The copy-text is Shake-speares Sonnets Never Before Imprinted
(London, 1609). I’ve regularized the use of i and j,
u and v, but have otherwise preserved the spelling,
capitalization, and punctuation of the original.
|Shall I compare thee to a Summers day?
|Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
|Rough windes do shake the darling buds of Maie,
|And Sommers lease hath all too short a date:
|Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
|And often is his gold complexion dimm’d,
|And every faire from faire some-time declines,
|By chance, or natures changing course untrim’d:
|But thy eternall Sommer shall not fade,
|Nor loose possession of that faire thou ow’st,
|Nor shall death brag thou wandr’st in his shade,
|When in eternall lines to time thou grow’st,
| So long as men can breath or eyes can see,
| So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
- Of a person, temperate means “not affected by passion or emotion, mild,
forbearing” or “Showing self-restraint and moderation in action or
conduct”; of a region or climate, “charaterized by mild temperature”
- The metaphor is a legal one: summer’s lease has a short term.
- A difficult word. It can mean “not decorated or ornamented”; trim
can also mean “make (a lamp, fire, etc.) ready for use by removig burnt material
and adding fresh fuel” or “Adjust the balance of (a ship) by arrangement of
the cargo” (SOED).
- wander’st in his shade
- An allusion to Psalm 23: “Yea, though I should walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff, they
comfort me” (from the Geneva Bible).
- The literal meaning seems to be lines of poetry, though perhaps with a suggestion
of lines of descent of children.