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Sonnet 5 by William Shakespeare


"Sonnet 5" is a poem written by William Shakespeare. In this poem, Shakespeare talks about aging as he compares it to seasons. He says that in summer, we live a "never-resting time" but then winter comes and "confounds him there". We grow old and enter into our winter where we aren't remembered. This poem is most likely about not having children to live on in our name as that is a central theme in many of Shakespeare's writings.

"Sonnet 5" is a Shakespearean Sonnet written in iambic-pentameter and with the rhyme scheme of ABABCDCDEFEFGG.


Sonnet 5

Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Will play the tyrants to the very same
And that unfair which fairly doth excel:
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter and confounds him there;
Sap cheque'd with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o'ersnow'd and bareness every where:
Then, were not summer's distillation left,
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft,
Nor it nor no remembrance what it was:
But flowers distill'd though they with winter meet,
Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.

Next: Sonnet 44
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Literary Movement
Renaissance, 16th Century

Sonnet, Growing Old, Time, Memory, Children

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