Today is William Shakespeare's birthday and also the 400th anniversary of his death in 1616, which occurred on his 52nd birthday.
There are many Shakespearean works I love but the sonnets will always remain close to my heart. 154 articulate pieces of love and yearning, all written for someone Shakespeare loved so much he wanted to immortalise in verse. Apart from the genius of his plays, there is something very human and beautiful about Shakespeare's sonnets.
The first two lines of this one have been rhyming around in my head the past few days.
Sonnet I - William Shakespeare
From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.