Sub Topics: Addressing the Passage of Time on Earthly Things but not on Love
Key Words: William Shakespeare, Sonnet No. 65 ,passage of time ,Sonnet No. 64 , Sonnet No. 63
SONNET NO. 65
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O, none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
William Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 65 continues the theme of the two sonnets preceding it, addressing the passage of time with the similar approach of how it destroys all earthly things. Sonnet No. 64 discusses the “lofty towers I see down-raz’d”, the “brass” which is “eternal slave to mortal rage,” or a victim to war, and the destruction of “the kingdom of the shore” by the “hungry ocean” Here again, “brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea” can escape the ravages of time.