Sonnet 18: Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day?

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

by William Shakespeare

Comments (13)

A wonderful eternal conceipt.
Thy eternal summer shall not fade! Outstanding desire expressed in a great poem.
in ITALIAN: Devo paragonarti a una giornata estiva? Tu sei più incantevole e mite. Impetuosi venti scuotono le tenere gemme di maggio, e il corso dell’estate e' fin troppo breve.Talvolta troppo caldo splende l’occhio del cielo e spesso il suo aureo volto e' offuscato, e ogni bellezza col tempo perde il suo fulgore, sciupata dal caso o dal corso mutevole della natura. Ma la tua eterna estate non sfiorirà, ne perderai possesso della tua bellezza; ne morte si vanterà di coprirti con la sua ombra, poiché tu cresci nel tempo in versi eterni. Finché uomini respirano e occhi vedono, vivranno questi miei versi, e daranno vita a te.
My favourite poem and i love it n like to hear it again and again
This is one of the most famous of all the sonnets, justifiably so. But it would be a mistake to take it entirely in isolation, for it links in with so many of the other sonnets through the themes of the descriptive power of verse; the ability of the poet to depict the fair youth adequately, or not; and the immortality conveyed through being hymned in these 'eternal lines'. It is noticeable that here the poet is full of confidence that his verse will live as long as there are people drawing breath upon the earth, whereas later he apologises for his poor wit and his humble lines which are inadequate to encompass all the youth's excellence. Now, perhaps in the early days of his love, there is no such self-doubt and the eternal summer of the youth is preserved forever in the poet's lines. The poem also works at a rather curious level of achieving its objective through dispraise. The summer's day is found to be lacking in so many respects (too short, too hot, too rough, sometimes too dingy) , but curiously enough one is left with the abiding impression that 'the lovely boy' is in fact like a summer's day at its best, fair, warm, sunny, temperate, one of the darling buds of May, and that all his beauty has been wonderfully highlighted by the comparison. ...
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