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   Sonnet 104

A highly recommended edition

Shakespeare Revealed, a Biography" by René Weis: It is quite possible that this was written as a birthday gift to the Earl who was officially of age on 6th October 1594. Southampton's luminous blue eyes were often remarked upon.

The Penguin edition edited by John Kerrigan: See introduction pages 39-41: "Time appropriates the self, making the young man a kind of dial to register its passing."

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Read by Claire Marchionne
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A. L. Rowse in his Shakespeare's Sonnets writes: The image in line 7, derived from burning perfume in a house, reflects shakespeare's increased sophistication with his acquaintance with high society and great houses.

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey'd,A perfume brazier in the form of a domed building from Constantinople or Italy at the end of the 12th century. Consists of silver, partially gilded and is embossed and perforated
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'd,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd,
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 perceiv'd;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd:
  For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:
  Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.

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