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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 55


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 55
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Sonnet 55



Continuing the idea of the beloved’s distillation into poetry (in the couplet of s. 54), the poet now claims that his verse will be a “living record” in which the beloved will “shine . . . bright” until Doomsday.

Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
4Than unswept stone besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
8The living record of your memory.
’Gainst death and all oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
12That wear this world out to the ending doom.
 So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
 You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.