Sonnet Xxii

My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
So long as youth and thou are of one date;
But when in thee time's furrows I behold,
Then look I death my days should expiate.
For all that beauty that doth cover thee
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me:
How can I then be elder than thou art?
O, therefore, love, be of thyself so wary
As I, not for myself, but for thee will;
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain;
Thou gavest me thine, not to give back again.

by William Shakespeare

Comments (3)

The poet can see some traces of advancing age when he looks in a mirror; but he is united so closely to his friend, that he will not believe that he is himself old, while his friend is in the bloom of youthful beauty.
In the sonnet, the speaker of the poem and a young man are represented as enjoying a healthy and positive relationship. The last line, however, hints at the speaker's doubts, which becomes prominent later in the sequence.
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