The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 16

read by Fiona Shaw

But wherefore do not you a mightier way

Make war upon this bloody tyrant, time,

And fortify yourself in your decay

With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?

5Now stand you on the top of happy hours,

And many maiden gardens, yet unset,

With virtuous wish would bear your living flowers,

Much liker than your painted counterfeit:

So should the lines of life that life repair,

10Which this, time’s pencil or my pupil pen,

Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,

Can make you live yourself in eyes of men:

To give away yourself keeps yourself still,

And you must live drawn by your own sweet skill.

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154 specially filmed performances by a stellar cast of actors, poets and scholars including Sir Patrick Stewart, David Tennant, Fiona Shaw, Dame Harriet Walter, Stephen Fry, and Sir Andrew Motion.

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