Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Sonnet: ‘To me, fair friend’
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
TO me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were, when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forest shook three summers’ pride;
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned,        5
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned,
Since first I saw you fresh which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived;        10
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived.
    For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred,
    Ere you were born, was beauty’s summer dead.
*        *        *        *        *
TRUTH needs no color with his color fixed,
Beauty no pencil, beauty’s truth to lay;        15
But best is best, if never intermix’d.
 
 
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