Sonnet: Brief Candles

These two sweet lights so lovely, do I bear
To watch them fade? Each to each as fair,
Such rapt attention weighed. So adored,
But see the other dim, must each prepare?

Must I accept their fate without despair
As once I disobeyed? Lit so rare,
Have black and auburn greyed?  What reward,
If these and all Thy countless lights repair?

I’m not my mind nor body? Tell this lie
When you are old; and you will not believe.
Behold, within the mirror: Is it I?
Or this, within my portrait? Should I grieve
That I, decay within the mirror, see;
When bright, within my portrait light, is me?

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Intro: Do not gently go

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.  Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

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Sonnet VI: Ten Thousand Treasures

Ere winter’s sweetest place distils to night,
Posterity could speak ten thousand times,
Make not forbidden, those that willing fight;
Deface thy ragged killer for its crimes!

Should one refigure life, if not some loan,
Too much the sum in use: art thou contrite?
Depart with usury and pay to own,
And let thy summer’s beauty be thy right.

Another treasure then if make thine heir,
Not e’er time’s hand made e’er thy leaving known;
And treasure done thyself, or bred, were fair,
All happier of thee than thee outshone.

What vial of Death bewitching dreams prepare?
Self-conquest warms thee, vile Death to dare!

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