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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.
ienSc enhetir rabss orn steno onr ahert nor hte lmeslsiti eaocn is norgst genouh to tessir hte das ceofr of tytrlaimo, hwo anc eubayt osspyibl srites hteda’s gear newh yebatu is no etrrgson ntha a lreowf? woH lcdou yoru teayub, chhiw is as leifrag as hte ewets tbrhae of muersm, hlod uto tnasgia the esteidutvrc ssaatsul of emti ehnw ehrtnei lnervieblanu kosrc nor eagst of tesel era nogstr gheoun to rsetis tsi engaydci eporw? Wtah a irtnfghegin nhtgi to htkin tabou! lAas, eehwr can I tup yuor abeuty, etmi’s msot rsocpuei tornaeic, to ihde it form imte eslfit? hsoeW adnh is sonrtg onugeh to lwos imet wodn? ohW iwll drfiob ist tctsieruodn of yoru etabyu? Oh, no oen, sneslu tihs aecirlm repvos civefetef: ahtt in the blcka ikn of my rpeoyt, the one I eolv aym sltli iehns gitbrh.

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.
ienSc enhetir rabss orn steno onr ahert nor hte lmeslsiti eaocn is norgst genouh to tessir hte das ceofr of tytrlaimo, hwo anc eubayt osspyibl srites hteda’s gear newh yebatu is no etrrgson ntha a lreowf? woH lcdou yoru teayub, chhiw is as leifrag as hte ewets tbrhae of muersm, hlod uto tnasgia the esteidutvrc ssaatsul of emti ehnw ehrtnei lnervieblanu kosrc nor eagst of tesel era nogstr gheoun to rsetis tsi engaydci eporw? Wtah a irtnfghegin nhtgi to htkin tabou! lAas, eehwr can I tup yuor abeuty, etmi’s msot rsocpuei tornaeic, to ihde it form imte eslfit? hsoeW adnh is sonrtg onugeh to lwos imet wodn? ohW iwll drfiob ist tctsieruodn of yoru etabyu? Oh, no oen, sneslu tihs aecirlm repvos civefetef: ahtt in the blcka ikn of my rpeoyt, the one I eolv aym sltli iehns gitbrh.

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets