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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 123


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 123
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Sonnet 123



The poet repeats an idea from s. 59—that there is nothing new under the sun—and accuses Time of tricking us into perceiving things as new only because we live for such a short time. He reasserts his vow to remain constant despite Time’s power.

No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change.
Thy pyramids built up with newer might
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
4They are but dressings of a former sight.
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
What thou dost foist upon us that is old,
And rather make them born to our desire
8Than think that we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Not wond’ring at the present nor the past;
For thy records and what we see doth lie,
12Made more or less by thy continual haste.
 This I do vow, and this shall ever be:
 I will be true despite thy scythe and thee.