[ lix << ] [ >> lxi ] [ Change line numbering ]

William Shakespeare, Sonnet lx

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with all that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light, [*]
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time, that gave, doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow; [*]
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow.
And yet, to times in hope, my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.


line 5: Main of light. As the main of waters would signify the great body of waters, so the main of light signifies the mass or flood of light, into which a new-born child is launched. [ Back to text ]

line 10: Parallels. We have exactly the same idea in the 2nd Sonnet:

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field.
Back to text ]

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