When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,
Thy youth’s proud livery, so gaz’d on now,
Will be a tatter’d weed, of small worth held:
Then being ask’d where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserv’d thy beauty’s use,
If thou couldst answer, ‘This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,’
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel’st it
BUT WHATE’ER YOU ARE
THAT IN THIS DESERT INACCESSIBLE,
UNDER THE SHADE OF MELANCHOLY BOUGHS,
LOSE AND NEGLECT THE CREEPING HOURS OF TIME;
IF EVER YOU HAVE LOOK’D ON BETTER DAYS,
IF EVER BEEN WHERE BELLS HAVE KNOLL’D TO CHURCH,
IF EVER SAT AT ANY GOOD MAN’S FEAST,
IF EVER FROM YOUR EYELIDS WIP’D A TEAR,
AND KNOW THAT ‘TIS TO PITY, AND BE PITIED,
LET GENTLENESS MY STRONG ENFORCEMENT BE.
THOUGH I LOOK OLD, YET I AM STRONG AND LUSTY;
FOR IN MY YOUTH I NEVER DID APPLY
HOT AND REBELLIOUS LIQUORS IN MY BLOOD.