Single sonnet


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- NB: Although known as "Sonnet 126", this poem is not formally a sonnet in the strict sense, and is one of only two poems in the series (the other being Sonnet 99) which does not conform to Shakespeare's typical rhyme scheme. Instead of 14 lines rhyming abab cdcd efef gg, the poem is composed of six couplets (aa bb cc dd ee ff). Like the other sonnets (except Sonnet 145) it is composed in iambic pentameter, a type of poetic metre based on five pairs of metrically weak/strong syllabic positions.
O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power
Dost hold Time's fickle glass, his sickle, hour;
Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st
Thy lovers withering as thy sweet self grow'st;
If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack,
As thou goest onwards, still will pluck thee back,
She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill
May time disgrace and wretched minutes kill.
Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure!
She may detain, but not still keep, her treasure:
Her audit, though delay'd, answer'd must be,
And her quietus is to render thee.


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