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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 77


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 77
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Sonnet 77



This sonnet seems to have been written to accompany the gift of a blank notebook. The poet encourages the beloved to write down the thoughts that arise from observing a mirror and a sundial and the lessons they teach about the brevity of life.

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind’s imprint will bear,
4And of this book this learning mayst thou taste:
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show,
Of mouthèd graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial’s shady stealth mayst know
8Time’s thievish progress to eternity.
Look what thy memory cannot contain
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find
Those children nursed, delivered from thy brain,
12To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.
 These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
 Shall profit thee and much enrich thy book.