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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 7


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 7
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Sonnet 7



This sonnet traces the path of the sun across the sky, noting that mortals gaze in admiration at the rising and the noonday sun. When the sun begins to set, says the poet, it is no longer an attraction. Such is the path that the young man’s life will follow—a blaze of glory followed by descent into obscurity—unless he begets a son.

Lo, in the orient when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning head, each under eye
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
4Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
And having climbed the steep-up heavenly hill,
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
8Attending on his golden pilgrimage.
But when from highmost pitch with weary car
Like feeble age he reeleth from the day,
The eyes, ’fore duteous, now converted are
12From his low tract and look another way.
 So thou, thyself outgoing in thy noon,
 Unlooked on diest unless thou get a son.