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Sonnet 104: To Me, Fair Friend, You Never Can Be Old

Rating: 3.2
To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey'd,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'd,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv'd;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
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Fabrizio Frosini 02 April 2016
in ITALIAN: Per me, mio caro, non sarai mai vecchio: come quando il tuo viso io mirai prima, bello mi sembri. Hanno tre freddi inverni scosso dai boschi a tre estati il vanto, tre belle primavere in gialli autunni mutarsi ho visto nel volger dell'anno, tre profumi d'aprile arsi in tre giugni, da quando vidi te verde come ora. Ah, come un indice di meridiana, trascorre impercettibile beltà: sempre immota a me sembra la tua forma, ma è mobile, e può l'occhio ingannare. Future età, prima che foste nate, era già morta di beltà l'estate.
41 1 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 29 February 2016
The theme of Sonnet 104, the ravages of Time, is one common throughout all of the sonnets. The poet uses his fond memories of first meeting his lover as inspiration to write the poem. It is clear from Sonnet 104, and the other sonnets as a whole, that the passion he feels for his male lover (the Earl of Southampton? the true identity of Shakespeare's lover is still unknown) , is the most intense experience of the poet's life. Nothing is important but his lover; his lover is eternal, both in beauty and spirit. [.shakespeare-online.]
55 2 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 14 January 2016
This sonnet is thought by many to be one of the so called 'dating' sonnets. If we could determine the date when youth and poet first met, so the argument runs, we could then decide when this sonnet was written. This may be so, but it has been pointed out that the three year period mentioned in lines 3-7 is probably only notional, a conventional time span for love to build and fructify.
62 4 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 14 January 2016
''To me, fair friend, you never can be old, '' Perhaps this line responds to the suggestions in the previous sonnets that the mirror is beginning to show lines and wrinkles in the beloved's face. Or perhaps it is intended as a reassuring declaration by the poet, that for him nothing will change, despite the transience of the world all around him. It may have sprung from private conversations, and from comments made by the young man. In substance it foreshadows the famous declaration of faith of Sonnet 116 Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments shakespeares-sonnets.com
61 3 Reply
Musa Gift Masombuka 29 September 2015
Nice one. So impressive. I like I like
3 1 Reply
Brian Jani 26 April 2014
Awesome I like this poem, check mine out
3 7 Reply

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