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William Shakespeare, Sonnet xviii

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:
Sometimes too hot the eyes of heaven shines [*]
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometimes declines, [*]
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd; [*]
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose posession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


line 5: Eye of heaven: so in Richard II:

"When the searching eye of heaven is hid
Behind the globe, and lights the lower world."
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line 7: Fair: beauty. The word is used in the same sense in the 16th Sonnet. [ Back to text ]

line 8: Untrimmed: undecorated. [ Back to text ]

Most notes to Shakespeare's sonnets are from Charles Knight's edition, but those in square brackets are mine.