Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

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

Sonnet CVI.

“When in the chronicle of wasted time”

WHEN in the chronicle of wasted time 
I see descriptions of the fairest wights, 
And beauty making beautiful old rime, 
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights, 
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best,         5
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow, 
I see their antique pen would have express’d 
Even such a beauty as you master now. 
So all their praises are but prophecies 
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;  10
And, for they look’d but with divining eyes, 
They had not skill enough your worth to sing: 
  For we, which now behold these present days, 
  Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise. 



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