Where all the treasure of thy lusty days?..


When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,
Thy youth’s proud livery so gazed on now,
Will be a tattered weed of small worth held:
Then being asked, where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days;
To say within thine own deep sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserved thy beauty’s use,
If thou couldst answer ‘This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse’
Proving his beauty by succession thine.
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel’st it cold.

This sonnet reminded me of Kumaran Ashan’s Vasavadatta, a famous ‘Ghandakavyam’. Wherein lies the real beauty? Is it just a matter of ‘forty winters’? Yes. the time makes deep trenches in our physical beauty fields. Youth’s proud and lusty days will perish in course of time. They will become oblivion. It’s a beautiful sonnet which reminds us of the passing nature of physical beauty. The poet’s question: where all your beauty lies? This question could be asked by us when we are proud of our physical beauty which cannot withstand aging and thus decadence. It urges us to concentrate on the beauty eternal, if there exists such a beauty here on earth or in heaven above…

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