Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet LV.

“Not marble, nor the gilded monuments”

NOT marble, nor the gilded monuments 
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rime; 
But you shall shine more bright in these contents 
Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time. 
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,         5
And broils root out the work of masonry, 
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn 
The living record of your memory. 
’Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity 
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room  10
Even in the eyes of all posterity 
That wear this world out to the ending doom. 
  So, till the judgment that yourself arise, 
  You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes. 



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