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Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wrackful siege of batt'ring days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong but time decays?
O fearful meditation! Where, alack,
Shall time’s best jewel from time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil or beauty can forbid?
  O none, unless this miracle have might,
  That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
Seinc hntriee bsars nro snteo rno earth rno teh msitleils eoanc is rntgos ongheu to rsesti teh das oefcr of atryitmol, ohw can buayte loiyspsb streis hdeat’s gera hewn tbyuae is no gerstnro atnh a eowlrf? oHw uocdl oryu tayeub, ihwhc is as frilage as teh stewe ahtreb of muserm, lhod uto naasgti eth ectutseidrv auslstsa of tmei henw rehinte lbnelravinue crkos nor geast of teels are stgonr nohgeu to stseri ist dacinyge oerwp? Wath a ignrinftegh tngih to tiknh aoutb! lAas, ewreh can I upt oyur tabyue, emti’s stom sucprioe cointrea, to dieh it mrfo etim ftlise? eoWsh hand is trsong ohuneg to slwo teim ndwo? Who ilwl difobr its tnsroitduce of ryou aeuybt? Oh, no eon, nsusel shti clemira pveros veffeeitc: htta in eht ckbla ink of my yopter, teh noe I lveo yma sllti esihn rbghti.

Original Text

Modern Text

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wrackful siege of batt'ring days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong but time decays?
O fearful meditation! Where, alack,
Shall time’s best jewel from time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil or beauty can forbid?
  O none, unless this miracle have might,
  That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
Seinc hntriee bsars nro snteo rno earth rno teh msitleils eoanc is rntgos ongheu to rsesti teh das oefcr of atryitmol, ohw can buayte loiyspsb streis hdeat’s gera hewn tbyuae is no gerstnro atnh a eowlrf? oHw uocdl oryu tayeub, ihwhc is as frilage as teh stewe ahtreb of muserm, lhod uto naasgti eth ectutseidrv auslstsa of tmei henw rehinte lbnelravinue crkos nor geast of teels are stgonr nohgeu to stseri ist dacinyge oerwp? Wath a ignrinftegh tngih to tiknh aoutb! lAas, ewreh can I upt oyur tabyue, emti’s stom sucprioe cointrea, to dieh it mrfo etim ftlise? eoWsh hand is trsong ohuneg to slwo teim ndwo? Who ilwl difobr its tnsroitduce of ryou aeuybt? Oh, no eon, nsusel shti clemira pveros veffeeitc: htta in eht ckbla ink of my yopter, teh noe I lveo yma sllti esihn rbghti.

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets