Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet XIII.

“O! that you were yourself; but, love, you are”

O! THAT you were yourself; but, love, you are 
No longer yours, than you your self here live: 
Against this coming end you should prepare, 
And your sweet semblance to some other give: 
So should that beauty which you hold in lease         5
Find no determination; then you were 
Yourself again, after yourself’s decease, 
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear. 
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay, 
Which husbandry in honour might uphold  10
Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day 
And barren rage of death’s eternal cold? 
  O! none but unthrifts. Dear my love, you know 
  You had a father: let your son say so. 



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