When forty winters shall beseige thy brow,

Forty years from now, when your brow is wrinkled with age,

And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,

And you are showing all the other signs of aging,

Thy youth's proud livery, so gazed on now,

The pride and greatness of your youth, so much admired by everyone now,

Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held:

Will be worth as little as a tattered weed:

Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies,

Then, when you are asked 'where is your beauty now?',

Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,

And, 'where are all the treasures you had during your days of lust?'

To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,

You must say only within your own eyes, now sunk deep in their sockets,

Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.

Where lies a shameful confession of greed and self-obsession.

How much more praise deserved thy beauty's use,

If you would have only put your beauty to a greater use,

If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine

If only you could have answered 'This fair child of mine

Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,'

Shall give an account of my life and prove that I made no misuse of my time on earth.'

Proving his beauty by succession thine!

Proving that his beauty, because he is your son, was once yours!

This were to be new made when thou art old,

This child would be new-made when you are old,

And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.

And you would see your own blood flow warm through him when you are cold.




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