William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet XIII.

“O! that you were yourself; but, love, you are”

O! THAT you were yourself; but, love, you are  
No longer yours, than you your self here live:  
Against this coming end you should prepare,  
And your sweet semblance to some other give:  
So should that beauty which you hold in lease    5
Find no determination; then you were  
Yourself again, after yourself’s decease,  
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.  
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,  
Which husbandry in honour might uphold   10
Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day  
And barren rage of death’s eternal cold?  
  O! none but unthrifts. Dear my love, you know  
  You had a father: let your son say so.