Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet VI.

“Then let not winter’s ragged hand deface”

THEN let not winter’s ragged hand deface 
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill’d: 
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place 
With beauty’s treasure, ere it be self-kill’d. 
That use is not forbidden usury,         5
Which happies those that pay the willing loan; 
That’s for thyself to breed another thee, 
Or ten times happier, be it ten for one; 
Ten times thyself were happier than thou art, 
If ten of thine ten times refigur’d thee;  10
Then what could death do, if thou shouldst depart, 
Leaving thee living in posterity? 
  Be not self-will’d, for thou art much too fair 
  To be death’s conquest and make worms thine heir. 



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