Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare: Poems.  1914.

Sonnet CXXVI.

“O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power”

O THOU, my lovely boy, who in thy power 
Dost hold Time’s fickle glass, his sickle hour; 
Who hast by waning grown, and therein show’st 
Thy lovers withering as thy sweet self grow’st; 
If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack,         5
As thou goest onwards, still will pluck thee back, 
She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill 
May time disgrace and wretched minutes kill. 
Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure! 
She may detain, but not still keep, her treasure:  10
  Her audit, though delay’d, answer’d must be, 
  And her quietus is to render thee. 



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