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Shakespeare's Sonnets

William Shakespeare

Summary and Analysis Sonnet 104


Sonnet 104 indicates for the first time that the poet and young man's relationship has gone on for three years. Evoking seasonal imagery from previous sonnets, the poet notes that "Three winters cold / . . . three summers' pride, / Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned / In process of the seasons I have seen." Only now is the poet willing to question whether the youth's beauty remains as it was "when first your eye I eyed": "So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand, / Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived." No matter, though, the poet argues in the concluding couplet, if the youth's beauty has deteriorated: No beauty has ever equaled the youth's appearance, nor will anything in the future outshine his lovely visage.