William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet VI.

“Then let not winter’s ragged hand deface”

THEN let not winter’s ragged hand deface  
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill’d:  
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place  
With beauty’s treasure, ere it be self-kill’d.  
That use is not forbidden usury,    5
Which happies those that pay the willing loan;  
That’s for thyself to breed another thee,  
Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;  
Ten times thyself were happier than thou art,  
If ten of thine ten times refigur’d thee;   10
Then what could death do, if thou shouldst depart,  
Leaving thee living in posterity?  
  Be not self-will’d, for thou art much too fair  
  To be death’s conquest and make worms thine heir.