Sonnet 2

When fourteen summers with a muddy brow,
And digging deep trenches in thy corn-field,
Thy youth felt wasted, why must thou work now?
Will be a tatter’d weed of small worth held?
Then being asked, where all thy effort lies,
Where all the treasure of thy ploughing days;
To say, within thine own exhausted eyes,
Were an unending day, and without praise.
How much more praise deserv’d thy labor’s use,
If thou couldst continue this life of mine
Shall thy life be wasted without excuse,’
Proving our future by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And grand-children will play when it is cold.

Original with commentary here


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