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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 54
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workShakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 54
Here the beloved’s truth is compared to the fragrance in the rose. As that fragrance is distilled into perfume, so the beloved’s truth distills in verse.
O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give.
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
4For that sweet odor which doth in it live.
The canker blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumèd tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
8When summer’s breath their maskèd buds discloses;
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwooed and unrespected fade,
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
12Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odors made.
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall vade, by verse distils your truth.