Shakespeare's Sonnets: When I consider every thing that grows

Sonnet 15

Original Text: 
SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (London: G. Eld for T. T. and sold by William Aspley, 1609): b4r.
1When I consider every thing that grows
3That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
4Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
5When I perceive that men as plants increase,
6Cheered and check't even by the self-same sky,
7Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
8And wear their brave state out of memory.
10Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
12To change your day of youth to sullied night,
13    And all in war with time for love of you


2] This line, and line 4, are extrametrical. Back to Line
9] conceit] concept, idea. Back to Line
11] Time cuts life short, and decay draws it out, but both have the same effect: to end the beloved's youth. Back to Line
14] ingraft] Shakespeare appears to mean "engraff," a term for we call "to insert (a scion of one tree) as a graft into or upon (another)" (OED 1). The spelling "ingraft" is first found figuratively about 1585. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: