Fairy Youth

Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye

That thou consum’st thyself in single life?

Ah, if thou issueless shalt hap to die,

The world will wail thee like a makeless wife;

The world will be thy widow and still weep,

That thou no form of thee hast left behind,

When every private widow well may keep,

By children’s eyes, her husband’s shape in mind.

Look what an unthrift in the world doth spend

Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;

But beauty’s waste hath in the world an end,

And kept unused, the user so destroys it.

   No love toward others in that bosom sits

   That on himself such murd’rous shame commits.


This poem is the part of Fairy Youth sonnet cycle of William Shakespeare. In these lines tha poet encourages an imaginary youngster to get married and have children, because he might die. If he dies, his child would be his living memorial, because his widowed wife would remember him.


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