Sonnet 126*

William_shakespeare
William Shakespeare

* Of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, only three departed from the 14-line, iambic pentameter format.  This sonnet, with 12 lines, is one of three such sonnets.

O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power
Dost hold Time’s fickle glass, his sickle, hour;
Who hast by waning grown, and therein show’st
Thy lovers withering as thy sweet self grow’st;

If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack,
As thou goest onwards, still will pluck thee back,
She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill
May time disgrace and wretched minutes kill.

Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure;
She may detain, but not still keep, her treasure:
Her audit, though delay’d, answer’d must be,
And her quietus is to render thee.

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