William Shakespeare
Sonnet 12 [When I do count the clock that tells the time] (c. 1594)

 

When I do count the clock that tells the time

 

And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;

 

When I behold the violet past prime,

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And sable curls, all silver’d o’er with white;

 

When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,

 

Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,

 

And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves,

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Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,

 

Then of thy beauty do I question make,

 

That thou among the wastes of time must go,

 

Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake

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And die as fast as they see others grow;

 

And nothing ’gainst Time’s scythe can make defence

 

Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.