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Sonnet 4 by William Shakespeare


"Sonnet 4" is a poem written by William Shakespeare. This poem, like many of Shakespeare's sonnets, are about children. However, in this writing, Shakespeare is talking to himself. He's wondering why he is wasting his time and not having children in order to live on through his children's beauty.

"Sonnet 4" is a Shakespearean Sonnet written in iambic-pentameter with the rhyme scheme ABABCDCDEFEFGG.


Sonnet 4

Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
Upon thyself thy beauty's legacy?
Nature's bequest gives nothing but doth lend,
And being frank she lends to those are free.
Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse
The bounteous largess given thee to give?
Profitless usurer, why dost thou use
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live?
For having traffic with thyself alone,
Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive.
Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone,
What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
Thy unused beauty must be tomb'd with thee,
Which, used, lives th' executor to be.

Next: Sonnet 5
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Literary Movement
Renaissance, 16th Century

Sonnet, Children, Time

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