Sonnet  12: When I do count the clock that tells the time

By William Shakespeare 1564–1616 William Shakespeare
When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls ensilvered o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard:
Then of thy beauty do I question make
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake,
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing 'gainst time’s scythe can make defence
Save breed to brave him when he takes thee hence.

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Poet William Shakespeare 1564–1616

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

 William  Shakespeare

Biography

While William Shakespeare's reputation is based primarily on his plays, he became famous first as a poet. With the partial exception of the Sonnets (1609), quarried since the early nineteenth century for autobiographical secrets allegedly encoded in them, the nondramatic writings have traditionally been pushed to the margins of the Shakespeare industry. Yet the study of his nondramatic poetry can illuminate Shakespeare's . . .

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Poems by William Shakespeare

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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