Sonnet 115

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Sonnet 115

Those lines that I before have writ do lie,
Even those that said I could not love you dearer:
Yet then my judgment knew no reason why
My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer.
But reckoning Time, whose million'd accidents
Creep in 'twixt vows, and change decrees of kings,
Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents,
Divert strong minds to the course of altering things;
Alas! why, fearing of Time's tyranny,
Might I not then say, 'Now I love you best,'
When I was certain o'er incertainty,
Crowning the present, doubting of the rest?
Love is a babe, then might I not say so,
To give full growth to that which still doth grow?

–William Shakespeare

Sonnet 115 is one of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It is a member of the Fair Youth sequence, in which the poet expresses his love towards a young man.[1][2]


The poet's earlier verses were a lie because it said he could not love the youth more. At the time he didn't understand that his love could be more intense in future, assuming that time would blunt it. Fearing this, he said that he loved the youth most powerfully then. Love is a baby, so might he not ascribe full size to one that's still growing?[3][4]


  1. ^ Morton Luce. Shakespeare, the Man and His Work. Seven Essays. Adamant Media Corporation. p. 58. ISBN 1402139926. 
  2. ^ Shakespeare: Poet and Citizen. 1993. p. 244. ISBN 0860913929. 
  3. ^ David Schalkwyk (2002). Speech and Performance in Shakespeare's Sonnets and Plays. Cambridge University Press. pp. 163–164. ISBN 0521811155. 
  4. ^ James Blair Leishman (2005). Themes and Variations in Shakespeare's Sonnets. Routledge. p. 103. ISBN 0415352959.