Monday, March 22, 2010

Shakespeare's Fifteenth Sonnet

Hello Poets,
Shakespeare's Fifteenth Sonnet was tacked to the wall where master gardener Alan Chadwick died 30 years ago, amid spring bouquets at the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in California.
Alan's spade and digging fork were placed on either side of the doorway.
(From Gardening at the Dragon's Gate, Wendy Johnson's superb garden guide and memoir.)
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Sonnet 15

When I consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check’d even by the self-same sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay,
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
   And all in war with Time for love of you,
   As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

by William Shakespeare
from The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, 1936

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