[ lxii << ] [ >> lxiv ] [ Change line numbering ]

William Shakespeare, Sonnet lxiii

Against my love shall be, as I am now,
With Time's injurious hand crush'd and o'erworn;
When hours have drain'd his blood, and fill'd his brow
With lines and wrinkles; when his youthful morn
Hath travell'd on to age's steepy night; [*]
And all those beauties, whereof now he's king,
Are vanishing or vanish'd out of sight,
Stealing away the treasure of his spring;
For such a time do I now fortify
Against confounding age's cruel knife,
That he shall never cut from memory
My sweet love's beauty, though my lover's life.
His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,
And they shall live, and he in them, still green.


line 5: Steepy night. It has been proposed to read sleepy night; but in the 7th Sonnet we have the same notion of man climbing up the hill of age; and here the idea is also connected with the antithesis of morn and night. [ Back to text ]

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