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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 16


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 16
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Sonnet 16



Continuing the thought of s. 15, the poet argues that procreation is a “mightier way” than poetry for the young man to stay alive, since the poet’s pen cannot present him as a living being.

But wherefore do not you a mightier way
Make war upon this bloody tyrant Time,
And fortify yourself in your decay
4With means more blessèd than my barren rhyme?
Now stand you on the top of happy hours,
And many maiden gardens, yet unset,
With virtuous wish would bear your living flowers,
8Much liker than your painted counterfeit.
So should the lines of life that life repair
Which this time’s pencil or my pupil pen
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair
12Can make you live yourself in eyes of men.
 To give away yourself keeps yourself still,
 And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.