Shakespeare Knows You’re Going to Get Old and Ugly

Another sonnet of Shakespeare’s, because I’m still celebrating his birthday. Note his solution to the inevitability of old age (for those lucky enough to live that long) isn’t to buy a specific product or to wear all black (it’s slimming!), but to have kids. Kids make you feel old (because they are SO YOUNG and SO FAST) and also young (because everything’s fresh to them, and, as a parent, you share their eyes for a while sometimes). So maybe our pal Will is on to something. What do you think?


When forty winters shall besiege thy brow
And dig deep trenches in beauty’s field,
Thy youth’s proud livery, so gazed on now,
Will be a tatter’d weed of small worth held.

Then, being asked where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.

How much more praise deserved thy beauty’s use,
If thou could’s answer, ‘This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,’
Proving his beauty by succession thine.

This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel’st it could.


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