall time's best jewel from time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
.
O, non, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

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Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd.
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd,
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st.
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

If my dear love were but the child of state,
It might for Fortune's bastard be unfathered,
As subject to Time's love or to Time's hate,
Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gathered.