William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet V.

“Those hours, that with gentle work did frame”

THOSE hours, that with gentle work did frame  
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,  
Will play the tyrants to the very same  
And that unfair which fairly doth excel;  
For never-resting time leads summer on    5
To hideous winter, and confounds him there;  
Sap check’d with frost, and lusty leaves quite gone,  
Beauty o’ersnow’d and bareness every where:  
Then, were not summer’s distillation left,  
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,   10
Beauty’s effect with beauty were bereft,  
Nor it, nor no remembrance what it was:  
  But flowers distill’d, though they with winter meet,  
  Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.