Sonnet IV: (William Shakespeare)

Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
Upon thyself thy beauty’s legacy?
Nature’s bequest gives nothing but doth lend,
And being frank she lends to those are free.

Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse
The bounteous largess given thee to give?
Profitless usurer, why dost thou use
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live?

For having traffic with thyself alone,
Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive.
Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone,
What acceptable audit canst thou leave?

Thy unused beauty must be tomb’d with thee,
Which, used, lives th’ executor to be.

Sonnet III:

That glass, one face doth from another, shield,
When mirrored, grace thy fair and barren bloom.
To form another, thou wouldst not be healed;
So blest, wouldst thou thy mother’s youth resume?

No fairer she, shouldst thou thy youth regain;
Nor he, by his posterity revealed.
Thou must not still thy husbandry disdain;
But fury-chafe, an till thy blighted field.

Doth Winter’s harvest care to April’s thresh;
Or dare to rite the golden Spring again?
Cares now Thy Prime for Legacy as Flesh;
When thou art loved and fond in love remain?

So choose: Thy tomb, in single fray enmesh;
Or Heaven’s womb, thine image pray make fresh.

This sonnet is part of a short, or
possibly at some point, very long
sequence; click here to read it all:

Sonnet III: (William Shakespeare)

Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest
Now is the time that face should form another;
Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,
Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.

For where is she so fair whose unear’d womb
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
Or who is he so fond will be the tomb
Of his self-love, to stop posterity?

Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime:
So thou through windows of thine age shall see
Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.

But if thou live, remember’d not to be,
Die single, and thine image dies with thee.

Sonnet II:

But shall thy youth’s proud beauty not yet wane,
Though fifty winters shall thy brow besiege;
Each furrow earned, a worthy harvest; gaining
Greater beauty each, for youth’s unease.

Thy treasure lieth deep in Wisdom’s care;
For all shall see, as bright as doth remain
Fair beauty’s lustful youth: Beyond compare,
Shall count thy beauty’s truth; and fond sustain

Those many or those few who might impute
Thee wisdom, beauty’s blood to thee compare;
Let thy succession, warm or aught, repute
Thee not, the better to be taught; for where

May please thy children wisdom to dilute;
Yet these, thy words, made wisdom beauty’s fruit.

This sonnet is part of a short, or
possibly at some point, very long
sequence; click here to read it all:

Sonnet II: (William Shakespeare)

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.

Sonnet I: Hourglass

As dawn they rise whilst waning moon are we;
How fairest they wherefrom increase our lives;
Incalescence to our recondity,
As one might give, the other so deprives.

Yet in thine eye burns reason’s flame; as fell,
As rivalled, any flame of spring might be;
And seem’st thou wise to all wherewith thou dwell’,
Though reason’s merest bloom to wisdom’s tree.

And through thy tempest, still art thou as fair
In deed, in sight, content to slake and quell
The worst of spring. Thou: tender, unaware,
Dost far more bring than wouldst thou take.  As well,

Thine innocence doth thrive: awake, laid bare;
So true, wilt thou survive the world’s despair.

This sonnet is part of a short, or
possibly at some point, very long
sequence; click here to read it all:

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Intro 1: William Shakespeare, Sonnet I

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
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