Shakespeare’s 16

Make war on Time
in happy hours
with barren rhyme
and living flowers
A life in pen
lives not in men
Don’t still sweet skill

(C) Stephen W. Buchanan 2019

Picture of Shakespeare courtesy of Pixabay

The ha’sonnet format is based on the form of the Elizabethan sonnet, so I thought I
would try and use an actual sonnet as the basis for one, selecting Shakespeare’s
“Sonnet 16”, below. Hopefully I caught the essence of Shakespeare’s poem in mine.

Sonnet 16
But wherefore do not you a mightier way
Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?
And fortify your self in your decay
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?
Now stand you on the top of happy hours,
And many maiden gardens, yet unset,
With virtuous wish would bear you living flowers,
Much liker than your painted counterfeit:
So should the lines of life that life repair,
Which this, Time's pencil, or my pupil pen,
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,
Can make you live your self in eyes of men.
   To give away yourself, keeps yourself still,
   And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.
William Shakespeare

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