Monday, May 10, 2010

Sonnet for Today

As I live my life from day to day and the weeks slip by, I find time moving forward faster and faster. This inexorable movement was captured by Shakespeare in his nineteenth sonnet. Note the opening words, "Devouring Time", suggesting the ravenous nature of the beast. While we cannot escape it we can attempt, as Shakespeare did better than most, to create monuments that will withstand its ravages.


Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O, carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men.
Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.
- William Shakespeare

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