William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet XIX.

“Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws”

DEVOURING Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws  
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;  
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,  
And burn the long-liv’d phoenix in her blood;  
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,    5
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,  
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;  
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:  
O! carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,  
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;   10
Him in thy course untainted do allow  
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.  
  Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,  
  My love shall in my verse ever live young.