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Not Marble, nor the Gilded Monuments (Sonnet 55) - Complete Text




Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time.

When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.

'Gainst death and all oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room,
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.

So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.

About the Poet
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. He is considered by many to be the greatest dramatist of all time. He wrote 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems and about three dozen plays. Shakespeare used poetic and dramatic means to create unified aesthetic effects. In verse he perfected the dramatic blank verse.

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