William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet CVI.

“When in the chronicle of wasted time”

WHEN in the chronicle of wasted time  
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,  
And beauty making beautiful old rime,  
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights,  
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best,    5
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,  
I see their antique pen would have express’d  
Even such a beauty as you master now.  
So all their praises are but prophecies  
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;   10
And, for they look’d but with divining eyes,  
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:  
  For we, which now behold these present days,  
  Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.