Sonnet 122

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Sonnet 122

Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain
Full character'd with lasting memory,
Which shall above that idle rank remain,
Beyond all date; even to eternity:
Or, at the least, so long as brain and heart
Have faculty by nature to subsist;
Till each to raz'd oblivion yield his part
Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.
That poor retention could not so much hold,
Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score;
Therefore to give them from me was I bold,
To trust those tables that receive thee more:
To keep an adjunct to remember thee
Were to import forgetfulness in me.

–William Shakespeare

Sonnet 122 is one of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, and first published in 1609. It's a member of the Fair Youth sequence, in which the poet expresses his love towards a young man. Although the relationship started exuberantly in Sonnet 18 - Shall I compare thee to a summer's day - by now it has given way to an almost defensive tone. The poet justifies giving away or losing a notebook ("tables") given him by the youth to record shared events by saying that his memories of them are stronger.

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