The Sonnets

by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 4

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1609
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Source: Shakespeare, W. The sonnets. In R. G. White (Ed.), The complete works of William Shakespeare. New York: Sully and Kleinteich.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 11.0
  • Word Count: 115
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: 17th century literature, british literature, poetry, william shakespeare
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Unthrifty loveliness why dost thou spend,
Upon thy self thy beauty’s legacy?
Nature’s bequest gives nothing but doth lend,
And being frank she lends to those are free:
Then beauteous niggard why dost thou abuse,
The bounteous largess given thee to give?
Profitless usurer why dost thou use
So great a sum of sums yet canst not live?
For having traffic with thy self alone,
Thou of thy self thy sweet self dost deceive,
Then how when nature calls thee to be gone,
What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
    Thy unused beauty must be tombed with thee,
    Which used lives th’ executor to be.