Sunday, 4 April 2010

Shakespeare's Sonnet Sunday - Sonnet 13

O! that you were your self; but, love, you are
No longer yours, than you your self here live:
Against this coming end you should prepare,
And your sweet semblance to some other give:
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination; then you were
Yourself again, after yourself's decease,
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold,
Against the stormy gusts of winter's day
And barren rage of death's eternal cold?
O! none but unthrifts. Dear my love, you know,
You had a father: let your son say so.

1. O! I wish you could stay as you are; but, love, you are
2. only going to be here for as long as your life.
3. You should prepare yourself for death,
4. Give your beauty to your children:
5. So that your beauty which you only have for a few years
6. will not end; but there will be a copy
7. of yourself, after your dead,
8. When your child, who likes like you, is born.
9. Who lets a beautiful house (lineage or family) fall to pieces,
10. when you could, as an honorable husband, prevent,
11. old age
12. and death stopping the family line?
13. Only the irresponsible husbands, that's who. Dear my love, you know,
14. You had a father: let your son say he's had one too. Have children already.

5 comments:

Jen said...

I love these!!! It's great to have it broken down!!

Margot Kinberg said...

Ann - Thanks for sharing the meaning behind this sonnet. Shakespeare was really an incredible writer with such a sense of the subtle...

Aubrie said...

You explain it so well! Where were you when I was in High School and struggling with these? :)

Journaling Woman said...

Beautiful as usual.

Ann Elle Altman said...

Thank you. I never thought I would say this but I'm finding this interesting to do.

ann