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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 68
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Navigate this workShakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 68
Continuing the argument of s. 67, the poet sets the natural beauty of the young man against the “false art” of those whose beauty depends on cosmetics and wigs.
Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn,
When beauty lived and died as flowers do now,
Before these bastard signs of fair were borne,
4Or durst inhabit on a living brow;
Before the golden tresses of the dead,
The right of sepulchers, were shorn away
To live a second life on second head,
8Ere beauty’s dead fleece made another gay.
In him those holy antique hours are seen,
Without all ornament, itself and true,
Making no summer of another’s green,
12Robbing no old to dress his beauty new.
And him as for a map doth Nature store,
To show false art what beauty was of yore.