Skip to main content
or search all Shakespeare texts
Back to main page

Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 65


Navigate this work

Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 65
Jump to

Sonnet 65



In the face of the terrible power of Time, how, the poet asks, can beauty survive? And how can the beloved, most beautiful of all, be protected from Time’s injury? The only protection, he decides, lies in the lines of his poetry.

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
But sad mortality o’ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
4Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wrackful siege of batt’ring days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout
8Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O, fearful meditation! Where, alack,
Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back,
12Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
 O, none, unless this miracle have might,
 That in black ink my love may still shine bright.