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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 13


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 13
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Sonnet 13



The poet argues that the young man, in refusing to prepare for old age and death by producing a child, is like a spendthrift who fails to care for his family mansion, allowing it to be destroyed by the wind and the cold of winter.

O, that you were your self! But, love, you are
No longer yours than you yourself here live;
Against this coming end you should prepare,
4And your sweet semblance to some other give.
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination; then you were
Your self again after yourself’s decease
8When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honor might uphold
Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day
12And barren rage of death’s eternal cold?
 O, none but unthrifts, dear my love, you know.
 You had a father; let your son say so.