by William Shakespeare
A poem first published in 1609.
The sonnet develops images of impending extinction: the lateness of a season, a 24-hour day, a fire, a life.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
PORTRAIT: William Shakespeare by John Taylor (c. 1610; aka "Chandos Portrait").
CITATION INFORMATION (in MLA format): Shakespeare, William. "Sonnet 73." Gleeditions, 17 Apr. 2011, www.gleeditions.com/sonnet73/students/pages.asp?lid=315&pg=4. Originally published in Shakespeare's Sonnets, edited by A. H. Bullen, Shakespeare Head Press, 1921, p. 73.