Shakespeare's Sonnets Navigator Summary of Sonnet 81 in the Table of Contents Notes for Sonnet 81

Shakespeare's Sonnet 81


  1    Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
  2    Or you survive when I in earth am rotten;
  3    From hence your memory death cannot take,
  4    Although in me each part will be forgotten.
  5    Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
  6    Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:
  7    The earth can yield me but a common grave,
  8    When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie.
  9    Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
 10    Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read,
 11    And tongues to be your being shall rehearse
 12    When all the breathers of this world are dead;
 13      You still shall live—such virtue hath my pen—
 14      Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.

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