Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest

Look in your mirror and tell the face you see

Now is the time that face should form another;

That now is the time it should form another [create a child];

Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,

If you do not renew yourself,

Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.

You rob the world, and prevent some woman from becoming a mother.

For where is she so fair whose unear'd womb

For where is the woman whose unploughed womb

Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?

Would frown upon the way you plough your field?

Or who is he so fond will be the tomb

Or who is he so foolish to love himself so much but let

Of his self-love, to stop posterity?

Himself perish? [To make a tomb of self-love and not have a child to carry on your beauty]

Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee

You are the mirror of your mother, and she is the mirror of you

Calls back the lovely April of her prime:

And in you she recalls the lovely April of her youth:

So thou through windows of thine age shall see

So through your own children you will see your youth

Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.

Despite the wrinkles caused by age.

But if thou live, remember'd not to be,

But if you live your life avoiding being remembered,

Die single, and thine image dies with thee.

You will die single [and childless], and your image will die with you.




Back to Sonnets 1-10