Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?Shall I compare you to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate:You are more lovely and more constant: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,Rough winds shake the beloved buds of May And summer's lease hath all too short a date:And summer is far too short: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,At times the sun is too hot, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;Or often goes behind the clouds; And every fair from fair sometime declines,And everything beautiful sometime will lose its beauty, By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;By misfortune or by nature's planned out course. But thy eternal summer shall not fadeBut your youth shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;Nor will you lose the beauty that you possess; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,Nor will death claim you for his own, When in eternal lines to time thou growest:Because in my eternal verse you will live forever. So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,So long as there are people on this earth, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.So long will this poem live on, making you immortal ANALYSIS
temperate (1): i.e., evenly-tempered; not overcome by passion. the eye of heaven (5): i.e., the sun.
every fair from fair sometime declines (7): i.e., the beauty (fair) of everything beautiful (fair) will fade (declines). Compare to Sonnet 116: "rosy lips and cheeks/Within his bending sickle's compass come." nature's changing course (8): i.e., the natural changes age brings. that fair thou ow'st (10): i.e., that beauty you possess.
in eternal lines...growest (12): The poet is using a grafting metaphor in this line. Grafting is a technique used to join parts from two plants with cords so that they grow as one. Thus the beloved becomes immortal, grafted to time with the poet's cords (his "eternal lines"). For commentary on whether this sonnet is really "one long exercise in...