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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 126


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 126
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Sonnet 126



The poet acknowledges that the beloved young man grows lovelier with time, as if Nature has chosen him as her darling, but warns him that her protection cannot last forever—that eventually aging and death will come.

O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power
Dost hold Time’s fickle glass, his sickle hour;
Who hast by waning grown, and therein show’st
4Thy lover’s withering as thy sweet self grow’st.
If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack,
As thou goest onwards still will pluck thee back,
She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill
8May Time disgrace, and wretched minutes kill.
Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure!
She may detain, but not still keep, her treasure.
Her audit, though delayed, answered must be,
12And her quietus is to render thee.