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Sonnet 2

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Read by Claire Marchionne
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“Shakespeare, a Life” by Park Honan: “More manuscripts of this sonnet survive from the 17th Century than do similar copies of all his other lyrics.”

Sonnet 2 exists not only in the 1609 Quarto, but in thirteen manuscript versions.

A Tattered Weed
tattered weeds
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 asked, 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 deserv'd 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.

Sonnet 3

Introduction to the Sonnets

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