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And summer's green all girded up in sheaves,
And nothing 'gainst time's scythe can make defence,
Save breed, to brave him6, when he takes thee hence.
O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are
", a bank
"Quite over-canopy'd with luscious woodbine." Malone. * And Summeb's Green all girded up in sheaves, Borne on the bier with white and bristly Beard ;] So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:
"and the green corn
"Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard." C. 6 Save breed, to brave him,] Except children, whose youth may set the scythe of Time at defiance, and render thy own death less painful. Malone.
7 Against this coming end you should prepare, And your sweet semblance to some other give.] This is a sentiment that Shakspeare is never weary of expressing. We meet with it again in Venus and Adonis:
"By law of nature thou art bound to breed,"That thine may live, when thou thyself art dead;"And so in spite of death thou dost survive,"In that thy likeness still is left alive." Malone.
8 — that Beauty which you hold in Lease, Find no Determination :] So Daniel, in one of his Sonnets, 1592:
"—in beauty's lease expir'd appears"The date of age, the calends of our death."
Yourself again, after yourself's decease, When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
O! none but unthrifts:—Dear my love, you
You had a father; let your son say so. XIV.
Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck;
Again, in Macbeth:
"But in them nature's copy's not eterne." Determination in legal language means end. Malone. So, in Macbeth:
"— our high-plac'd Macbeth "Shall live the lease of nature." Steevens. « Which Husbandry in honour might uphold,] Husbandry is generally used by Shakspeare for economical prudence. So, in King Henry V.:
"For our bad neighbours make us early stirrers,
Malone. 'By Oft predict—] Dr. Sewel reads—By aught predict; but the text is right.—So, in the Birth of Merlin, 1662:
"How much the oft report of this bless'd hermit "Hath won on my desires!" Malone. The old reading may be the true one. "By oft predict" may mean—' By what is mo&tfrequently prognosticated.'
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derivea,
When I consider every thing that grows
2 But from thine Eyes my knowledge I Derive,] So, in Love's Labour's Lost:
"From women's eyes this doctrine I derive." Steevens.
'If from thyself To Store thou would'st convert:] If thou would'st change thy single state, and beget a numerous progeny. So, before:
"Let those whom nature hath not made for store." Again, in Romeo and Juliet:
"O, she is rich in beauty; only poor,
"That when she dies, with beauty dies her store."
* Where wasteful Time Debateth with Decay,] So, in All's Well That Ends Well:
"— nature and sickness"Debate it at their leisure." Malone. 5 To change your day of youth to sullied night;] So, in King Richard III.:
"Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night."
But wherefore do not you a mightier way Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?And fortify yourself in your decay With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?Now stand you on the top of happy hours;And many maiden gardens, yet unset6, With virtuous wish would bear you living flowers7, Much liker than your painted counterfeit8:So should the lines of life9 that life repair, Which this, Time's pencil, or my pupil pen \
Neither in inward worth, nor outward fair2, Can make you live yourself in eyes of men.
To give away yourself, keeps yourself still3;
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.
6 And many maiden gardens, yet unset,] We have the same allusion in our author's Lover's Complaint:
"And knew the patterns of his foul beguiling,
"Heard where his plants in others' orchards grew."
'— would bear you living flowers,] The first edition reads, by an apparent error of the press:—' your living flowers.'
8 Much liker than your painted Counterfeit :] A counterfeit formerly signified a portrait. So, in Greene's Farewell to Folly, 1617: "Why do the painters, in figuring forth the counterfeit of Love, draw him blind?" So, in the Merchant of Venice:
"What find I here?
"Fair Portia's counterfeit?" Malone.
9 So should the Lines of life —] This appears to me obscure. Perhaps the poet wrote—" the lives of life : " i. e. 'children.'
Malone. The "lines of life" perhaps are 'living pictures,' viz. children.
Anon. This explanation is very plausible. Shakspeare has again used line with a reference to painting in All's Well That Ends Well:
"And every line and trick of his sweet favour." Malone.
1 — my Pupil pen,] This expression may be considered as a slight proof that the poems before us were our author's earliest compositions. Steevens.
2 Neither in inward worth, nor outward Fair,] See p. 240, n. 6.
Who will believe my verse in time to come,
If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
• To give away yourself, keeps yourself still;] To produce likenesses of yourself, (that is, children,) will be the means of preserving your memory. Malone.
♦ Rough Winds do Shake the darling Buds of May,] So, in Cymbeline:
"And like the tyrannous breathing of the north, "Shakes all our buds from growing." Again, in The Taming of the Shrew:
"Confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair buds."
Malone. s Sometime too hot the Eye Of Heaven—] That is, the sun. So, in Romeo and Juliet:"Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye—." Again, in King Richard II.: