SONNET NO. 104
To me, fair friend you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters' cold
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn'd
In process of the seasons have I seen
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned,
Since first I saw you fresh which yet are green,
Ah, yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived:
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived:
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred,
Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.
Note the repetition of the following words, we find-beauty,
beauty, beauty, three, three, three, three, three.
Here Bacon addressing Maguerite tells her that in his eyes
she can never appear to be old and that she is still as beautiful
as when he first saw her three years before the time when he
wrote this sonnet in the freshness of her youth. That though
she is getting older time has not altered her appearance and she
looks just the same unless his eyes deceive him-if this is not so
beauty's summer had died before she was born.
This sonnet refers to the three years that Bacon spent abroad
when he was writing sonnets to his fair friend Marguerite.