To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah yet doth beauty, like a dial hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived:
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived.
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred:
Ere you were born was beauty’s summer dead.
Reading of Sonnet 104
The images in the YouTube video are from an original 1609 edition of Shake-speares Sonnets held by the British Library. It is one of only thirteen copies in existence. Images courtesy of the Octavo Corporation.
Text from Original 1609 Quarto
Transcription courtesy of University of Virginia Library:
To me faire friend you neuer can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyde,
Such seemes your beautie still: Three Winters colde,
Haue from the forrests shooke three summers pride,
Three beautious springs to yellow Autumne turn’d,
In processe of the seasons haue I seene,
Three Aprill perfumes in three hot Iunes burn’d,
Since first I saw you fresh which yet are greene.
Ah yet doth beauty like a Dyall hand,
Steale from his figure, and no pace perceiu’d,
So your sweete hew, which me thinkes still doth stand
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceaued.
For feare of which, heare this thou age vnbred,
Ere you were borne was beauties summer dead.