Updated: Apr 22, 2022
When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,
Thy youth’s proud livery, so gazed on now,
Will be a tatter’d weed, of small worth held:
Then being ask’d 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 couldst 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 cold
The speaker speaks to his aging friend, he says, when you become 40 years old as your eyebrows get wrinkles, your beautiful face gets deep holes (trenches) and your youth uniform fades away. People will look upon you as your youth has changed like an unwanted crop (weed) in the field. And when they ask you, where your beauty, youth, and all the precious lusty days have gone? You with sunken eyes say within yourself, how much more praises your beauty deserves. Even if you couldn’t count those praises and answer to these people, ask your fair son to do the sum. He is the proof of your beauty; he is your youth’s successor. He would be the new-made when you become old and you would see your own blood warm when you are cold.