Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet XIX.

“Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws”

DEVOURING Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws 
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood; 
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws, 
And burn the long-liv’d phoenix in her blood; 
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,         5
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time, 
To the wide world and all her fading sweets; 
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime: 
O! carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow, 
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;  10
Him in thy course untainted do allow 
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men. 
  Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong, 
  My love shall in my verse ever live young. 



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